PEACE NEWS NEWSPAPER ARTICLE – ‘THE NEWINGTON LODGE DEMONSTRATION’ Driving to work today, there was a news item on the radio about Bradfordians camping in City Park to raise awareness about the increasing number of homeless young people. This demonstration in 2013 echoes another about homeless fifty years ago in London. The headline of the Peace News on January the 25th of 1963 read “The Newington Lodge demonstration: A significant step”.

Article about the Newington Lodge demonstration in Peace News (1963)

This demonstration was organised by the Committee of 100, a British anti-war group that used non-violent and civil disobedience to achieve its aims. This group was supported by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) as many CND members became involved with the Committee. The two groups shared the same objectives and aims but had  different approaches in achieving them.   The Committee of 100 were ultimately campaigning for nuclear disarmament but realised that to get the public to support their cause, they would have to support issues that affected the public. Homelessness was seen as one issue worth tackling. Newington Lodge, originally a Victorian workhouse, was a homeless hostel in Southwark, London. The hostel was used to house homeless families on a short-term basis. Southwark Council was obliged to help homeless families and provide them with shelter but the Council was sending families to poor, over-crowded hostels, like Newington Lodge, with multiple families sharing dormitories and disease (such as dysentery) rife. Even more shocking was that husbands and fathers were separated from their wives and children and had to find accommodation elsewhere. There were eventual reforms in the way councils treated homeless families, with husbands and fathers being allowed to stay with their wives and children. However, the issue of homelessness in today’s society remains and has unfortunately seen an increase due to the economic downturn and high level of unemployment.