NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
MILITARISM: A SMALL RAY OF SANITY
Militarism is very much to the fore these days throughout the UK and the Isle of Man. There’s a veritable ‘orgy of events’ taking place to commemorate the two world wars. Not content with remembering the very real sacrifices made by those particularly in WW 2 new memorial gardens have been opened in the UK to National Servicemen who for the most part were involved from 1945 onwards in the questionable repression of National liberation struggles.
The Isle of Man, as indicated, just can’t miss out on the obsessive militarism that’s in the air and since late spring we have had the ‘military fest’ on Douglas promenade with Manx Radio reporters and other media marching in step to the tune played by the British military and their local hangers on followed by numerous other events most recently the issue of some commemorative stamps. Everyone it seems wants to cash in on the ‘khaki’ (or blue serge) mania!
This week the Manx Independent even had a picture of a group of men in World War 2 battledress at Douglas Railway station. It required a double-take to check it wasn’t the much vaunted reserves swearing in which no doubt will excite ‘the war correspondents on Douglas Head’ next month.
Among this entire fixation with the military, service life and the rewriting of history to suit today’s military narrative it is good to find an oasis of common sense.
Cymdeithas y Cymod (The Fellowship of Reconciliation in Wales) earlier this year produced a petition so that those who were/are not seized by the obsession with militarism but demonstrated their commitment to peace can also be remembered. The petition on the National Assembly for Wales to instate a Conscientious Objectors Day;
The text of the petition in Welsh and English says;
“SEFYDLU DIWRNOD GWRTHWYNEBWYR CYDWYBODOL YNG NGHYMRU
Yr ydym ni, sydd wedi llofnodi’r ddeiseb hon, yn annog Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru i sefydlu Diwrnod Gwrthwynebwyr Cydwybodol swyddogol yng Nghymru. Byddai hyn yn goffâd priodol i bawb a ddioddefodd yn ystod y rhyfel ac enwedig i’r rhai a safodd yn nhraddodiad Cymreig heddychiaeth er gwaethaf y cost personol. Cymru fyddai’r wlad gyntaf i wneud hyn – gweithred a all ysbrydoli eraill i weithredu yn yr un modd.
ESTABLISHING A CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS’ DAY IN WALES
We, the undersigned, strongly urge the Welsh Assembly to establish an officially recognised Conscientious Objectors’ Day in Wales. This would be a fitting memorial to all those who suffered during that conflict and especially to those who stood in the Welsh tradition of peace-making at great personal cost. Wales would be the first country to have done this and may, thereby, prompt others to consider acting similarly.”
The petitions objective is commendable and demonstrates that there are two sides to every coin!
Related link to the campaigns of the Fellowship (Wales) here:
(Compiled for Celtic News by Bernard Moffatt)
THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE
The Celtic League was established in 1961and has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues