Milan Rai, the anti-war activist, author and editor based in Hastings, England, first became politically active in the campaign against Pershing II and Ground-Launched Cruise Missiles - nuclear weapons scheduled to be deployed in Western Europe in the late 1980s. A Peace News seller at his school, he's now become co-editor of the monthly magazine.
Milan's primary organizational affiliations have been with the British Ploughshares movement (1988-1993); ARROW (Active Resistance to the Roots of War; 1990-2003); the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND; 1992-1997); Voices in the Wilderness UK (1998-2003) and Justice Not Vengeance (2003-present).
The Ploughshares movement is an international campaign of direct citizen disarmament of nuclear and other military equipment. ARROW was a London-based affinity group which organized mass actions and carried out a wide variety of campaigns, including a weekly vigil against the economic sanctions - and then the impending war - on Iraq (1991-2003). CND is Europe's largest peace organization, devoted to unilateral nuclear disarmament. Voices in the Wilderness UK, which Milan founded in 1998, inspired and supported by Voices in the Wilderness in Chicago, began life as a campaign of direct action against the economic sanctions on Iraq - breaking unjust laws by carrying children's medicines and other critical civilian goods to Iraq without an export licence. It developed a research function, and has become an important part of the British anti-war scene. Justice Not Vengeance, which Milan founded in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, is an anti-war campaigning group dealing with an array of issues around the "war on terror".
Milan is the author of Chomsky's Politics (Verso, 1995), War Plan Iraq (Verso, 2002), Regime Unchanged (Pluto, 2003) and 7/7: The London Bombings and the Iraq War (Pluto, 2006), as well as a host of pamphlets including Tactical Trident (1995) and Britain, Maastricht and the Bomb (1993). For the first six months of 1991, he wrote and produced Gulf Crisis Weekly. He is currently on the advisory board of The Journal of Chomskyan Studies (Seoul).
Most recently, Milan helped Maya Anne Evans to write Naming the Dead (2007), the story of how she came to be the first person convicted of breaching the Serious Organized Crime and Police Act (2005) for participating in an unauthorized demonstration in the vicinity of Parliament. Milan was the first person to be convicted of organizing an unauthorized demonstration in the vicinity of Parliament, for which he was fined £350. When he refused to pay, he served a two-week sentence in Wandsworth prison in south London, his fourth prison term. (The others have been equally brief.)
Milan also contributed essays on Iran's nuclear programme and Western interference in Iran to Emily Johns's catalogue for her exhibition of art about Iran Drawing Paradise on the Axis of Evil (2007).
Maya Anne Evans and Emily Johns are Milan's co-workers in Justice Not Vengeance. Milan co-edits Peace News, the monthly magazine of the British peace movement which has been published since 1936, with Emily Johns.