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#27 – Courageous conversations

In an environment of increasing polarisation it’s more important than ever to understand how to disagree well. In this episode we chat to Lisa Cumming, Turning the Tide Programme Manager, about different approaches to try when engaging with friends and family – or people you don’t know well – on difficult topics. Find further resources from Turning the Tide at: https://turningtide.org.uk/ Other resources 5 ways to disrupt racism video: https://youtu.be/Lcd4VXHTR3Y Having difficult...


#25 – Rethinking security

“We can’t have security for people in the UK at the expense of security for people in other parts of the world” Rethinking security is an invitation to engage in public debate and dialogue about the way we think about security. The aim is to think and plan creatively in relation to safety, security, nonviolence and the role of peace initiatives, and revisit how we think about security to encompass all aspects of human well-being. In this episode of Q:Witness, we speak to Marigold Bentley,...


#24 - Housing

The housing crisis in Britain has reached new lows in 2017, with 1 in every 200 people in the UK being homeless, house prices soaring far beyond the range of ordinary people, and social housing stock being decommissioned and not replaced. Quakers are stepping into the breach wherever they can - setting up YMCAs in meeting houses, running housing initiatives for young carers, and submitting amendments to housing bills as they go through parliament. In this episode of Q:Witness, the Quakers...


#23 – Making witness happen

This episode of #QWitness focuses on making witness happen, shifting towards a movement-focused approach from a more information-based one. We chat to Gurpreet Bola, Hannah Smith and Maya Williams about their work to support groups to take action on different issues and how you can access this. We also catch up with two people who attended the Quaker Activist Gathering earlier this month. Lesley Grahame gives an update on supporting the ban on nuclear weapons and Laurence Hall talks about...


#22 - Waging peace

"It's really hard to stop 30,000 arms buyers from getting into the Excel centre, but it's really easy – and it feels amazing! – to stop a truck with a tank on from driving into the arms fair." In this episode of Q:Witness we talk about the many ways that people can help build a peaceful society. We hear from Sam Walton who helped organise the headline-grabbing actions to try and stop the world's largest arms fair in London this September; Ellis Brooks joins us to share news and hopes...


#21 - Spiritual activism

In the first episode of Q:Witness's new season, two campaigners discuss how they came to Quakerism through activism. In an intergenerational, wide-ranging conversation, Chris Venables and Jane Pearn speak of overcoming their own self-doubts around 'doing enough,' and the importance of doing what you can, when you can. Listen to hear more about how ordinary people live their everyday lives according to Quaker values, and give strength to those who feel called to dedicate their lives to a...


#19 – Challenging militarism

This Q:Witness we discuss the tide of militarisation in Britain and how to take action to stop it. The belief that military solutions are superior is one of the things that makes war more likely. From cadets in state schools to Armed Forces Day, we hear how new initiatives amount to a deliberate militarisation of society to counteract falling support for Britain’s wars. We hear about the movement to challenge militarism in Britain. Suki Ferguson, debut interviewer, speaks to Ellis Brooks...


#18 - Sanctuary

How can Quakers offer sanctuary to those forced to flee their homes? Jon Martin and Tim Gee explore the idea of sanctuary and prepare for the launch of the Sanctuary Meetings programme. Tim also asks the various speakers from Refugee Week at Friends House (Euston, London) what sanctuary means to them. Learn why and how Quaker meetings can become Sanctuary Meeting and how you can join our movement challenging the process of destitution, deportation and detention. Interviews in order: Sita...


#15 – Stop the Arms Fair

War, human rights abuses and forced migration start in London. The Defence and Security Exhibition International (DSEI - pronounced 'dicey') is the largest arms fair in the world. Every two years, DSEI allows arms buyers and sellers to network and make deals. It’s coming again 4 September 2017, at ExCeL – the huge exhibition centre in London Docklands. This episode is about how to stop the arms fair. Ellis and Elizabeth hear from Sam Walton, the Peace and Disarmament Programme Manager for...


#14 – Economic inequality

Quakers in Britain are deeply concerned by the widening gulf between rich and poor, which is brought about by injustice within our economic system. Quakers call for an economic system that values and protects all people. Any government strategy to reduce economic inequality should include a fair social security system which is upheld by a fair tax system and decent pay. In this episode we talk to Gurpreet Bola and Mairi Campbell-Jack about economic inequality, exploring what we can do to...


