Below you will find details and images from past events organised and/or attended by Campaign Choirs Network members.
Let us know about your upcoming event and your ideas for choir participation.
6th December: CCN Online Singing Session organised by Nottingham Clarion Choir.
25th November: Campaign Choirs Cymru organised an online event for White Ribbon Day 2020 with an invitation to all campaign choirs. Côr Cochion and Côr Gobaith taught two songs, Out of the Pandemic and Ni Chaniataf (materials here). Donations to White Ribbon UK and/or Cymorth i Ferched Cymru/Welsh Women’s Aid.
8th November: the Peace Pledge Union ran a shared moment of remembrance for all victims of war. Penny Stone was featured along with other contributions from across the UK.
12th October: CCN Online Singing Session organised by Oxford’s Sea Green Singers.
October: Protest in Harmony unleash their inner Swede with a hearty rendition of iCAN Ban That Bomb (see below) to celebrate Honduras becoming the 50th country to sign the Nuclear Ban Treaty which, as a result, makes the production, use and stockpiling of nuclear weapons illegal from 22nd January 2021.
21st September: On International Peace Day Côr Gobaith marked the occasion with some socially-distanced singing including a haunting and poignant rendition of No More War by Nickomo.
15th September: the Home Office restarted evictions for people who had been refused asylum. Penny Stone from Protest in Harmony has created the video Sisters Not Strangers (see below), with the help of singers from many choirs in the CCN, to highlight this injustice. You can also take direct action yourself by sending a protest letter to your MP via this link.
August: Penny Stone from Protest in Harmony harnessed the efforts of CCN choir members across the UK to produce this video in support of the current XR action using the words of Margaret Mead: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world, indeed, it is the only thing that ever has‘.
August: Côr Gobaith were able to sing outdoors for the first time for five months to mark the 75th anniversary of nuclear bombs being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
August: Protest in Harmony have recorded a special song, Hiroshima Song, written by a survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the USA’s dropping nuclear bombs on Japan. Sign up to the pledge against nuclear weapons at: https://rise.icanw.org/
The Edinburgh San Ghanny choir has recorded We Stand With You in solidarity with the Sumarin family, fighting against eviction from their family home in Palestine. See https://drove.com/.28uC and https://www.stopthejnf.org/.
The Edinburgh choir Protest In Harmony are the focus of Our Voices Resound, a film made by Chilean film makers Palimpsesto Producciones in 2018 to illustrate activism and struggle through song.
7th March: Cynthia Cockburn Memorial in London organised by Raised Voices.
Rosemary Snelgar writes : ‘Raised Voices held our memorial to Cynthia on 7th March 2020, at which we performed some of Cynthia’s songs, and taught others of her songs and rounds to everyone there so that we could all sing them together. We were delighted that many of our past members, other singers, and Cynthia’s family and friends were able to join us. Everyone there enjoyed the memorial, and as a participant said “it was moving and fun and just lovely!”. Photos and videos of the event can be seen here.
We asked people to contribute to the costs of running the event, with any surplus being donated to one of the charities that Cynthia supported. From Raised Voices past and present members, other singers who attended, and from two other choirs, the costs were more than covered and we’re very pleased to say that we’ve sent £348.00 to Women for Refugee Women’.
Cynthia Cockburn’s One Song, One Dance is well-known to many choirs being simple, tuneful and with sentiments that are so appropriate and moving in the context of the current health crisis which knows no borders. The performance below is by Raised Voices and others at Cynthia’s Memorial.
5th and 6th March 2020: book launches for A Nuclear Refrain by Kye Askins, Phil Johnstone and Kelvin Mason took place in Hove and London. The book explores how everyday life is emotionally shaped by possession of nuclear weapons and how politics might look if we stepped out of the shadow of nuclear deterrence.
29th September 2019: Tory Party Conference in Manchester.
The national demonstration, organised by The People’s Assembly, involved members of several choirs including East Lancs, Bolton Clarion, Red Leicester and Sheffield Socialists. Much enthusiastic singing took place despite the rain, as the photos below demonstrate!
20th September 2019: Global Climate Strike organised by the UK Student Climate Network. Many CCN choirs were involved in local protests to deliver a clear message for climate justice just three days before the UN emergency climate summit in New York. Below are a couple of images from the Leicester event which was one of the biggest protests seen in the city in recent years.
2nd – 13th September 2019: Stop the Arms Fair at the Excel Centre, London. Several CCN choirs protested at the DSEI exhibition including Strawberry Thieves, Leeds Commoners’ Choir, members of Sheffield Socialists and Raised Voices. Below is a photo of Raised Voices in fine voice.
Sunday 18th August 2019: Peterloo Massacre Bicentenary 1819-2019: March For Democracy in central Manchester commemorating those people killed and injured at the Peterloo Massacre on August 16th 1819.
