The Wellcome Library has curated and launched Medact’s 60 year old archive covering our recent history and that of our predecessor organisations MCANW (Medical Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons) and MAPW (Medical Action for the Prevention of War). The launch bought together activists and campaigners from different era’s in Medact’s past with academics and journalists interested in the history of medical peace activism.
Many of the campaign slogans of yesteryear remain relevant toady with “Beds not bombs” a well known slogan used during peace marches in the 1980’s being turned into the official twitter hashtag for the event. In what was suspected to be a first at the Wellcome; music was provided by Bob Wakeling whose songs about peace, war and social justice accompanied many Medact protests and demonstrations in the past.
Medact was one of many ‘professional organisations’ that campaigned for peace during the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. Unfortunately many of these other organisations have ceased to exist as the public’s attention has moved on to other issues. Medact Chair Dr David McCoy gave a presentation explaining how Medact’s broad approach which addresses several major and interconnected issues has kept the organisation relevant.