What is JNV & the JNV Network? JUSTICE not VENGEANCE logo
Home page
What is JNV?
JNV's principles
What we do
Anti-war Briefings & Documents
Events Diary
Useful links

Mailing lists

Sign the Pledge of Resistance against an attack on Iraq

18-19 January 2003

A weekend of nonviolent protest and civil disobedience against war on Iraq, at the nerve centre of UK war plans: Northwood military base, London

on Saturday 18 January meet 12 noon, Northwood main gate

on Sunday 19 January meet 11am, Northwood tube (Metropolitan Line) Northwood is near Watford, North London.

IMPORTANT TRAVEL INFO: Please note that there will be no Metropolitan Line service between Harrow on the Hill and Watford this Sunday, so if you are planning to travel to Northwood by tube you will need to change onto the replacement bus service at Harrow on the Hill. London Underground warn that 'journey times may be increased by up to 40 minutes' so please bear this in mind. The Circle line is also not working this weekend.
Please don't let this put you off - it just takes a bit longer to get there but works fine.

See reports of the events
from Saturday pm.

Contact: voices in the wilderness uk: email or phone 0845 458 2564.


Publicity leaflet in PDF format - includes map and other important information.

Northwood briefing in PDF format.

Legal Briefing in PDF format.

Affinity Group briefing in PDF format.

Crashpad accommodation will be available on Saturday night for those coming from outside London. Contact voices.

Please contact Voices if you are willing to take on a support role e.g. stewarding, leafletting etc.

Introduction - the role of Northwood on a war on Iraq

Public meeting to mark the 12th anniversary of the start of the Gulf War - 17 January
Planned events - 18-19 January
Directions for Kingsley Hall and Northwood

Arrestable actions
Organising groups
Civil disobedience
Possible penalties

Affinity Groups
Continuing protest

protestors temporarily close Northwood in March 2002

Those who profess to favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground ... Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
Frederick Douglass, African-American abolitionist
The role of Northwood on a war on Iraq
Northwood is the Permanent Joint Headquarters of the British Armed Forces. As the command post for British rapid deployment forces, it will play a key role in directing British forces in any war on Iraq. Officers from Northwood are already in Qatar participating in a US wargame preparing for the invasion of Iraq.

On the 12th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1991 war, and in parallel with US mass demonstrations, we invite anti-war groups and activists to come to Northwood for a weekend of nonviolent resistance, to express the strength of our opposition to war, through direct action or through non-arrestable forms of protest.

For futher info about the role of Northwood go to: http://people.freenet.de/ask/e_northwood.html or download the Northwood briefing in PDF format.

If you go to one demonstration and then go home, that’s something, but the people in power can live with that. What they can’t live with is sustained pressure that keeps building, organisations that keep doing things, people that keep learning lessons from the last time and doing it better the next time.
Noam Chomsky
Public meeting to mark the 12th anniversary of the start of the Gulf War.
With sanctions- breaking auction!
Friday 17 January 7.30pm at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London.
Organised by Voices, ARROW and Act Together: Women against War and Sanctions on Iraq.
Planned Events
Saturday 18 January

Guided Tour around Northwood Base
Find out what goes on in there.
Meet 11am at Northwood Tube

Operation Internal Look (arrestable action*)
Break the Official Secrets Act with us as we observe the business at Northwood HQ.
Bring cameras, binoculars, etc (real or fake).
Meet 12 noon at Northwood main gate.

Nonviolence workshop
2-5.30pm at Kingsley Hall, Powis Road, London E3 (tube Bromley-by-Bow).

Post training action/protest in solidarity with the big anti-war protests in the US
Meet early evening at Kingsley Hall.

Social event and film show
From 9pm at Kingsley Hall.

Sunday 19 January

Multifaith service

Meet 11am at Northwood Base side gate
(Call Chris 07939 101381 for more info.)

Mass Blockade & Protest at Northwood Base
Assemble 11am at Northwood tube.
Bring props, banners etc ...be creative.
(the Blockade will be an arrestable action*)
Directions for Kingsley Hall and Northwood
Kingsley Hall (from Bromley-by-Bow tube station): exit, turn left and walk downhill. Turn off (left) into St Leonards Street and then left again into Grace Street. Powis Road is at the bottom of Grace Street and the Hall is on Powis Road! The whole journey should take 5-10 minutes. If you get lost call 07980 748 555.

