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Aung San Suu Kyi delivering her Nobel Lecture at the Oslo City Hall, 16 June 2012.

Aung San Suu Kyi delivering her Nobel Lecture at the Oslo City Hall, 16 June 2012. Copyright © Nobel Media AB 2012 Produced by NRK

The Nobel Prize for Peace was awarded to Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991. 21 years later she was able to accept the award in person and delivered her acceptance speech in Oslo last weekend.
I watched this on Saturday. After working on the Build the Truce project for nearly 3 years I have met with, and heard the stories of, a lot of people with different experiences of conflict. Some of these experiences were of violent, armed conflict and war. Others were related to  undeclared, underlying conflict – situations of apparent ‘peace’ where people still lived with fear, threat and injustice every day. So this is the part of Aung San Suu Kyi’s speech that stood out for me personally:

‘War is not the only arena where peace is done to death. Wherever suffering is ignored, there will be the seeds of conflict, for suffering degrades and embitters and enrages.’

If you haven’t already, you can watch or read the speech here.

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Dr Alison Ronan is a member of the Research staff at Manchester Metropolitan University who recently completed a doctorate about anti-war women in Manchester 1914-1918. She has experience as a youth and community worker in the NW for 30 years, including volunteer work on a conflict resolution project in the community and in prisons.

Dr Ronan will give a short talk introducing some of Manchester’s pacifist and anti-war women activists, working for peace during the First World War. The talk will outline the astonishing local and national activist networks, often built on the pre-war socialist and suffrage groups in the city; and look at the Manchester branches of the Women’s International League, the No Conscription Fellowship and the short lived but energetic Women’s Peace Crusade in 1917. Central to all these campaigns was the feisty pacifist and feminist reformer, and Manchester’s first woman Councillor, Margaret Ashton (1856-1937)

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