Online Public Meeting : Human and Ecological Security: an Alternative to War & Militarism : November 2022

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Swords to Ploughshares Ireland (StoP) hosted an online public meeting on “Human and Ecological Security: an Alternative to War & Militarism” on Wednesday, November 9 2022. The speakers were Diana Francis, British peace activist and author, and John Maguire, StoP member and member of the board of Afri (Action from Ireland). John Lannon of StoP and Shannonwatch moderated the discussion.


The dominant narrative about security characterises it as a military or state-based process preoccupied with political and economic power. This militarised approach to security is causing widespread human suffering and environmental destruction for the benefit of a small elite with a vested interest in perpetuating militarism.


We are calling for a new vision of human and ecological security that challenges this current preoccupation with military security. Human and ecological security that meets real human needs and protects the planet can form the basis of an active and constructive use of Irish neutrality as a central part of Irish foreign policy. 


Diana Francis is a lifelong peace campaigner in Britain who has spent many years supporting people who were trying to address violent social and political conflict in different parts of the world, acting as a facilitator, trainer, mediator and accompanier. She has written several books based on her experience. She is a founding member of Rethinking Security and, having now retired from travel, puts all her time into campaigning in Britain. 


John Maguire is Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University College Cork, and a board member of Afri (Action from Ireland). He is the author of Defending Peace (Cork University Press 2002) and, with Joe Noonan, of Maastricht and Neutrality (People First/Meitheal 1992). The event was organised in partnership with Afri (Action from Ireland) and INNATE (Irish Network for Nonviolent Action, Training and Education)


StoP is a network of peace groups throughout the island of Ireland who are deeply concerned about the recent heightening of tensions between Russia and NATO, the increasing militarisation of the EU, the Irish Government’s development of a weapons industry and their increasing moves towards more militarisation. 


Press Releases and Statements

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February 27th
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February 11th
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February 27, 2022

Peace activist network Swords to Ploughshares (StoP) condemns Russian aggression against Ukraine


This Russian attack on Ukraine is a violation of international law and is having devastating consequences in the form of death and destruction for the people of Ukraine. We also express our solidarity with those courageous citizens of Russia who have taken to the streets to protest Putin’s war on Ukraine.

This aggression demonstrates the dangers of military confrontation and competition between two military blocs armed with nuclear weapons, NATO and Russia. NATO’s eastward expansion since the end of the Cold War has undermined security for the people of Europe and has created the context for Putin’s aggression against Ukraine. NATO, like all military alliances, has provided the conditions for war rather than preventing its occurrence.

We must resist efforts to use Russian aggression against Ukraine as an excuse for supporting Ireland’s on- going collusion with the U.S. and NATO through the use of Shannon airport by the U.S. military, as an opportunity to increase Ireland’s involvement with EU militarisation, and to boost weapons production anywhere on the island of Ireland. It is important to protect Irish neutrality as a basis for the peaceful resolution of conflict in accordance with Article 29 of the Irish constitution and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.

We need a common and shared approach to genuine human security aimed at meeting real social needs such as housing, health, education and environmental sustainability rather than ever-increasing expenditure on weapons and war. Arms production and the arms trade fuel the war machine that results not only in military aggression against Ukraine but also devastating wars and military interventions in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. It is more important than ever to resist the siren call to war and militarism and we must never forget the appalling human consequences of war for civilians and soldiers alike.

Swords to Ploughshares (StoP) is a network of peace activists in Ireland recently formed to resist increasing involvement in arms production and the arms trade by both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.


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Swords to Ploughshares Ireland (StoP) joined other peace groups in protesting against the Irish government's arms fair at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on October 6.

Credit : Derek Speirs


StoP members at the anti-war protest in front of the Dáil on Feb. 24

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StoP member Joe Murray at the Russian Ambassor's residence February 27th

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A protest at the Thales factory in Belfast on St Patrick's Day. 

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A protest at the Thales factory in Belfast on St Patrick's Day.