What we do

As well as our regular meetings, TPAG organises talks on topics of interest and has a regular presence in Bedford Square in Tavistock with a stall highlighting current Peace issues. At these stalls we have petitions and make information available for those who take the time to stop and engage with us. Small steps but they all help to spread the word and remind people that there are alternatives to consider. If you would like to see some photographs of these events, click in the blue links below and you’ll be taken to our image gallery.

March 6th 2022: We organized a silent vigil for peace in Ukraine on Sunday,  between 12 noon and 2 pm in Bedford Square, Tavistock.  Over 60 people came including the Mayor of Tavistock.  The Tavistock Times covered the event.

February 8th 2022: Dr. Martin Mowforth, Visiting Specialist in Development Studies at the University of Plymouth, gave a talk entitled ‘Has Trump’s Wall Stopped Migration to the United States?’.  It was about the factors leading to thousands of people from Central America walking to Trump’s wall and a look at US border policies.

September 26th 2021: CND organized an ‘International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons: Nurses not Nukes’.  We met at the Camel’s Head Entrance (Main Entrance) to Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth on Sunday September 26th 2021 at 12 noon to mark this day.   We stood on the pavement and showed  banners or signs to the passing traffic.  Some of us wore ‘Nurses not Nukes’ t-shirts.  The response from passing traffic was for the most part positive.  

November 6th 2019: Judith Brown, Yemen expert and former aid worker, gave talk: Yemen in Crisis: Why is there a war?.  Yemen is devastated by a civil war.  She explained what is fuelling the fighting and who is involved.  It was at the United Reformed Church, Russell St., Tavistock.

October 5th 2019:  Tony Staunton gave a talk in Plymouth in connection with the CND Global Dangers Tour at 96 Union Street, Plymouth.    This event was supported by Tavistock Peace Action Group and by Plymouth CND.

July 9th 2019: Jo Baker of ‘Rethinking Security’ gave the talk ‘Rethinking Security in a Time of Climate Crisis: Why Militarism is not the Answer.

May 11th 2019: We had a stall in Bedford Square, Tavistock in support of the National Demo for Palestine sponsored by Stop the War and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Many people signed the petition calling on the British Government to ensure the rights of children, some as young as 12, in Israeli jails.

April 6th 2019: We had a stall in Bedford Square, Tavistock to raise awareness of Trump’s withdrawal from the INF Treaty.  We had leaflets (“Not then not now: Oppose US missiles on UK soil”) and a petition (“We call on the government to: Condemn the imminent US withdrawal from the INF treaty; Use diplomatic routes to encourage the US to re-engage with the treaty; Commit that the UK will not allow any US missiles to be stationed in Britain should the treaty collapse.”).

October 30th 2018: Kevin Eady gave a talk: “WW1: Myth and Reality”. Was WW1 a war for freedom or a confused and pointless conflict?  Was it popular, or deeply divisive?  A catastrophic blunder, causing further wars?  Which caused more deaths, the war or Spanish flu?  Did the war achieve votes for women? He gave us  the answers to these and other questions in an excellent presentation.

August 11th 2018: We were in Bedford Square, Tavistock from 11 am to 1 pm to commemorate Hiroshima and to urge our government to sign the UN Global Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty and to cancel the replacement of Trident.  Trident is militarily irrelevant in dealing with the security problems we face today. Replacing Trident is hugely expensive, especially when considered in the context of cuts to other areas of government spending. The use of nuclear weapons would be illegal under international law. Replacing Trident would also be unpopular internationally, with the majority of world governments calling for a ban.  Many joined us to sign our CND petition to stop Trident

June 16th 2018: TPAG, with the help of one member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in Plymouth, held a stall in Bedford Square, Tavistock to protest about the situation in Gaza and the Israeli treatment of Palestinians. We highlighted Razan Najjar who was a 21year old medic in a white jacket treating the wounded on the Gaza border when Israeli soldiers shot her dead in the chest. Razan’s story is heart breaking, but it’s also outrageous that Israel is getting away with cold blooded murder. The UK should be condemning Israel for these war crimes and threatening sanctions at the least. We handed out 70 leaflets about her urging Theresa May to sanction Israel.  Many people also signed a PSC petition and took information leaflets about the dire situation in Gaza and Palestine in general.

May 1st 2018: A talk by psychotherapist Shane Scott on “The Growing Mental Health Emergency in Present Day Palestine”  was in the Friends’ Meeting House in the Bedford Car Park, Tavistock at 7.30 pm as part of our usual TPAG meeting. He was one of a group on a study tour of Palestine finding out about mental health issues there. The group was set up in the UK by the Palestine Mental Health Network.  We showed a short film about the Balfour Declaration.

November 8th 2017:  We organized a talk  by Martin Mowforth ‘DEFENDING RIGHTS DEFENDERS’. The northern triangle of Central America includes the three countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras where the world’s highest homicide rates are found and where environmental and human rights defenders are at greater risk than in any other part of the world. This presentation examined the nature of the risks that defenders face, who they are, why they are exposed to such dangers and what these dangers have to do with us. Defending Rights Defenders was a chance to explore ways in which we can better support rights defenders across Latin America.

