Event reports

Chair’s report

Here is the annu­al report for 2022 from our Chair, Kathy Jenkins.

UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

PiH outside the UK government building in Edinburgh.

On 22nd Jan­u­ary we marked the 1st anniver­sary of the com­ing into force of the UN Treaty on the Pro­hi­bi­tion of Nuclear Weapons by call­ing on the UK gov­ern­ment to sign the Treaty.

 

Bhopal Commemoration, 4 December 2021

Bhopal Commemoration, 4 December

Protest in Har­mo­ny singers joined oth­ers to remem­ber and stand in sol­i­dar­i­ty with the peo­ple of Bhopal on 4 Decem­ber 2021, the day after the 37th anniver­sary of the Bhopal Gas Dis­as­ter, the world’s worst indus­tri­al dis­as­ter which killed 22.000 and left over 100.000 disabled.

Videos of two of the songs we sang can be found at Think of Me and Free­dom Come All Ye (Vimeo reg­is­tra­tion required to view).

See https://www.bhopal.net/our-demands/  for more infor­ma­tion and for the demands of the sur­vivors who con­tin­ue to cam­paign for jus­tice, good health care, and clean water.

COP 26

25 Protest in Harmony singers joined 100,000 demonstrators on 6 November for the COP26 Coalition's Global Day of Action for Climate Justice.

25 Protest in Har­mo­ny singers joined 100,000 demon­stra­tors on 6 Novem­ber for the COP26 Coali­tion’s Glob­al Day of Action for Cli­mate Justice.

Climate Fringe

Fol­low­ing an online song­writ­ing ses­sion with Scot­tish, Eng­lish, Chilean, Cana­di­an and Amer­i­can activists and musi­cians, Pen­ny Stone and fel­low activists pro­duced a won­der­ful short video: Somos Todes, a new song which they wrote to uplift the voic­es of the peo­ple of Putaendo.

Here is the link to the film:   https://youtu.be/pKyCGWAXWIU

Please share it widely.

This is a col­lab­o­ra­tion high­light­ing the resis­tance by the peo­ple of Putaen­do in Chile to a Cana­di­an Cop­per min­ing com­pa­ny. It also includes the song writ­ten and sung by local 12 year old Bar­bara Tor­res Astudil­lo. The fund­ing from Cli­mate Fringe is all going to the activists in Chile for their input to the film and ongo­ing campaigning.

Protest in Har­mo­ny went on to organ­ise an inter­na­tion­al Zoom ceilidh, held on the 24th Sep­tem­ber, at which the film pre­miered. Amber and Paula, 2 Chilean activists, were able to attend the ceilidh. They shared with us their desire to have inter­na­tion­al sup­port for their cam­paign and their delight at the par­tic­i­pa­tion of over 50 peo­ple at the ceilidh. Songs were shared, sto­ries were told and we learned a new song inspired by the quote from Arund­hati Roy: ‘Anoth­er world is pos­si­ble, she is on her way….’

Friends joined from Nashville and shared a song: ‘Don’t blow up the Mountain’:

https://youtu.be/VkK8BDsCDHM

while some Cana­di­an activists shared a song about a salmon riv­er near Vancouver.

We are cur­rent­ly edit­ing the record­ing of the ceilidh to share with peo­ple who could not attend and are delight­ed to be able to share the Somos Todes in sol­i­dar­i­ty with the struggle.

Chair’s report

Here are our the annu­al reports from our Chair, Hilery Williams, for 2020 and 2021.

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki, July 2020

Local groups from Edin­burgh and as far afield as Mel­rose found social­ly dis­tanced ways of com­mem­o­rat­ing the atom­ic bomb­ing of Hiroshi­ma and Nagasa­ki 75 years ago. Click the link below for more pic­tures and writeups.


Remem­ber­ing Hiroshi­ma and Nagasa­ki 2020

Some pic­tures from the Por­to­bel­lo event:

November 2019 Awayday

What does Protest in Har­mo­ny mean to you?
Here are some of the par­tic­i­pants’ respons­es (pic­to­ri­al­ly).

