2014 marks the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the First World War. Far from being a ‘war to end all wars’ or a ‘victory for democracy’, this was a military disaster and a human catastrophe. The government wants to mark this anniversary by stressing our ‘national spirit’ in a way that resembles the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Instead we believe it is important to remember that this was a war that was driven by big powers’ competition for influence around the globe, and caused a degree of suffering all too clear in the statistical record of 16 million people dead and 20 million wounded.
We are now ready to launch a campaign to do just that. Since the open letter first appeared in The Guardian the ‘No Glory in War’ campaign is getting wonderful publicity, thanks in part to your support. We have launched a website (http://noglory.org) and are busy with plans for the No Glory launch event at St James’s Church, Piccadilly on Friday 25 October.
The evening will be culturally rich and evocative – reaching back to all who suffered, yet forwards in our work to prevent this happening again through our understanding of the real reasons for World War One. John Landor conducts George Hlawiczka in Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending. There will be specially written poetry by Heathcote Williams read by Roger Lloyd Pack and Kika Markham, performance from Elvis McGonigle and more music from Sally Davies and others.
Tickets are £13 or £6 concessions. Please book online here or by calling 020 7561 4830.
Yours in solidarity,
No Glory in War organising team
P.S., historian Neil Faulkner has written a new pamphlet that looks at the real history of the First World War as part of the No Glory campaign. The pamphlet is being launched at the Stop the War Coalition’s annual fundraising dinner on 14 October. All attendees receive will receive a free copy of the pamphlet. You can book tickets online from the Stop the War Coalition website. The pamphlet will also be on sale at the No Glory launch event at St James’s Piccadilly.