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A Tribute to Jen Painter (1938 - 2023)

We remember gratefully the life of Jen Painter who passed away on 8th December 2023.

She was a life-long campaigner for peace, for women's rights and for the environment.

We recall especially the banners which she and Lorna Vahey made for Hastings Against War. They will continue to inspire us.

Jen will not be forgotten.

See her tribute in Hastings Online Times.

Remember Hiroshima

Cllr Nigel Sinden

Traditionally, since 2005, as August 6th, the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, comes round, Hastings against War has launched lanterns at sunset on the boating lake near the War Memorial in Alexandra Park, Hastings, to remember victims of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and to unite with the Japanese tradition of floating lanterns.

At the gathering on Sunday 6th August 2023, Fiona MacGregor of HAW spoke about current attempts to rid the world of nuclear weapons through the United Nations (UN). The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was adopted in 2017 and entered into force in 2021 making nuclear weapons illegal under international law. Though states which possess nuclear weapons, like Britain, choose to ignore the treaty they are still affected by the reality the treaty has created, with many financial institutions not wanting to invest in weapons outlawed across the world. ABP, Europe’s largest pension fund, has already committed to scrapping its investments in nuclear weapons producers.

Speaking at the gathering, Councillor for Silverhill Nigel Sinden said he regretted the fact he had to make the same speech against nuclear weapons that he’d made so many times previously. A committed pacifist, he asked if enough people haven’t already died as a result of war. During his time as Hastings Mayor from 2018 to 2021 Nigel also served as a ‘Mayor for Peace’, joining an international group of civic representatives seeking an end to nuclear weapons. Mayors for Peace currently has over 8,000 members. It was initiated in 1982 by the Mayor of Hiroshima.

Current Hastings Mayor, and Councillor for Braybrooke, Margi O’Callaghan spoke about how she seconded a Council motion which supported the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The motion passed by a comfortable majority in 2020 and meant that Hastings joined cities including Paris, Berlin, Edinburgh and Philadelphia in backing a complete ban on nuclear weapons.

Margi talked about how the money Britain is spending on the Trident nuclear weapons system could be used instead to eradicate poverty and end the need for food banks. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has estimated the total cost of Trident to be £205 billion, including the manufacture of the warheads and the submarines to carry them, as well as ‘decommissioning’ the system at the end of its lifetime.

In Alexandra Park lanterns were lit around the pond in memory of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while Buddhists from Soka Gakkai International (SGI) chanted. SGI is a global community-based organisation that, in its own words, ‘promotes peace, culture and education centred on respect for the dignity of life’.

Nuclear Weapons are Illegal!

UN colours in Bottle Alley
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons came into force on 22 January 2021.
It makes the possession of nuclear weapons illegal. The UK is now in breach of International Law until we dispose of our nuclear weapons. See letter to Boris Johnson, signed on behalf of Hastings against War and other peace groups.

On the day the Treaty entered into force the blue and white colours of the UN shone in Bottle Alley as the council marked the day in a Covid-secure way. Two of our Hastings Councillors who spoke in favour of the Council Motion last year, Maya Evans and Margi O'Callaghan, publicized the Ban coming into force at a busy Silverhill intersection, parading the UN flag and a flag of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which was pivotal in the treaty happening.

Margi said -
'I was happy to fly the UN flag today in Silverhill to mark the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Keeping a peaceful and nuclear free world is important to me and it was imperative that this was marked within my community.'

Join Hastings against War in rejecting Trident and urging our government to take the lead in abandoning our nuclear arsenal.

Rembrance weekend

The pandemic lockdown prevented Hastings against War from gathering at the war memorial for Remembrance weekend. Instead a few of us quietly placed our usual wreath of white poppies at the foot of the memorial on 7th November.

The Hands Up Project

Our first Zoom meeting, on Tuesday 6th October 2020, was a joint meeting with Hastings & Rother Interfaith Forum.

Adrian Underhill introduced the Hands Up Project for children in Gaza and the West Bank.

Click here for more information on his much appreciated talk.


Take a look at our new web page on refugees and asylum seekers.

A Tribute to Lorna Sinclair (1946-2020)

Kite-making with Lorna
We gratefully recall the life of Lorna Sinclair, who passed away on 23rd June 2020. She was a faithful supporter of Hastings against War, Extinction Rebellion and Palestinian causes.

Lorna was a fun-loving person who enjoyed music, and actively and loyally supported local jazz groups.

She was resilient and resourceful, refusing to allow poor mobility to prevent her from taking a full part in our outdoor activities, including white poppy and Hiroshima remembrance events, which could mean walking over rough ground in the park.

We remember especially her skill at handicrafts, teaching us patiently to fold paper cranes at the St Leonards Festival, and assembling floating lanterns for Hiroshima.

She will not be forgotten.

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Our Mission

Hastings Against War (HAW) was formed in February 2003 in response to the growing threat of a US/UK invasion of Iraq. Since then we have organised countless information stalls, film screenings, talks, and street actions, as well as an art exhibition, benefit concerts and a major conference at the White Rock Theatre - 'Waging War, Making Peace'.
We have worked to raise awareness of the human cost of UK/US policies in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, exposing the often hidden facts about civilian casualties and corporate profiteering. We've campaigned against the arms trade which profits from war and against Israel's repression of Palestinians. Each year HAW participates in 'Fly Kites Not Drones', an international event begun by young peace activists in Afghanistan in response to their younger brothers and sisters being too afraid to fly kites because of the threat of drone attacks.

Also part of HAW's annual calendar is a ceremony in November to remember all victims of war, and an event commemorating the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

Past and present HAW members have visited Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraqi Kurdistan, working in solidarity with local people living with the effects of conflict.

Our current focus is campaigning against the arms trade, against armed drones and against the renewal of Trident, the UK's nuclear weapon system, which has a potential for destruction far greater than that unleashed on Hiroshima.