Talks & Events

Members of the group are available for speaking requests, to invite a delegate and hear a first hand account and analysis of the current situation in Afghanistan contact: <afghanistanspeakingtour@gmail.com>

See below for events in your area and details on the delegation

group 1

About the delegates (left to right)

MAYA EVANS led the first British peace delegation since the 2001 invasion on her second trip to Afghanistan, her current topics of focus include human rights and the situation for women

MARY DOBBING has in depth experience in conflict resolution, previously involved as a volunteer of observing human rights  in the West Bank, she has an expert knowledge on drone warfare

SUSAN CLARKSON runs a shelter in Oxford for destitute asylum seekers, though legally blind she went to prison for cutting a fence at AWE Aldermaston. An excellent overview of knowledge with special interest in the disabled victims of war

BETH TICHBORNE previous experience with People & Planet, community protest organizing, social and international networking: focus on youth activism and counter recruitment

Upcoming Talks

TAVISTOCK Tuesday 2nd July  Tavistock 7.30pm Friends’ Meeting House

CHELTENHAM Saturday 8th June TBC

CHORLEYWOOD Tuesday 7th May Chorleywood Arts Centre 8pm

BRISTOL Thursday 2nd May,  Hamilton House, 5th Floor, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3QY a talk by Mary Dobbing in her home town, organized by Bristol Stop the War. Mary will talk about her trip and impressions 7pm.

FARINGDON Wednesday 1st May, Friends Meeting House, 8pm, organized by Faringdon Stop the War

BRADFORD Tuesday 16th April  Bradford Peace Studies  department, invite via the University only

BRISTOL Tuesday 26th March 7pm Mary Dobbing speaks about the recent trip to Afghanistan, with specific expertise on drones as well as an overall on the ground picture of the situation in Afghanistan. Horfield Friends Meeting House, organized by Friends.

ABINGDON 19th March 7.30pm Susan Clarkson speaks to Abingdon Peace Group about the current situation in Afghanistan and how the British peace movement can  work in solidarity with non-violent peace groups in Afghanistan, Northcourt Centre, Northcourt Road, Abingdon

YORK Tuesday 12th March, Friends Meeting House, 7.30pm- Free Admission. Maya Evans gives an overview of the situation in Afghanistan with particular focus on human rights and the situation for women. Organised by York Against War

BANGOR Monday 11th March 7pm, Bangor and Ynys Mon Peace and Justice Group have invited Susan Clarkson to speak about the recent trip to Afghanistan, the event is part of the International Women’s day activities. Main Room of the Friends Meeting House, Dean Street, Bangor LL57 1UR

PUTNEY AND ROEHAMPTON Monday 11th March 7.30pm, United Nations Association presents a free public meeting to mark International Women’s day with speaker Maya Evans on “Afghanistan – Women and Peace”. The Community Church Hall, Werter Rd, Putney, London SW15 2ll (Opposite Sainsbury’s) unaputneyandroehampton.org.uk

HASTINGS Tuesday 5th March, Friends Meeting House, 7.30pm- Free Admission. Maya Evans speaks in conjunction with events organised for InternationalnWomen’s Day- her talk will focus on women’s rights in Afghanistan. Organised by Hastings Against War

EDINBURGH Thursday 28th February, 7pm, Susan Clarkson talks on the UK peace delegation to Afghanistan: A Fundraiser for AYPV Quilting Project St John’s Church Hall, West End of Princes St http://www.peaceandjustice.org.uk

HASTINGS Saturday 16th February, Kave Gallery, 8 Kings Road, 7.30pm- Free Admission, Maya Evans speaks at the “Explorers Club’ giving an eyewitness account of her trip

OXFORD Friday 25th January, Friends Meeting House 7pm- Free Admission. Susan Clarkson and Beth Tichborne give their first joint talk about the trip, their talk will include and overview of the current situation in Kabul as well as personal stories and experiences.

About the delegation

The first British peace delegation to visit Afghanistan since the 2001 NATO/US invasion returned early January from a fact finding mission where a female group of four who spoke with refugees, women’s groups, journalists, NGOs,  transitional justice groups, civil society groups and youth peace activists based in Kabul.

The purpose of the visit was to collect testimonies from ordinary Afghans and to help amplify the most important, usually overlooked, voice of the people. The group found that 33 years of war has exhausted and broken a nation of people in a country which internationally ranks in the bottom figures for everything from human rights and poverty to Government corruption. Some Afghans observed that after 12 years of occupation by 42 of the world’s richest countries (ISAF), standards of living has actually decreased and conflict is worse than what it was under the Taliban.

The delegation worked with the Afghan Peace Volunteers (APV), a group of young Afghans campaigning for non-violence in their troubled land. It is estimated that 65% of the Afghans are under the age of 25, meaning the majority of the population has known nothing but war. The path forward most surely rest with the youth who have seen how violence has failed to resolve or improve their country’s lot, has failed to bring equality, education, infrastructure or employment, has failed to bring peace. The delegation are now working on building a bridge between peace campaigners in this country,  and those in Afghanistan, as well as campaigning to end British involvement and support in the futile on-going war.

Afghanistan holds a joint ranking of hosting the most corrupt Government in the world, this is a Government installed and supported by the British. Positive change such as women’s education and employment will mainly come via grassroots groups such as the APV who are already involved with such activities. Change which makes a real difference to people’s lives can only come from the people themselves.

Voices for Creative Non-Violence UK is currently co-coordinated by Maya Evans, Mary Dobbing, Susan Clarkson and Beth Tichborne.