Favourite PiH songs
Kathy Jenk­ins has kind­ly made a list of the top 20 (turned into 21 as too many tied places!) PiH songs tak­en from the list peo­ple ticked at the Away­day, with some notes about the songs.

  • Bam­belela: source: Xhosa, South Africa. From the singing of JL Zwane Memo­r­i­al Con­gre­ga­tion, Gugule­tu, Capetown; Tran­scribed: Gor­don Munro & Mairi Munro; Arranged by: Phil Jakob
  • Bandiera Rossa: Ital­ian (Red Flag); Labour Move­ment song. Words: Car­lo Tuzzi; Music: Tra­di­tion­al, Lombardy
  • Bel­la Ciao: Ital­ian (beau­ti­ful women); Tra­di­tion­al Ital­ian protest song orig­i­nat­ing in the hard­ships of women work­ing in the pad­dy fields
  • Comin’ Home: Words & Music: Steven Clarke; Arranged by: Jane Schonveld
  • Deep Blue Sea: Words & Music: Pete Seeger and Odet­ta; thought to be a frag­ment of an old Eng­lish bal­lad or sea song
  • Down by the River­side: Trad USA, orig­i­nal­ly Gospel, civ­il rights and peace move­ment. A spir­i­tu­al that was sung by slaves in the South as a work song. It dates back to before the Amer­i­can Civ­il War
  • Free­dom Come All Ye: Hamish Hen­der­son to the tune Bloody Fields of Flan­ders; writ­ten by Hamish Hen­der­son in 1960 for the peace marchers at the Holy Loch near Glasgow.
  • Gen­tle Angry Peo­ple: Words & Music: Hol­ly Near; Arranged by: Jane Schon­veld. It began life as a cry for and from mem­bers of the glob­al LGBT com­mu­ni­ty in response to the killing of coun­cil­lor Har­vey Milk and may­or George Moscone in San Fran­cis­co in 1978.
  • I Ain’t Afraid Words & Music: Hol­ly Near; arrange­ment Shereen Benjamin
  • Joe Hill: Words: Alfred Hayes; Tune: Earl Robin­son; Arrange­ment: Jane Lewis. The sto­ry of a Swedish-Amer­i­can labor activist, song­writer, and mem­ber of the Indus­tri­al Work­ers of the World
  • Leave the Oil in the Ground: Tune: 17th cen­tu­ry melody arr. Kate Howard; orig­i­nal words: Ger­ard Win­stan­ley. new words: Jane Lewis
  • Movin’ On Song: Words & Music: Ewan Macoll – about trav­el­ling peo­ple. Arranged by: Eileen Pen­man; extra words: Eileen Penman
  • Nana was a Suf­fragette: Words & Music: Jules Gibb – the sto­ry is of her own Nana
  • One Song, One Dance: Music: Mayen­zi­we; Source: South African; Words: Cyn­thia Cock­burn (researcher, author, peace activist, singer and songwriter)
  • Peace, Salaam, Shalom: Words & Music: Pat Humphries and Sandy Opa­tow (Emma’s Rev­o­lu­tion duo) Writ­ten for a peace march in New York City fol­low­ing the 9/11 attacks.
  • Somos el Bar­co: Words & Music: Lorre Wyatt
  • Think of Me: The Dia­mond Choir, South Africa
  • This Land is Your Land: Tune: Woody Guthrie; Words: Woody Guthrie and Bil­ly Bragg
  • We Who Believe in Jus­tice: Tune: Ber­nice John­son Reagon — ‘Ella’s Song’; Words: Mary McCann
  • William Mor­ris: Words & Music: John Young (after William Mor­ris) William Mor­ris was a British tex­tile design­er, poet, nov­el­ist, trans­la­tor, and social­ist activist
  • Ye’ll No Sit Here: Words: Thur­so Berwick; Tune: Hey, Jock, Ma Cud­dy; from the anti-Polaris demon­stra­tions at Holy Loch, 1961

Dis­cus­sion points
These can be viewed as a sep­a­rate doc­u­ment here.

