How did you get into peace activism?
My mum kept taking me to peace activism and demos and I watched Uncle Mil and Emily [author Milan Rai and artist Emily Johns, co-editors of Peace News and Justice Not Vengeance activists] do peace activism and direct action. I wanted to be part of it, so I started a group called Children Against the War when I was seven. I’ve basically been doing demonstrations and vigils and organising and trying to aim for children to come so they understand what’s happening to other children in the world.
How did you set it up Children Against the War and how did you get children involved?
Well, I had the help of ARROW [Active Resistance to the Roots of War] and Voices in the Wilderness and they helped me set up the group by making leaflets. I wrote the leaflets and I organised demonstrations and vigils and basically on the demonstration I did a speech to get them aware of what’s happening.
Were you nervous to give a speech when you just seven years old?
It was a bit nerve-wracking. It was scary but I started and I was okay. Someone had to do it, someone had to tell children what was going on in the world and I wanted to tell them myself because children have the right to live and be safe.
What do your friends and the other kids at school think about your activism?
My friends don’t really know. They don’t understand. They think I’m a bit strange, because of their backgrounds, what their parents are teaching them – we live around an RAF base.
What about your family?
My mother is also a very strong peace activist. She’s been going to demonstrations for many, many years and going to different countries, like Palestine, and doing direct action and she’s taken me since I was four. I liked to get involved. I liked to give out leaflets and stuff.
Can you tell me about the film you made in Jordan?
Yeah, because I’ve always been demonstrating for children and Iraqi children and I actually wanted to give them a voice so they could speak out. We heard that these families fled to the neighbouring countries, such as Jordan and Syria, so I went there with my filming equipment to give them a voice and I interviewed them and they spoke and I made a film about it.
What was that experience like? Was it very upsetting? Did you find you had a lot in common with the children?
I found that we had a lot of things in common – no-one would have known that they’re from Iraq and I’m from Britain if we were put together because we had so much in common. When they were telling the stories I met this boy who was kidnapped and got hurt and tortured and I was really upset to find that out and had nightmares when I went to sleep and I really felt strongly about this.
What are you busy with at the moment?
I’m doing interfaith stuff – getting young people from different backgrounds to come together in understanding. I’m also helping with a Justice Not Vengeance film on Islam. I’m going to be interviewed about it, because I’m a Muslim myself and I’m interviewing some children.
How has your faith helped you as a peace activist?
At the moment I’m reading about the prophet Mohammed and how he brought peace, because Mohammed has been a big influence on my life. Also all my family are very religious as well and Mohammed, my prophet, basically inspired me – he taught us compassion and peace and not to hurt anyone and nonviolence.
What message would you like to send to the children of this country?
I think it’s really important they be aware of what’s going on around the world and they should meet people from other backgrounds and faiths. We’re all like a bouquet of flowers – all different, but all beautiful and the same.
Yasmin Gunaratnam reflects on John Berger’s gut solidarity with the stranger
Charlie Clarke and Heather Mendick discuss how to work through the tensions within Momentum
As man-made global warming gets closer to the tipping point, Andrew Simms finds reasons to be positive about averting catastrophic climate change
In this extract from his new book The Candidate, Alex Nunns tells the inside story of how Jeremy Corbyn scraped onto the Labour leadership ballot in 2015
Graham Jones proposes a framework for a diverse movement to flourish
Musician Eliane Correa reflects on the fading revolution
Trump's victory is another sign of the failure of the centre-left's narrative on climate change. A new message is needed, and new politicians to deliver it, writes Alex Randall
Siobhán McGuirk says the question we are too afraid to ask is simple - what kind of society leads to Donald Trump as President?
The battle lines are clear. Democracy is in peril and the left must take itself seriously electorally and politically. Ruth Potts speaks to Gary Younge, who was based in Muncie, Indiana, for the US election, about the implications of Donald Trump’s victory
We need a society built on openness, community and equality to truly defeat everything that trump stands for, writes Nick Dearden.