Sunday 14th July 2019: Together We Have A Voice! The Campaign Choirs Network Annual Meeting at the Street Choirs Festival in Manchester discussed a range of important issues including finances and the relationship of CCN and the Street Choirs Festival. The minutes of the meeting are available on the CCN Annual Meetings page or you can read Kelvin Mason’s short summary of the main points discussed below.
Tuesday 4th June 2019: Campaign Choirs joined forces in London to protest at the state visit of Donald Trump. The march, from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square, was organised by the Stop The War Coalition and involved approximately 75,000 people. Singers from Strawberry Thieves, Raised Voices, Red and Green and other choirs were involved and a special song sheet was produced for the occasion (see Music page).
Tuesday 14th – Wednesday 15th May 2019: Street Music Conference at the Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich ‘to explore an important but neglected aspect of public culture and community construction: street music‘. Lotte Reimer and Kelvin Mason presented on emotional connections from Singing For Our Lives.
Kirsty Martin (Hullabaloo Quire) also presented, drawing on her choir’s experience of organising the 2018 Street Choirs Festival in Brighton – see below.
Finally, Our Voices Resound, a documentary film based on testimony and song from Protest In Harmony, was introduced by Eileen Karmy.
Saturday 11th May 2019: The National Demonstration for Palestine in London and elsewhere around the country. See, below, action in Aberystwyth and video of several choirs (Open Voice, Manchester Community, Bolton Clarion and Calder Valley choirs) at the BBC studios in Salford.
9 September – demonstration against the Arms Trade Fair (DSEI) at Excel in London at 12 noon on Saturday September 9
23-25 June Street Choirs Festival
Hosted this year by Lakeland Voices in Kendal. Website here.
20 May Sheffield: Significant Others (concert)
Happy 10th anniversary to the fabulous Out Aloud! Flyer here.
10/12 March – Chants for Socialists
4 March – It’s our NHS
21 January – Women’s March on London
2 October – Tory Party conference
We’ll be greeting the Conservatives with song at the conference in Birmingham. Latest news, Anna tells us ‘we are still working on the arrangements, so please do try and come along. We are hoping that the plan will be for us to meet at midday outside Waterstones on the High Street (end of New Street), but are still waiting to hear back from the organisers.’
Birmingham Clarion will be doing a set at the start of the procession and will join the rest of us as soon as they can. Because of this, Anna suggests making sure that choirs bring their banners and make them prominent, so they recognise each other!
24-26 June – Street Choirs Festival in Leicester
27 February – Stop Trident demo in London
Saturday 28th November – Time To Act – Climate Justice activities in various cities worldwide
Sunday 29th November – Time To Act – The Peoples March for Climate, Justice and Jobs
Billed as the biggest climate protest ever in the UK and setting the people’s agenda for crucial international climate change negotiations taking place in Paris in December.
Campaigning Choirs Network information (including links to songsheet)
Time To Act (for background information): timetoact2015.org/
Facebook page for London demonstration: facebook.com/peoplesclimatemarchlondon
Sun 4th – Tory conference demonstration
11-13 July 2015, Whitby Street Choirs festival
Sat 4th – Commemoration for Ray Davies of Côr Cochion Caerdydd (Cardiff Reds Choir).
- Blog post: Hero’s send-off for Ray Davies by Kelvin Mason
- Ray gives his last TV interview in this S4C programme about the miners’ strike Streic y Glowyr gyda Dafydd Hywel (with English subtitles)
- Article in Morning Star, 30 June 2015, introducing the S4C programme
20th – People’s Assembly – End Austerity Now demonstration. London, Glasgow and other places.
1 May Day – Labour Day: Rallies and Demonstrations often on the Monday following.
28th – International Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember the dead but fight for the living. ‘Red tape is better than bloody bandages’.
11th – Democracy in action: Trident Oratorio as a flash mob lobby in Parliament
Quote of the day from a big, burly policeman: ‘This is the f… craddle of democracy, let them sing!’
Sat 24th Jan – Wrap Up Trident
Through 2014 and for 5 years? First World War commemorations – CND are focused on ensuring the horrors of war are brought to the fore.
18 London: TUC March and Rally – Britain Needs a Pay Rise
Full details for the event: tuc.org.uk/events/britain-needs-pay-rise-march-and-rally
Campaigning Choirs Network information and planning for Britain Needs a Pay Rise: campaignchoirs.org.uk/?p=703
No NATO demonstrations in Newport, Wales continue.
7 Burston near Diss, Norfolk: Burston strike school rally (event details here: burstonstrikeschool.wordpress.com)
21 London: People’s Climate March
The Campaign against Climate Change is helping to organise the People’s Climate March in London along with many other organisations. For details of the event itself, see www.campaigncc.org/climatemarchlondon.
London choir Raised Voices will be singing – see planning link below for details and songsheet.
Campaigning Choirs Network information and planning for 21 September: https://campaignchoirs.org.uk/?p=710
28 Birmingham: Conservative Party Conference on 28th September in Birmingham
Campaigning Choirs Network information and planning for 28 September: https://campaignchoirs.org.uk/?p=697
9 Aldermaston to Burghfield: Wool Against Weapons
30 (and into September) Newport (Wales): No NATO!
There will be mass demonstrations in Newport, Wales, when the NATO summit comes to the town. Cor Cochion Caerdydd will be singing and would love other choirs to take part!
Campaigning Choirs Network information and planning for No NATO: campaignchoirs.org.uk/?p=686
11-13 Hebden Bridge: Street Choirs Festival 2014 hosted by Calder Valley Voices
Campaigning Choirs planning for Street Choirs 2014: campaignchoirs.org.uk/?p=658.
12 Durham: Miners’ Gala (12th – event details here: durhamminers.org)
18-20 Tolpuddle, Dorset: Tolpuddle Martyrs festival (Details and booking stalls, camping, etc. here: tolpuddlemartyrs.org.uk) UPDATE – Line Up Announced
6-8 Bradford: Raise Your Banners festival of Political Song – Cancelled
7-8 Leicester: Sing For Water 2014 (part of Riverside Festival).
21 London: No More Austerity – Demand The Alternative National Demonstration and Festival.
Campaigning Choirs Network information and planning for No More Austerity demo: campaignchoirs.org.uk/?p=647.
29 Newchurch-in-Pendle, Lancs: Clarion House Open Day
East Lancs Clarion Community Choir would like to invite other choirs to join them at this year’s Friends of Clarion House Family Fun Day and Barbecue at
Clarion House, Jinney Lane, Newchurch-in-Pendle BB12 9LL.
5 Burnley: May Day Rally
East Lancs Clarion Community Choir will be singing at this event – possibly the last Council funded Burnley May Day Rally. We welcome all singers from our region who’d like to come & sing with us on the March & busking in the Park. See planning link below for a sing-along songsheet.
Campaigning Choirs planning for Burnley: May Day Rally 2014: campaignchoirs.org.uk/?p=652.
1 Burston near Diss, Norfolk: Events commemorating the centenary of the longest running strike in British history (1914-1939). strike school centenary events (event details here: burstonstrikeschool.wordpress.com). The Burston Festival and Rally will be in September as usual.
5 Newbury: Action AWE event. Cancelled.
28 Worldwide: International Workers’ Memorial Day
8 International Women’s Day.
29 & 30 Stratford on Avon: Community Choirs Festival
1 – 3 London: Weekend training conference with People and Planet
for Go Fossil Free peopleandplanet.org/
2 Sheffield: Radical Songwriting workshop with Ray Hearne
The aim is to produce some punchy pieces with memorable lyrics for street performance. Sheffield Socialist Choir.co.uk.
5 People’s Assembly Against Austerity: Day of Direct Action (everywhere!)
Actions are being organised across the country by People’s Assembly groups. See thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/.
Choirs: Probably difficult to do more as a network than share tips and song-sheets – if you’re up to support the People’s Assemblies, do find out about (or help organising) what’s going on in your area.
20 International: Universal Children’s Day (United Nations)
23 Basingstoke: Sing Trident Out!
Joint National Choirs day of singing in Basingstoke Market Square (11-1 and 2-4) against Trident replacement.
25 International: Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
All month, various locations: OxJam Music Festival
Local music, Global impact
3 AWE Burghfield: All Wales Blockade
From 7am people from Wales and beyond will gather at Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Burghfield (Berkshire, England) to peacefully blockade the 2 gates with music, dragons, hopes and a vision of British nuclear disarmament. Calling all singers to join us! Details: actionawe.org/
5-12 Various locations: Keep Space for Peace week and Drones Week of Action
7 Lincoln: Trial of Waddington 6
In the first mass trespass at RAF Waddington 6 people entered the UK base from where they are remotely controlling the armed Reaper drones in Afghanistan. They planted a peace garden and pasted up photos of people killed. They will be using the recent paper by Public Interest Lawyers on the Legality of British Drone Use in their defence. Details: DroneWars.net.
Unite is organising this and will be joined by Unison, GMB, PCS, CWU, NUT, RMT, Trade Union Friends of Searchlight and the TUC. Speakers include Salma Yaqoob, Colette Williams (BARAC/Chair of Unite Community), Len McCluskey (Unite), Billy Hayes (CWU), Bob Crow (RMT), Paul Nowak (TUC), Christine Blower (NUT), Weyman Bennett (UAF), Joe Anderson (Mayor of Liverpool) and there will be music from Kof and Banner Theatre.
Choirs: Please see – and if you can, add to – the information here.
12-13 Liverpool: CND – AGM and Policy Conference
** Coordinating campaign choirs contact: This could be you! Please volunteer here.
Ongoing from August (details below)
- Burghfield: Trident Ploughshares Disarmament Camp (to 7 Sep)
- London: Reclaiming our Futures (to 4 Sep)
29 Manchester: Tell the Conservative Party Conference – March and Rally
Themes are Save Our NHS, Defend Jobs and Services. No to Austerity.
UPDATE: Choirs gather at the junction of Deansgate and John Dalton Street at 12 noon. More details and updates …
22 Belt it out at Balcombe (West Sussex)
A call for singers against fracking. From Noon (or officially 1400) 5 minutes from Balcombe train station. More …
14 London: Secular Europe Campaign – March and Rally
Speakers include Bob Churchill – International Humanist & Ethical Union; Sue Cox – Survivors Voice; Rory Fenton – AHS President; Professor AC Grayling; Charlie Klendjian – Secretary of the Lawyer’s Secular Society; Adam Knowles – Chair of GALHA (LGBT Humanists); Stephen Law; Nahla Mahmoud – Council of Ex Muslims; Maryam Namazie; Naomi Phillips – Chair of Labour Humanists; Nina Sankari – Polish Rationalist Association; Anne Marie Waters – One Law for All.
7-13 London: Stop the DSEi Arms Fair
Check out stopthearmsfair.org.uk for a full list of how to get involved and info about why.
7 September – East London Against Arms Fairs musical protest from 2-5pm at Custom House side of Excel. All musical groups welcome to protest before the arms fair happens, especially choirs singing peace songs, it will be peaceful and non-violent. elaaf.org/#events
8 September – Occupy Vs. The Arms Fair from 12pm onwards near the Excel Centre, which hosts the arms fair. (exact location announced day before) Will be a family friendly atmosphere with lots of entertainment from a stage and around the area, much fun, music, and revelry welcome. #stopdsei #occupydsei facebook.com/events/1406612642887333/?fref=ts
11 September – Wreath laying in memory of all victims of the arms trade. from 2pm-3pm at South exit from Royal Victoria DLR station. Would be great to have a choir, or small group of singers, end the silence with a peace song or two.
3 London: US Embassy Demonstration – No attack on Syria
Assemble 5:30pm at Grosvenor Square to urge US Congress to follow Britains lead and say “No attack on Syria”. Called by Stop the War and CND.
1 Burston, Norfolk: Burston Strike School Rally
Annual rally to celebrate the longest strike in history: Schoolchildren ‘went on strike’ in 1914 to support their teachers, sacked by the rural squirarchy for organising agricultural workers. Join Unite members and many more for food (or bring a picnic if you wish), drink, entertainment and speakers from across the union movement. Details …
31 Cardiff and London: Demonstrations – No attack on Syria
Assemble 12 noon at Temple Place (nearest tube Temple) for march via Parliament and Downing Street, ending in central London for a political rally to say “No attack on Syria”. Called by Stop the War and CND.
Cardiff: Syria Rally
Castle Square, 1pm – going ahead to celebrate the Commons victory.
UPDATE (30 August): Last night’s Commons vote has stopped British missile strikes for the time being. France is equivocating. But with the USA still gung-ho for bombardment, the need to register protest remains. See stopwar.org.uk/news/stop-the-war-coalition-welcomes-parliament-s-rejection-of-war-on-syria.
29 (to 4 September) London: Reclaiming our Futures
7 days of direct action against the cuts, mass action London on 4th organised by Disabled People against the Cuts. dpac.uk.net/2013/07/reclaiming-our-futures-7-days-of-action/
28 London: Emergency protest: No attack on Syria
“We need the maximum level of protest to stop them plunging us in to yet another catastrophic war”. Choirs – click here!
26 (to 7 September) Burghfield: Trident Ploughshares Disarmament Camp
Includes 2 September international blockade
16-20 Balcombe, West Sussex: Reclaim the Power camp
nodashforgas.org.uk (note changed location)
11 Belt it out at Balcombe
1400 at Lower Stumble, Balcombe, West Sussex. Join a collective of choirs from across the South East and Belt It Out @ Balcombe. Bring your best pair of lungs and any instruments you claim to be able to play. This is a family-friendly event and open to all. We’ll sing and stand as one – a formidable and harmonious show of community protection! Suggested dress-code: all clothing and shoes, black and white, with a yellow ribbon for your wrist or sash. TOTALLY NON-COMPULSORY, but unified colours will counteract the corporate media’s incessant attempts to divide and categorise us.
6 and 9 Hiroshima and Nagasaki days
Various local and regional vigils and events – see cnduk.org/get-involved/events