Peace Pledge Union
The Peace Pledge Union is the oldest secular pacifist organisation in Britain. Since 1934 it has been campaigning for a warless world. From anti bombing campaigns during WW2 to protest at the remote controlled drone assassinations of today.
- Its international white poppy project challenges the beliefs, values and institutions that make war inevitable, and presents an alternative view of security and how to achieve it without violence.
- Its education for peace programme offers a wealth of resources to promote a better under- standing of the causes of war - it is not inevitable - and provides an awareness of the many alternative strategies to resolve conflicts nonviolently. War can be prevented.
- They are campaigning against the growing militarisation of education.
- Its print and electronic resources range from CDs through practical books, such as 'Saying No to Violence' or 'Refusing to Kill' and our serial publications.
The idea of decoupling Armistice Day, the red poppy and later Remembrance Day from their military culture dates back to 1926, just a few years after the British Legion was persuaded to try using the red poppy as a fundraising tool in Britain.
A member of the No More War Movement suggested that the British Legion should be asked to imprint 'No More War' in the centre of the red poppies instead of ‘Haig Fund’ and failing this pacifists should make their own flowers.
The details of any discussion with the British Legion are unknown but as the centre of the red poppy displayed the ‘Haig Fund’ imprint until 1994 it was clearly not successful. A few years later the idea was again discussed by the Co-operative Women's Guild. In 1933 the first white poppies appeared on Armistice Day (called Remembrance Day after World War Two). The white poppy was not intended as an insult to those who died in the First World War - a war in which many of the white poppy supporters lost husbands, brothers, sons and lovers - but a challenge to the continuing drive to war. The following year the newly founded Peace Pledge Union began widespread distribution of the poppies and their annual promotion.