August 11th 2017: To commemorate the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 72 years ago, we set up stall in Bedford Square Tavistock. We also linked the nuclear bombing of Japan with an anti-Trident protest giving out many leaflets and gathering a number of signatures on the CND petition: ‘Time to Stop Trident’.  The petition calls on the government to cancel the replacement of Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons system and to support a global nuclear ban treaty.  A number of people also signed a ‘Stop the War’ petition calling on the government to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia.

May 9th 2017:  A Story of Palestine: My personal journey through art and conflict.  How can the arts help transform lives is this setting of historic conflict? – a talk by David Oddie the director of Indra Congress – a global network of young people, artists, and others who share a commitment to developing the arts as a unique resource for transformation in settings of conflict.  The talk was the culmination of a 12-year partnership working with artists and young people in the West Bank, Palestine.

March 4th 2017: NHS not Trident’ and ‘Send a Card to Boris’ stall in Bedford Square, Tavistock.  Many more signatures for CND’s ‘Stop Trident’ petition were gathered and 28 cards will be forwarded to the Foreign Secretary via CND.

October 28th 2016:  Tim Coles gave a talk about his new book – Britain’s Secret WarsThe talk was well received with over 30 people there.  Tim gave clear accounts of the many places in the world where Britain has been and is still involved in conflicts. 

August 5th 2016:  Once again in Bedford Square to remember the bombing of Hiroshima and  to say ‘Time to Scrap Trident!’.

June 1st 2016:  Erdelan Baran from the Kurdistan National Congress (KNC) spoke about the Kurdish struggle , Turkish Kurdishtan and the Rojava Revolution. The KNC is a broad body of mainly exiled Kurds from Turkey and elsewhere, set up at the original instigation of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), the main Kurdish opposition to the Turkish regime.  

March 23rd 2016:  Dr. Alam Saleh, Lecturer in Middle Eastern Politics, of The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter  spoke about the very complex and troubled politics of Syria.

September 9th 2015:  ‘The World is my Country’ – workshop and talk.  Two speakers from Peace News (Gabriel Carlyle and Emily Johns) came with their display ‘The world is my country: Celebrating the people and movements that opposed WW1’.  

April 18th 2015: We had a CND’s ‘The People’s Ballot’ Stall in Bedford Square.  The results of the ballot (42 against a Trident replacement and nine for) were sent off to CND before the election.

September 15th 2014: Road to Peace Exhibition. Tavistock Peace Action Group has created a 21 board exhibition about the slide into war in 1914, also covering enlistment, conscription and conscientious objection. ‘The Challenging Road to Peace since the First World War’ lists the men of the Devon town killed in the conflict, their ages and where they died. The exhibition then considers the legacy of the war, with a four board timeline of the 100 years since. It highlights the changes in international relations made by organisations like the UN and efforts to make a more peaceful world. Finally it looks at the challenges of today which may lead us to war or a more peaceful future.

June 4th 2014: Martin Mowforth’s talk was based on his book The Violence of Development – Resource Depletion, Environmental Crises and Human Rights Abuses in Central America .

April 8th 2014: A ‘Support the People of Gaza’ stall in Bedford Square.

July 2nd 2013: Susan Clarkson spoke of her visit to Afghanistan to meet and to establish links with the Afghan people – ‘A journey of Hope from Oxford to Kabul: two weeks with the community of Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers’.

July 2nd 2013: Representing Tavistock Peace Action Group in Tavistock Town Hall.

April 3rd 2013: The TPAG stall was in evidence in Bedford Square again. This time as a stopping point for Bruce Kent on his ‘Stop Trident Tour’. He came down from Exeter to help distribute leaflets and talk to passers-by. As ever, a productive morning with many names collected for a petition and few more contacts added to our e-mail distribution list. We even had a report of the event in the Tavistock Times.

November 17th 2012: The anti-Trident (and anti-drones) TPAG stall on in Bedford Square Bedford Square, Tavistock.

October 9th 2012:  Chris Cole of the ‘Drone Network’ gave his talk: “Drone Wars: Afghanistan and Beyond”.

August 6th 2011: Another Bedford Square stall for Hiroshima Day.  We gave out nearly 150 ‘Campaign Against the Arms Trade’ petition leaflets to highlight government involvement in organizing a massive arms fair, DSEi, in September in London.  The response was good and many people enthusiastically embraced to opportunity to express their disgust at government support of the September Arms Fair and the arms trade in  general.  

February 26th 2011: Tavistock Peace Action Group  members acted as stewards for ‘The Forgiveness Project’ exhibition in Tavistock Town Hall.  The project is a UK-based charity that uses real stories of victims and perpetrators of crime and violence to help people explore ideas around forgiveness and alternatives to revenge.

November 1st 2010: Tavistock Peace Action group members took part in the the ‘Big Blockade’ and were effective in helping to close two gates at Devonport Dockyard for part of the morning.  This blockade was to protest the plan to dismantle Trident nuclear submarines reactors by removing the Reactor Pressure Vessels and store them whole at the dockyard.