As well as our regular meetings, TPAG organises talks on topics of interest and has a regular presence in Bedford Square in Tavistock with a stall highlighting current Peace issues. At these stalls we have petitions and make information available for those who take the time to stop and engage with us. Small steps but they all help to spread the word and remind people that there are alternatives to consider. If you would like to see some photographs of these events, click in the blue links below and you’ll be taken to our image gallery.
October 30th 2018: Kevin Eady gave a talk: “WW1: Myth and Reality”. Was WW1 a war for freedom or a confused and pointless conflict? Was it popular, or deeply divisive? A catastrophic blunder, causing further wars? Which caused more deaths, the war or Spanish flu? Did the war achieve votes for women? He gave us the answers to these and other questions in an excellent presentation.
August 11th 2018: We were in Bedford Square, Tavistock from 11 am to 1 pm to commemorate Hiroshima and to urge our government to sign the UN Global Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty and to cancel the replacement of Trident. Trident is militarily irrelevant in dealing with the security problems we face today. Replacing Trident is hugely expensive, especially when considered in the context of cuts to other areas of government spending. The use of nuclear weapons would be illegal under international law. Replacing Trident would also be unpopular internationally, with the majority of world governments calling for a ban. Many joined us to sign our CND petition to stop Trident
June 16th 2018: TPAG, with the help of one member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in Plymouth, held a stall in Bedford Square, Tavistock to protest about the situation in Gaza and the Israeli treatment of Palestinians. We highlighted Razan Najjar who was a 21year old medic in a white jacket treating the wounded on the Gaza border when Israeli soldiers shot her dead in the chest. Razan’s story is heart breaking, but it’s also outrageous that Israel is getting away with cold blooded murder. The UK should be condemning Israel for these war crimes and threatening sanctions at the least. We handed out 70 leaflets about her urging Theresa May to sanction Israel. Many people also signed a PSC petition and took information leaflets about the dire situation in Gaza and Palestine in general.
May 1st 2018: A talk by psychotherapist Shane Scott on “The Growing Mental Health Emergency in Present Day Palestine” was in the Friends’ Meeting House in the Bedford Car Park, Tavistock at 7.30 pm as part of our usual TPAG meeting. He was one of a group on a study tour of Palestine finding out about mental health issues there. The group was set up in the UK by the Palestine Mental Health Network. We showed a short film about the Balfour Declaration.
November 8th 2017: We organized a talk by Martin Mowforth ‘DEFENDING RIGHTS DEFENDERS’. The northern triangle of Central America includes the three countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras where the world’s highest homicide rates are found and where environmental and human rights defenders are at greater risk than in any other part of the world. This presentation examined the nature of the risks that defenders face, who they are, why they are exposed to such dangers and what these dangers have to do with us. Defending Rights Defenders was a chance to explore ways in which we can better support rights defenders across Latin America.
August 11th 2017: To commemorate the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 72 years ago, we set up stall in Bedford Square Tavistock. We also linked the nuclear bombing of Japan with an anti-Trident protest giving out many leaflets and gathering a number of signatures on the CND petition: ‘Time to Stop Trident’. The petition calls on the government to cancel the replacement of Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons system and to support a global nuclear ban treaty. A number of people also signed a ‘Stop the War’ petition calling on the government to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia.
May 9th 2017: A Story of Palestine: My personal journey through art and conflict. How can the arts help transform lives is this setting of historic conflict? – a talk by David Oddie the director of Indra Congress – a global network of young people, artists, and others who share a commitment to developing the arts as a unique resource for transformation in settings of conflict. The talk was the culmination of a 12-year partnership working with artists and young people in the West Bank, Palestine.
March 4th 2017: ‘NHS not Trident’ and ‘Send a Card to Boris’ stall in Bedford Square, Tavistock. Many more signatures for CND’s ‘Stop Trident’ petition were gathered and 28 cards will be forwarded to the Foreign Secretary via CND.
October 28th 2016: Tim Coles gave a talk about his new book – Britain’s Secret Wars. The talk was well received with over 30 people there. Tim gave clear accounts of the many places in the world where Britain has been and is still involved in conflicts.
August 5th 2016: Once again in Bedford Square to remember the bombing of Hiroshima and to say ‘Time to Scrap Trident!’.
June 1st 2016: Erdelan Baran from the Kurdistan National Congress (KNC) spoke about the Kurdish struggle , Turkish Kurdishtan and the Rojava Revolution. The KNC is a broad body of mainly exiled Kurds from Turkey and elsewhere, set up at the original instigation of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), the main Kurdish opposition to the Turkish regime.
March 23rd 2016: Dr. Alam Saleh, Lecturer in Middle Eastern Politics, of The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter spoke about the very complex and troubled politics of Syria.
September 9th 2015: ‘The World is my Country’ – workshop and talk. Two speakers from Peace News (Gabriel Carlyle and Emily Johns) came with their display ‘The world is my country: Celebrating the people and movements that opposed WW1’.
April 18th 2015: We had a CND’s ‘The People’s Ballot’ Stall in Bedford Square. The results of the ballot (42 against a Trident replacement and nine for) were sent off to CND before the election.
September 15th 2014: Road to Peace Exhibition. Tavistock Peace Action Group has created a 21 board exhibition about the slide into war in 1914, also covering enlistment, conscription and conscientious objection. ‘The Challenging Road to Peace since the First World War’ lists the men of the Devon town killed in the conflict, their ages and where they died. The exhibition then considers the legacy of the war, with a four board timeline of the 100 years since. It highlights the changes in international relations made by organisations like the UN and efforts to make a more peaceful world. Finally it looks at the challenges of today which may lead us to war or a more peaceful future.
June 4th 2014: Martin Mowforth’s talk was based on his book The Violence of Development – Resource Depletion, Environmental Crises and Human Rights Abuses in Central America .
April 8th 2014: A ‘Support the People of Gaza’ stall in Bedford Square.
July 2nd 2013: Susan Clarkson spoke of her visit to Afghanistan to meet and to establish links with the Afghan people – ‘A journey of Hope from Oxford to Kabul: two weeks with the community of Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers’.
July 2nd 2013: Representing Tavistock Peace Action Group in Tavistock Town Hall.