Utopia: Work less play more
A shorter working week would benefit everyone, writes Madeleine Ellis-Petersen
Short story: Syrenka
A short story by Kirsten Irving
Utopia: Industrial Workers Taking the Wheel
Hilary Wainwright reflects on an attempt by British workers to produce a democratically determined alternative plan for their industry – and its lessons for today
Mum’s Colombian mine protest comes to London
Anne Harris reports on one woman’s fight against a multinational coal giant
Bike courier Maggie Dewhurst takes on the gig economy… and wins
We spoke to Mags about why she’s ‘biting the hand that feeds her’
Utopia: Daring to dream
Imagining a better world is the first step towards creating one. Ruth Potts introduces our special utopian issue
Utopia: Room for all
Nadhira Halim and Andy Edwards report on the range of creative responses to the housing crisis that are providing secure, affordable housing across the UK
A better Brexit
The left should not tail-end the establishment Bremoaners, argues Michael Calderbank
News from movements around the world
Compiled by James O’Nions
Podemos: In the Name of the People
'The emergence as a potential party of government is testament both to the richness of Spanish radical culture and the inventiveness of activists such as Errejón' - Jacob Mukherjee reviews Errejón and Mouffe's latest release
Survival Shake! – creative ways to resist the system
Social justice campaigner Sakina Sheikh describes a project to embolden young people through the arts
‘We don’t want to be an afterthought’: inside Momentum Kids
If Momentum is going to meet the challenge of being fully inclusive, a space must be provided for parents, mothers, carers, grandparents and children, write Jessie Hoskin and Natasha Josette
The Kurdish revolution – a report from Rojava
Peter Loo is supporting revolutionary social change in Northern Syria.
How to make your own media
Lorna Stephenson and Adam Cantwell-Corn on running a local media co-op
Book Review: The EU: an Obituary
Tim Holmes takes a look at John Gillingham's polemical history of the EU
Book Review: The End of Jewish Modernity
Author Daniel Lazar reviews Enzo Traverso's The End of Jewish Modernity
Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants
Ida-Sofie Picard introduces Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants – as told to Jenny Nelson
Book review: Angry White People: Coming Face to Face With the British Far-Right
Hilary Aked gets close up with the British far right in Hsiao-Hung Pai's latest release
University should not be a debt factory
Sheldon Ridley spoke to students taking part in their first national demonstration.
Book Review: The Day the Music Died – a Memoir
Sheila Rowbotham reviews the memoirs of BBC director and producer, Tony Garnett.
Power Games: A Political History
Malcolm Maclean reviews Jules Boykoff's Power Games: A Political History
Book Review: Sex, Needs and Queer Culture: from liberation to the post-gay
Aiming to re-evaluate the radicalism and efficacy of queer counterculture and rebellion - April Park takes us through David Alderson's new work.
A book review every day until Christmas at Red Pepper
Red Pepper will be publishing a new book review each day until Christmas
Book Review: Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics
'In spite of the odds Corbyn is still standing' - Alex Doherty reviews Seymour's analysis of the rise of Corbyn
From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation
'A small manifesto for black liberation through socialist revolution' - Graham Campbell reviews Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor's 'From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation'
The Fashion Revolution: Turn to the left
Bryony Moore profiles Stitched Up, a non-profit group reimagining the future of fashion
The abolition of Art History A-Level will exacerbate social inequality
This is a massive blow to the rights of ordinary kids to have the same opportunities as their more privileged peers. Danielle Child reports.
Mass civil disobedience in Sudan
A three-day general strike has brought Sudan to a stand still as people mobilise against the government and inequality. Jenny Nelson writes.
Mustang film review: Three fingers to Erdogan
Laura Nicholson reviews Mustang, Deniz Gamze Erguven’s unashamedly feminist film critique of Turkey’s creeping conservatism
What if the workers were in control?
Hilary Wainwright reflects on an attempt by British workers to produce a democratically determined alternative plan for their industry