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In June 1960, a letter from humanist campaigner Barbara Smoker appeared in The Humanist (now the New Humanist), noting that although a survey of Aldermaston marchers had revealed that many of them were humanists, as far as she had seen ‘there was not one humanist banner on the march.’ This, Smoker suggested, was a missed opportunity to boost awareness of humanism ‘in the eyes of many thousands of people, mostly young and all of the thinking, caring type’. She announced her intention to create a humanist banner for future marches, and called on others to do the same. Two years later, in June 1962, a photograph of one such banner adorned the front cover of The Humanist, helping to visualise the many hundreds of humanists who have marched for so many causes across so many years.

Banners made by another humanist, Thalia Campbell, a founding member of the anti-nuclear Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp and a longtime peace activist, are held today in a number of museum collections. In an interview for the New Humanist in 2000, Campbell described her humanism, feminism, and peace activism as inextricably intwined. Asked how she saw herself during those decades, Campbell responded: ‘As a humanist primarily: a rational, feminist humanist. Humanism is the rock-base’. She went on: ‘Humanism is always there. It is like taking the lid off — instead of being ashamed, there is pride in being human. This is where my humanist environmentalism comes from. It is one and the same’.

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