Hiroshi­ma Day
On Tues­day 6th August 2019 we joined Edin­burgh CND in organ­is­ing an event on Cas­tle Street to remem­ber and draw atten­tion to the impli­ca­tions of drop­ping the first nuclear bomb at the end of the Sec­ond World War. A num­ber of peo­ple spoke about the destruc­tion and dan­ger unleashed through the first nuclear attack, and voiced the imper­a­tive to rid the world of nuclear weapons giv­en what we know hap­pened in Hiroshi­ma. PiH sang in between the speeches.

Chair’s report
At our meet­ing in May, Hilery Williams deliv­ered the Chair’s report 2019.

Glasgow launch for PIH’s “Our Voices Resound

Six­ty peo­ple crowd­ed into Jim’s Bar in the QM Union at Glas­gow Uni­ver­si­ty on Feb­ru­ary 22  for the pre­miere of “Our Voic­es Resound” — Eileen Karmy and Mar­tin Farias’s won­der­ful film about Protest in Har­mo­ny and the pow­er and prac­tice of polit­i­cal song. The launch was spon­sored by the Alis­tair Hulett Memo­r­i­al Trust and organ­ised by the Janey Buchan Polit­i­cal Song Col­lec­tion.  It was great to see such an enthu­si­as­tic recep­tion for the film when Eileen and Mar­tin field­ed ques­tions at the end of the showing.

Eight mem­bers of the choir trav­elled through to Glas­gow to join the occa­sion and were invit­ed to sing the Free­dom Come All Ye, iden­ti­fied and filmed by Eileen and Mar­tin as our theme song, and to lead every­one in We Shall Over­come. We were very grate­ful and proud to be part of it.

Eileen and Mar­tin are keen for a wider audi­ence for the film and invite us all to con­tact them for fur­ther show­ings. They intend to sub­ti­tle it in Span­ish (good luck with that for Free­dom Come All Ye!) and show it in their native Chile one day.

Open Shuha­da Street Event 16th Feb­ru­ary 2019
A great turnout from Protest in Har­mo­ny sup­port­ed the Pales­tine sol­i­dar­i­ty choir San Ghan­ny in Rose Street as part of the Inter­na­tion­al ‘Open Shuha­da Street’ cam­paign. Beside a mock ‘check­point’ many singers joined in a sim­u­lat­ed con­fronta­tion of Pales­tini­ans and Israeli sol­diers at Shuha­da Street in Hebron. Shuha­da Street epit­o­mis­es Israel’s apartheid pol­i­cy as Pales­tini­ans are not allowed to walk on it even if they live there, while Israeli set­tlers, sol­diers and inter­na­tion­al vis­i­tors may pass freely.

Oth­er Pales­tine sol­i­dar­i­ty organ­i­sa­tions helped by hand­ing out leaflets as PIH sang Pen­ny Stone’s song ‘Open Shuha­da Street’ and sev­er­al oth­er songs. The event was eye-catch­ing and some inter­est­ing and some chal­leng­ing con­ver­sa­tions took place with passers-by. A short video was sent to friends in Pales­tine in sol­i­dar­i­ty – and was much appre­ci­at­ed by them: Open Shuha­da Action 2019. Feel free to watch it and pass it on.

Faslane Demon­stra­tion
Anti-nuclear groups from all over Britain joined rep­re­sen­ta­tives from a num­ber of coun­tries to gath­er at Faslane on 22 Sep­tem­ber 2018. There was a very good rea­son to come togeth­er to cel­e­brate the award of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN (Inter­na­tion­al Cam­paign to Abol­ish Nuclear Weapons). And as long-term cam­paign­ers, Protest in Har­mo­ny was there!

Jane Lewis had writ­ten a new song for us, set to Offenbach’s Can-Can and had some­how per­suad­ed at least ten of us to make and mod­el very fetch­ing tutus. Anoth­er fif­teen choir mem­bers lent joy­ful sup­port. A large green Nessie and a ten-foot pup­pet of “Craig” led about a thou­sand of us to the North gate. Jane, our ban­ner and the choir were to the fore while Pen­ny and Shereen sta­tioned them­selves along our col­umn to keep us all in time and tune. A piper accom­pa­nied us on the “Free­dom Come All Ye”. We were a colour­ful riv­er of life snaking round the grey base which was life­less except for the sound of dogs barking.