#13 – Pendle Hill, fossil fuels and GE2017

Land across Lancashire is at risk of fracking, a new form of fossil fuel extraction that is set to threaten the UK’s ability to meet its low carbon commitments. Planning permission has been granted for fracking at Preston New Road in Lancashire, between Blackpool and Preston. Pendle Hill Area Meeting Quakers joined together to organise a meeting for worship for witness against fracking atop Pendle Hill, a historic site for Quakers. The land that can be seen from Pendle Hill is licensed for...


#12 – General election 2017

As a collective body Quakers in Britain are not party political. But that doesn’t mean we’re neutral. A general election is a good time to raise some key concerns with parliamentary candidates. In this episode of Q:Witness we speak to Jessica Metheringham, who works on political engagement, about how to get involved with the election and how we stay engaged afterwards. www.quakervote.org.uk | @QuakerVote | quakervote@quaker.org.uk


#9 - Take action on Fracking

Why are Quakers and others taking action to stop fracking? In February 2017, Quakers in Britain called for a ban on shale gas fracking and all forms of intensive fossil fuel extraction. Meeting for Sufferings, Quakers in Britain’s representative body, said “We have faith that we can tackle climate change and build a more sustainable future, but we know this is only possible if fossil fuels remain underground [...] Fracked gas is not the low-carbon solution some suggest that it is and is...


#8 - Call For Peaceworkers

Do you want to be a Peaceworker? The Quaker Peaceworker scheme funds one year placements in organisations in Britain working for peace at a national or international level. In this episode we talk to Steve Whiting, who manages the scheme, and to Philip Wood, one of this year’s peaceworkers, placed with Scientists for Global Responsibility. Carefully supported by Steve and a committee of Quakers, the Peaceworkers make a big contribution to the work for peace. More information at...


#7 - Queued Witness

Ellis Brooks and Elizabeth Payne outline some of the topics coming up on Q:Witness, including fracking, the Quaker Housing Trust, stopping the arms fair and a Quaker response to forced migration. If you can’t wait for these episodes, check out www.quaker.org.uk/qpsw to find out more about the work of Quakers in Britain. If you have questions about the issues we’ve discussed or those coming up, or perhaps a topic you’d like us to cover, email Ellis on ellisb@quaker.org.uk


#5 - Educating For Peace

In this episode we discuss peace education, specifically how teaching the skills and approaches of conflict resolution can have a transformative effect on individuals and communities. With the voices of young peacemakers and educators past and present, we look at the benefits and ongoing challenges. Featuring Isabel Cartwright from Quaker Peace & Social Witness; Tom Leimdorfer, who helped pioneer peace education in Britain and beyond; Sara Hagel, Director of Peacemakers – a Quaker peace...


#4 - Banning nuclear weapons

Quakers work with other organisations, policy-makers and the public to rid the world of nuclear weapons. In this episode, we look back at the struggle against Trident renewal in 2016, then at the way forward as the United Nations begins to negotiate a new treaty banning the development, testing, production, financing, transferring, stockpiling, use and threat of use of any nuclear weapon. What role will the United Kingdom play, and what role can you play? Follow @DisarmQuaker For info and...


#3 - New Economy

The current economic system has provided humanity with many material benefits. However those benefits have been unequally shared. In this episode we hear from Cait Crosse, the New Economy Project Manager in Quaker Peace & Social Witness. The project is enabling Quakers and others to articulate a vision of how the economy could be transformed. Cait shares what’s happening with the project and interviews Yuan Yang, Beijing correspondent for the Financial Times and founder of Rethinking...


#2 - Active Nonviolence in Kenya

Hear about the nonviolent grassroots movement standing up for human rights and a just peace in Kenya with Ezra Kigondu (Turning the Tide Kenya) and Laura Shipler Chico (Quaker Peace & Social Witness).


#1 - Introducing Q:Witness

Introducing the new podcast about witness in action from Quakers in Britain. This tease explains what it's all about so you know to subscribe!