Northwood: Northwood is 30 mins from Baker Street on the Metropolitan line. The base is near Watford, just North of London.
Arrestable actions
Participants in civil disobedience actions risk arrest and confiscation of cameras (use disposables!) etc. Supporters, not wishing to risk arrest, are welcome.

One country wants to bully the world. We must not allow that.
Nelson Mandela, 17 September 2002

Bombing Iraq would lead to a humanitarian disaster for which the international community would bear a heavy responsibility ... Any attacks that targeted sectors used for ration distribution (eg transport) or for public health (eg water, sanitation, electricity) would be an attack on children’s ability to survive.
Save the Children Fund UK, March 2002

We deplore any military action that regards the deaths of innocent men, women and children as a price worth paying in fighting terrorists, since this is to fight terror with terror.
Archbishop Rowan Williams and 3000 others, Pax Christi Declaration, August 2002.

Organising groups
voices in the wilderness uk is a campaign of civil disobedience against the economic sanctions on Iraq. Since February 1998 voices uk has sent 11 sanctions-breaking delegations to Iraq with medical supplies and textbooks. voices uk, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX. tel: 0207 837 0561, email: voices@viwuk.freeserve.co.uk

Active Resistance to the Roots of War (ARROW) is a small nonviolent action affinity group. Over the last twelve years ARROW has campaigned on a wide range of issues including East Timor and the arms trade and has held a weekly vigil outside the Foreign Office against the economic sanctions on Iraq since July 1991. ARROW., c/o NVRN, 162 Holloway Road, London N7 8DQ. tel. 0207 607 2302. e-mail: lrcndnvrn@supanet.com

D10 uses nonviolent resistance to campaign against militarism.
Civil disobedience
We believe that civil disobedience and nonviolent action are powerful tools that we can use to resist an illegal and immoral war. In using these tools we are drawing on a rich tradition of protest and dissent that includes not only Gandhi and Martin Luther King but also the ‘People Power’ revolutions in the Philipines and Eastern Europe, the Suffragettes, Danish resistance to Nazi occupation during WWII, the Argentinian Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo and many others.
The act of civil disobedience which voices uk, Active Resistance to the Roots of War (ARROW) and D10 have helped organise on 18-19 January is an attempt to respond creatively, and nonviolently, to the massive violence of the threatened war. We therefore ask everyone who takes part in the actions and protests in a spirit of nonviolence. For the purposes of this action participants are asked to abide by the following guidelines: NO threats / violence (including pushing), verbal abuse, property damage, drugs, alcohol or flags.
Possible penalties

Download the Legal Briefing in PDF format.

Click here to read the Legal Briefing.

Legal support
There will be legal support for everyone arrested, until everyone is released. There will also be legal and court support for everyone charged until the end of their legal process (acquittal, fine paid, or sentence served).
Affinity Groups

Download the Affinity Group Briefing in PDF format.

Affinity groups are small groups of people, usually between three and fifteen, who come together to support one another during nonviolent actions. Sometimes the group disbands after a particular action, sometimes it carries on meeting.

We are encouraging everyone wishing to risk arrest on this action to be part of an affinity group.

Safety and support
If you’re by yourself, it is easy to get lost, especially in a police station when nobody outside knows who you are, or even that you’ve been arrested. Also, it is good to be around people you know and trust, especially when arrests begin to happen.

Strength and flexibility
Affinity groups help stop the action being a crowd which can be manipulated. Each group has an identity, as does each person within it.

Rather than grand debates being dominated by the few, a collection of affinity groups can use more democratic decision-making processes - in which everyone is involved. The action is unlikely to go exactly as planned, and the group may well need to make decisions on the hoof.

Support roles
An affinity group can contain one or two support people who are not risking arrest, who can witness events. Support people can give the Legal Support Unit accurate information, and wait for arrestees to be released (a vital job). You may also consider having a local press contact feeding information to your local media during the day.

Forming an affinity group
An affinity group can be a collection of friends, or it can be a group who meet for the first time at a nonviolence and legal preparation session. There will an opportunity to form affinity groups at the preparation session in London on 1 December (see p. 3).
Continuing protest
Roughly 4500 people in Britain have now signed the Pledge of Resistance committing themselves to taking part (or supporting) acts of nonviolent resistance to the war, should it take place.

Contingency plans for action in the event of an attact now exist for London, Scotland, Brighton and several other places.

See Events and Actions for more.
Further information on Non-Violent Direct Action can be found on our Resources for Activists pages.

Register your event

Please register the details of your local event by emailing ARROW. Please also inform your local media of your anti-war vigil.