It was a won­der­ful cel­e­bra­tion and if it weren’t that we’re a non-vio­lent bunch you’d want to say we’d punched above our weight.
Jack­ie Kay spoke, sup­port­ed by won­der­ful peo­ple from Israel, Rus­sia and Roma­nia, Japan and the USA all prais­ing Scotland’s long wit­ness against the weapons.

We danced our can-can and sang our peace songs. Pen­ny, Sylvia and Eileen sang solos and Abba (Mar­garet and Sheila in gob­s­mack­ing dis­guise with their friends from the Glas­gow Hor­ti­cul­tur­al­ists) begged us to “Take a Chance on Peace”.

45 Years of the Chilean Pop­u­lar Government
On Fri­day 28th Sep­tem­ber, PiH mem­bers attend­ed an event organ­ised by the Chilean Soci­ety of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Edin­burgh, and sang El Pueblo Unido.

PiH mem­bers singing El Pueblo Unido.

11th Sep­tem­ber was the 45th anniver­sary of the coup d’é­tat in Chile that over­threw Allen­de’s Pop­u­lar Gov­ern­ment (1970–1973). Through short films, pho­tog­ra­phy, and music made at the time, the event was designed to fos­ter con­ver­sa­tion about the dif­fer­ent projects that aimed to fol­low a demo­c­ra­t­ic path to social­ism in Chile, and beyond the speci­fici­ties of the Chilean case, to be a direct invi­ta­tion to bring peo­ple togeth­er and to acknowl­edge that pos­i­tive social change is possible.

Stop the Bloodshed in Colombia

On the evening of Sat 7 August, PiH singers joined the demon­stra­tion in West Par­lia­ment Square in sup­port of the Colom­bian peace agree­ment, in recog­ni­tion of the assas­si­na­tion of more than 220 lead­ers since the begin­ning of the imple­men­ta­tion of the Peace Agree­ment between the Nation­al Gov­ern­ment and the FARC-EP in Decem­ber 2016.

Street Choirs 2018 
A small but deter­mined and tune­ful con­tin­gent made it to Brighton, along with some 30 oth­er choirs from across the UK, on a blis­ter­ing­ly hot week­end. The pic­ture shows us at the evening con­cert singing (and act­ing out) “Ye’ll No Sit Here”.

PiH on stage in Brighton

Ye’ll No Sit Here”

Gren­fell Tow­er commemoration
Ear­ly evening on 14 June 2018, 200 peo­ple gath­ered at the Mound precinct in Edin­burgh to join with oth­ers through­out the UK to mark the first anniver­sary of the Gren­fell fire.

Large pic­tures of each of the vic­tims of that tragedy were held by peo­ple lin­ing Princes Street in silent vig­il for 30 min­utes. This was fol­lowed by: a state­ment from Jus­tice for Gren­fell read by Ali­son Mur­phy of the Edu­ca­tion­al Insti­tute of Scot­land; songs from Protest in Har­mo­ny; short speech­es from Leigh Craven, Liv­ing Rent, Heather Ford, Edin­burgh Ten­ants Fed­er­a­tion, Neil Find­lay MSP and John McKen­zie of the Fire Brigades Union. The mov­ing event was closed with a final poem read by Mary Alexan­der of Unite.


(The com­mem­o­ra­tion was organ­ised by Edin­burgh Trade Union Coun­cil and the images are by Craig McLean, Nation­al Union of Journalists)

Anti-racism event
After our month­ly meet­ing on 17th March a large num­ber of us gath­ered in the High Street in Edin­burgh to sing. Eileen filmed us. A lot of peo­ple seemed stop and lis­ten. It was real­ly suc­cess­ful, with quite a few new mem­bers com­ing along. Near­ly every­one then went to George Square with Shereen to sing and sup­port a group of stu­dents who were demon­strat­ing there in sup­port of the lec­tur­ers’ strike.

