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Press release by the UK’s Peace Pledge Union.
White poppy wearers have criticised Theresa May for planning to lay a wreath to remember the war dead while pursuing policies that are fuelling war.
They pointed out that civilians in Yemen could be killed with British-made weapons at the same time as UK politicians talk of mourning victims of war on Remembrance Sunday.
The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) is to hold an Alternative Remembrance Sunday Ceremony, only a short walk from the official ceremony at the Cenotaph. It will take place at 12.00 noon on Sunday (12 November) in Tavistock Square, London WC1.
The PPU insisted that the best response to remembering those who have died and suffered in war is to reject war and work for peace.
Speakers at the Alternative Remembrance Sunday Ceremony will include Sam Walton, a pacifist who was recently found Not Guilty of criminal damage after attempting to disarm warplanes bound for Saudi use in Yemen.
Those present will observe two minutes’ silence and lay a wreath of white poppies to remember all victims of war, both civilians and members of armed forces, of all nationalities.
The PPU report that this is another year of high sales for white poppies, with 97,500 sold as of 8 November. This is the fourth year running in which sales have been around the 100,000 mark. The last four years have seen higher sales of white poppies than any year since they were introduced, in 1933.
Symon Hill, co-ordinator of the Peace Pledge Union, said:
“Children in Yemen could be killed by Saudi forces with British-made weapons at literally the same time as Theresa May lays her wreath at the Cenotaph. Ministers talk of remembering the horrors of war while presiding over one of
the largest military budgets in the world, ploughing billions into the renewal of nuclear weapons and recruiting vulnerable 16-year-olds into the UK armed forces.
“Remembering those who have died and suffered in war should lead us to learn from the past, to challenge militarism and to take action for peace.”
Other alternative Remembrance events will take place around the UK, many of them organised by local peace groups or faith communities.