‘What would our Yearly Meeting feel like if we were no longer able to sustain this work?’

Slow motion: Barbara Forbes on the need for behind-the-scenes activism

'Sometimes one feels that all we are doing is holding back an inexorable tide.' | Photo: Aaron Burden / Unsplash.

Recent activities at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair showed Quaker commitment at its best, with consequences ranging from inconvenience and discomfort to loss of liberty. But we don’t so often hear about other kinds of commitment – in particular the steady behind-the-scenes work that has traditionally been our way of ‘speaking truth to power’. As a trustee of Quaker Concern for the Abolition of Torture (Q-CAT) I fear that this work is at risk – frustrating and slow compared to the adrenalin of public protest.

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