Open Shuha­da Street: tak­ing part in a glob­al protest
On Feb­ru­ary 24th the High Street was busy with peo­ple on their way to the Rug­by Inter­na­tion­al against Eng­land. So, set­ting up a check­point near the City Cham­bers, mem­bers of Protest in Har­mo­ny and street the­atre group Active Inquiry told the sto­ry of the Hebron “High Street” which, since 1994, has been closed to Pales­tini­ans liv­ing in the West Bank of Hebron.

Queue­ing at a ‘check­point’

With queues, pass­es and “sol­diers”, they act­ed out Shuha­da Street-style apartheid as wit­nessed by San Ghan­ny Choir dur­ing their April 2017 vis­it to Hebron, in the West Bank. Songs of non-vio­lent protest were sung by the choir led by Pen­ny and Shereen. San Ghanny’s thir­teen mem­bers vis­it­ed and sang in Shuha­da Street and were so shocked by the sim­i­lar­i­ty to apartheid they vowed to join the glob­al cam­paign to “Open Shuha­da Street” start­ed by Youth Against Set­tle­ments in Hebron. “It was like the High Street in Edin­burgh being closed to all Scots!” said Sheila Mackay.
Many peo­ple were involved in the plan­ning of this action includ­ing mak­ing ban­ners, badges, a mock check­point and “pass­es” to hand­out to passers-by. A prepa­ra­tion day had intro­duced us to street the­atre tech­niques and Suzanne Dance had encour­aged us to impro­vise and act out sce­nar­ios to help us feel what it might be like to live on an apartheid street. About twen­ty-five choir mem­bers were involved in this suc­cess­ful and enjoy­able action and near­ly four hun­dred explana­to­ry “pass­es” were hand­ed to those who stopped to watch and listen.
Eileen Karmy made a video of the event which has been shared with Youth Against Set­tle­ments in Hebron and with a cam­paign­ing organ­i­sa­tion in Chile.

UCU strikes
Shereen writes: Many, many thanks to the PiH-ers who turned out earlier this week to support the UCU strikes. It’s been hugely appreciated by my colleagues (and of course by me!).

Bhopal memo­r­i­al Decem­ber 3rd 2017 
Bhopal Greyfriars 2017
It’s always mov­ing to sing in Greyfri­ars Kirk­yard on Decem­ber 3rd in mem­o­ry of the hor­ren­dous 1984 gas dis­as­ter in India. We stand tucked in, round the cor­ner, near the plaque at the gate­way so vis­i­tors often don’t see us at first. Then we sing. This year it was Think of Me, Step by Step (as a round) Rise Like Lions (but not with­out inci­dent!) Bam­balela and Free­dom Come All Ye.

Some­times it’s been in the dark or the rain but this year it was just “nor­mal Scot­tish cold” We, twen­ty-five or so mem­bers of Protest in Har­mo­ny led by Jane and Shereen, three wreath-lay­ers from the Trades Unions and one or two oth­er stal­wart souls lis­tened to Eurig Scan­drett as he spoke of his knowl­edge of Bhopal and the ongo­ing work there. Then he read from Rob Edwards’s 2014 news­pa­per arti­cle. We held a minute’s silence. Peo­ple came and went using the short­cut through the kirk­yard. But a small group stopped to lis­ten and learn about the world’s worst indus­tri­al disaster.

Campaign Against the Arms Trade
On Saturday Dec 9, 2017, quite a few of us went out to sing in Rose Street after our last rehearsal of the term. A record amount of money was collected by CAAT. Very successful.

Ability Centre, West Lothian
Eight or nine members of PiH went out to Livingston to support them as they challenged the closure of their services. They sang songs including Save Our Public Services and Bambalela.

Refugees are Welcome Here

Singing ‘Refugees Are Wel­come Here’ at the Scot­tish Green Par­ty event out­side Par­lia­ment in June to show sup­port for stay­ing in EU just before the Par­lia­men­tary debate.

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Some of us were able to be at the vig­il on June 15th for the peo­ple whose lives were tak­en in Orlan­do. We sang as peo­ple gathered.

