Fig Tree
Fig Tree aims to engage the Christian community on peace and security issues. We aim to
preach the gospel of peace in word and deed, and to build and support the Christian peace
community here in the UK.
Fig Tree?
Fig Tree
20 Wilkins Road , Oxford
OX4 2HX info@figtree.org.uk
Fig Tree TV:
Excellent Interview with Plowshare
activists Susan Crane (Jonah
House) and Lynne Greenwald
(Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent
Action) who udertook a
disarmament action at the Bangor
Trident Nuclear Submarine Base

Latest on the Blog

“It’s just the way things are”

In 2009 the Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition was due to hold its bi-annual arms selling jamboree in East London, opening with a conference at the Queen Elizabeth Conference centre in central London. According to its official brochure, the aim of the ‘UK Defence Conference 2009 ’ was to bring together “senior officials from the arms industry,
the military and the UK government” to “explore the business opportunities” to be found in “global security threats such as climate change, major population movements, growing water scarcity, competition for energy sources and the continued rise of Islamism.” Here then, was another opportunity to confront the UK’s military-industrial complex as it gathered together at the beginning of their week-long arms spree.

So with spray can in hand I went to the conference centre just before the
event and sprayed ‘build peace not war machines’ ‘stop this bloody business’ and ‘arms trade=death’ on the front entrance
and poured fake blood over the steps. (See CCTV footage here). I was shortly
convicted of criminal damage and fined just under £2,000. Eighteen months (and numerous court letters, bailiffs threats and visits) later it’s time to go back to court to explain my actions and why I won’t pay the fine.

As a committed Christian peace activist
I’ve been researching into, speaking about, and resisting <..continues here..>

Biblically, the fig tree is a symbol of peace, security and
prosperity with Micah's vision of 'everyone beneath their
own vine and fig tree' perhaps being the best known example.
However, in Mark's gospel, just before he overturns the
tables, Jesus curses a fig tree for not being fruitful.
Immediately after the Temple action the disciples discover
the fig tree withered as Jesus urges his followers to have faith
in God, faith that will 'move mountains'.

Ched Myer's in his wonderful study of Mark's gospel, argues
that Jesus is challenging here - in word and deed - the idea
that peace, security and prosperity comes from the power of
the (temple) state or Roman legions. That fig tree is barren.
Today, as a nation, we continue to put our faith in the 'might
is right' model, believing that peace and security is achieved
by military means. Jesus calls us to a different way - the way
of justice, community and love - and promises us that this 'fig
tree' will bear real fruit.

Today, we need to turn away from the model of peace and
security that is based on militarism and self-interest in
favour of a model of human security that puts people - and
especially the poor - at its centre. This huge change demands
real faith. As Myers puts it, the "faith that entails political
imagination and the ability to envision a world that is not
dominated by the powers".