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On the 51st anniversary of the death of Dr Grigoris Lambrakis

The Russell Foundation sent this message to a ceremony in Athens at the graveside of Dr Grigoris Lambrakis.

The assassination of Grigoris Lambrakis robbed the world of a man with profound insight into the glorious art of peace. His life and activism continue to inspire new work, such as the timely book by Panos Trigazis, which we are proud to publish in Britain in an English edition on this day, 51 years after he was murdered.

Dr Lambrakis had visited Britain three times in the months before his death. He marched to London from the nuclear research establishment at Aldermaston, in the company of Manolis Glezos and other comrades, paying his respects to Lord Byron at the poet’s statue near Hyde Park. In England, Dr Lambrakis had sought international participation in what became the first Marathon Peace March. Strong support was forthcoming, but the march proved a lonely journey for Dr Lambrakis as the event was banned by the Greek authorities and exceptional measures were taken to prevent wider particiaption, including deporting delegates from Britain, amongst them Pat Pottle, Bertrand Russell’s personal representative. This story is recounted in our new book, Lambrakis and the Peace Movement, so that today’s generation may learn of adventures undertaken in the name of peace.

For Europe continues to have great need of its peace movements. The deepening crisis in Ukraine threatens a terrible and bloody civil war in the midst of our continent. Belligerent statements made by the outgoing NATO Secretary General exacerbate the tensions inherent in his Organisation’s long-term expansion eastwards towards Russia’s borders. It is arguable that NATO, a nuclear-armed alliance, threatens international peace more so now than it did 50 years ago, in Lambrakis’s day. That is why his example resonates with new generations of activists for peace.

Tony Simpson

Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation

22 May 2014    

Lambrakis and the Peace Movement: The Greek May of 1963 by Panos Trigazis is available from Spokesman Books:


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