Conscientious Objectors Memorial Day, 15th May 2016
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About 70 peo­ple joined the third annu­al Con­sci­en­tious Objec­tors Day vig­il on 15 May to remem­ber the 16,000 COs of the First World War and all those who have refused com­pul­so­ry mil­i­tary ser­vice around the world in the past and today. Mark­ing the cen­te­nary of con­scrip­tion in the First World War we shone par­tic­u­lar­ly remem­bered COs from Edin­burgh and Scot­land who were impris­oned, forced to do hard labour and those who died.

We also remem­bered local peace activists who have passed away in the past year, includ­ing Fr Daniel Berri­g­an, an Amer­i­can Jesuit priest whose action with the Catonsville Nine in 1968 sparked anti-war actions and demon­stra­tions that even­tu­al­ly end­ed the Viet­nam War.
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Speak­ers includ­ed Peace and Jus­tice Cen­tre Coor­di­na­tor Bri­an Larkin, Les­ley Orr from the Iona Com­mu­ni­ty, Eric Chester (IWW), Ari­an­na Andrean­geli­ni, who spoke about Sec­ond World War CO Franz Jag­ger­stadter, and Eliz­a­beth Allen and Andrew Far­rar, descen­dants of First World War COs.

Protest in Har­mo­ny joined in the memo­r­i­al singing songs includ­ing Unsung Heroes, Siya Ham­ba and Here We Are Again.

Once more this was a very mov­ing occasion.

May Day march and rally, 2016
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Members of Protest in Harmony added their voices to the 2016 Edinburgh May Day march and rally. 2016 May Day was celebrated on Saturday, 7 May and celebrated workers’ rights, human rights and the life of James Connolly. One of our songleaders, Penny Stone, sang at the rally with members of PIH supporting from the crowd!

2016 Street Choirs Festival, Leicester
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30 choirs, the vast majority being politically engaged, gathered for a fabulous concert given by local musicians and comedians, a great massed sing in Jubilee Square, busking on the streets (including lusty singing as we strolled past marching soldiers gathered for Armed Forces Day), a fantastic concert of all the choirs, and workshops and a picnic the final day.

Phew. Exhaust­ing? Yes. Exhil­a­rat­ing? Cer­tain­ly. Inspi­ra­tional? Undoubt­ed­ly — espe­cial­ly as it occurred on the week­end after the momen­tous deci­sion to leave the EU. Won­der­ful to be sur­round­ed by hun­dreds of peo­ple who care pas­sion­ate­ly about sol­i­dar­i­ty and diver­si­ty — the twin themes of the weekend.

Many thanks to Shereen and Pen­ny for their bril­liant leadership.

Moffat weekend 2016
Our annual residential weekend took place at the Well Rd Centre in Moffat.

27 of us had a great week­end of singing, social­is­ing, eat­ing, origa­mi, waltz­ing, Oscars, choco­late spoons and more. It might have been slight­ly chilly, but we soon warmed up thanks to the love­ly food on offer.

Eileen P. led us in some singing on Fri­day evening and on Sat­ur­day morn­ing the song lead­ers put us through our places, we soon warmed the gym up. Pen­ny taught us The Arti­cle 6 Waltz and there were some smart moves in the danc­ing. Although one mem­ber was heard to say that it was dif­fi­cult to har­monise and waltz at the same time. Shereen fair­ly woke us up with Big Sky, for many their first expe­ri­ence of Shape Note singing. This proved to be quite a chal­lenge, but as ever we all rose to the occa­sion and our voic­es rose as well as we were encour­aged to shout our parts. Poor Jane then had the unen­vi­able task of lead­ing us in a very poignant song about refugees, When Death Was Behind Me.
One of the high­lights, as ever, is the ‘Sat­ur­day Pair­ty’, very ably com­pered by John and the glam­orous Mag­gie who did a ster­ling job with award­ing the choco­late spoon Mof­fat Oscars. At the end of the evening we were all com­ment­ing on the huge and var­ied tal­ent pool that is Protest in Harmony.
Thanks to Kathy and her able accom­plices of Liz B, Hilary, Hilery and Liz E who made the week­end run seam­less­ly. If you missed it, make sure you are free for next year.

International Workers Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have died through work to pledge our ongoing commitment to improving working conditions around the world. As it does every year, Protest in Harmony played an important part in Edinburgh’s 2016 commemoration. We sang before and after the event on a rainy and cold day at the Workers Memorial Day tree in Princes Street Gardens.
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Despite the weather the event was a moving one, specifically highlighting work-related mental health issues and remembered those who have died through suicide where work played a part. Speakers were Paul Holleran, National Union of Journalists NUJ, Eileen Penman, a member of Protest in Harmony. telling a personal story of loss, and Alieu Ceesay, a journalist and refugee from the Gambia. We sang One Heart Beating, William Morris and Freedom Come All Ye. The event was organised by Scottish Hazards Campaign and Edinburgh TUC. Wreaths laid by UNITE, UNISON, NUJ, UCU, FBU, RISE, Scottish Hazards and Edinburgh TUC.

Scrap Trident march and rally
image24 singers traveled to London to join other campaign choirs, and many others from Scotland and the rest of the UK, to encourage the government not to renew the Trident missile system.

(Lat­est news appears to be that gov­ern­ment has by-passed the demo­c­ra­t­ic process and has announced that it will spend a fur­ther £642million on Tri­dent ahead of the Par­lia­men­tary vote.)

The atmos­phere, the weath­er, the crowds and the singing were all great — the lat­ter bril­liant­ly led by Shereen, Pen­ny and Jane.

At Trafal­gar Square there was a major­i­ty of female speak­ers, includ­ing polit­i­cal lead­ers. Nico­la Stur­geon made the obvi­ous point that the UK is in a minor­i­ty in hav­ing nuclear weapons.
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Unfor­tu­nate­ly we did­n’t have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to sing our unique­ly Scot­tish songs, to the dis­ap­point­ment of one small soul (whose push chair she had aban­doned momen­tar­i­ly) who had been prac­tis­ing the Choco­late Teapot song diligently!

Sad­ly one of the unsung songs (I want to have a lit­tle bomb like you) was writ­ten many decades ago but is still high­ly relevant.

Would­n’t it be won­der­ful if we no longer had to make these heart­felt protests?

Campaign against the Arms Trade
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On 12 December around 35 of us braved the cold to take part in our annual fundraising sing for the Campaign against the Arms Trade. Ably encouraged by our inspirational song leaders, we sang a very satisfying medley of seasonal standards together with some new and moving songs for Syria and Palestine. The Christmas shoppers seemed appreciative. Sadly recent events have made our songs very relevant this Christmas.

We Speak Earth
https://youtu.be/c2R_HtmuFg4

Mem­bers of Protest in Har­mo­ny joined singers from the Open Com­mu­ni­ty Singing Group, Por­to­bel­lo Com­mu­ni­ty Choir and Wild­fire to sing a Sami yoik, We Speak Earth, in sup­port of the Sami com­mu­ni­ty which will be dev­as­tat­ed by the increas­ing effects of cli­mate change.

We met togeth­er at Por­to­bel­lo Beach, luck­i­ly in some wel­come sun­shine after days of stormy weath­er, to sing togeth­er and make a sight and sound­bite to share on YouTube on 12th Decem­ber for the Paris Cli­mate Sum­mit 2015.

Singing it out­doors on the sand with the sea behind us and the sun shin­ing on us, with the sound of the waves, the gulls and the breeze sur­round­ing us made it all the more enjoy­able and meaningful.

Sara Marielle Gaup Beas­ka explains their sit­u­a­tion and plea here, and sings the yoik:

Bhopal memorial 2015 
20 people braved the rain and wind to gather at Greyfriars Kirkyard to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster. With songs, poetry and statements of solidarity, we remembered all those who have died and been made ill in Bhopal and renewed our pledges to support the people of Bhopal in their ongoing struggle for health care, clean water and justice.
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Edinburgh welcomes refugees, Sept. 12th 2015
We sang and sang, and sang — at rehearsal, on the Royal Mile, outside the Parliament — to show how Edinburgh welcomes refugees.
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