Tim Gee

Last updated

Tim Gee
Stockport, United Kingdom
Education University of Edinburgh

Tim Gee is the general secretary of Friends World Committee for Consultation, the international organisation of Quakers worldwide. He is also a writer and faith-based activist in the United Kingdom, who popularised the concept of counterpower, and has written about pacifism and the Occupy movement.


Personal life

Early life

Gee was born in Stockport, United Kingdom in the mid-1980s. [1]


Gee attended Aquinas College, Stockport, [2] a Roman Catholic sixth form college in Stockport, United Kingdom. During this time he was actively involved in the campaign against the Iraq War. [3]

He went on to study politics at the University of Edinburgh where he graduated with an MA degree in 2009 [4] [5] While at the university he was a part of its People and Planet group, promoting Fairtrade, [6] and was elected the Vice President (Services) of the Edinburgh University Students Association. In 2005 he was elected to the Board of Directors of NUS Services Ltd. [5]

Writing career

Gee's first book, Counterpower: Making Change Happen was published in 2011, [7] in which he puts forward a theory of how governments and elite groups exercise power, and argues that others can use counterpower to counter this. [8] He puts forward a model in which this counterpower is splits into three categories: idea counterpower, economic counterpower, and physical counterpower. Counterpower was shortlisted for the Bread and Roses Award in 2012. [9]

His second book, You Can't Evict an Idea: What Can We Learn From Occupy? was published in 2013 [10] as an e-book and in physical form. [11]

His third book is Why I am a Pacifist, published by the Christian Alternative imprint from John Hunt publishers. [12]

Gee has also published in the New Internationalist, [4] Scottish Left Review [13] and writes a blog for The Guardian [14]

Gee was amongst a group of prominent authors and writers who campaigned against a ban on sending books to prisoners in the United Kingdom [15]

Gee documented the buildup to the eviction of the Calais Jungle refugee camp in 2016 for The Tablet, as the Writer in Residence at the Maria Skobtsova Catholic Worker House. [16]

Political experience

Student politics

Gee was the Vice President Services (VPS) of Edinburgh University Students Association. He sat on the board of the National Union of Students' commercial arm, NUSSL. [17] He seconded a motion for the University of Edinburgh to revoke the honorary degree it had bestowed on Robert Mugabe, [17] and was involved in the campaign for the University to become a Fairtrade University. [18]

Superglue Three

In 2010, Gee was part of a group, dubbed The Superglue Three, [19] accused of committing a breach of the peace at a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh by gluing themselves to each other and the entrance door of the premises. [20] [21] Gee was admonished of a breach of the peace, with no financial penalty [19]

In a statement originally published in The Scotsman, Gee linked his action with the Royal Bank of Scotland's financing of tar sands extraction in Alberta, Canada, and stated that as 84% of the Royal Bank of Scotland was at that time publicly owned, UK tax payers should have a say in what projects are funded. [22] Responding to this, Andrew Cave, Head of Group Sustainability at the Royal Bank of Scotland, said that he and Gee agreed on a number of points, including that the Royal Bank of Scotland needs to be more accountable and that society should transition to a low-carbon economy: however he said they disagreed on how this should happen. [23]

Bond (British Overseas NGOs for Development)

Gee worked for Bond (for international development) as Campaigns Communications Officer, co-ordinating the 2009 Put People First campaign and 2008 Stand Up and Take Action against Poverty and Inequality campaign. [24]

Faith-based campaigning on climate action

In 2015, moving from political campaigning to faith-based activism, Gee was the Campaign Strategy Lead at the UK Christian development organisation, Christian Aid, [25] where he was part of the faith-based organising team working together with Muslims and Jews for action on climate change. [26]

In 2016, Gee led the Big Church Switch, encouraging British churches to switch to a renewable energy provider. [27] [28] [29]

Religious views

Gee is a Quaker, and in 2011 appeared on a poster advertising the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain. [30] Gee delivered prepared ministry on the subject of "movement building" to Britain Yearly Meeting, the national annual meeting of Quakers in Britain, in 2016. [31] Gee built on this further when he was invited by the George Gorman Memorial Fund to deliver the George Gorman Lecture at Britain Yearly Meeting in 2017, exploring themes of power, diversity, and the spiritual root of political action within the Religious Society of Friends. [32] [33] [34] [35] He has been involved in promoting Britain Yearly Meeting's Sanctuary Everywhere programme in response to forced migration. [36] [37] [38] [39] [40]



Gee, T (2011) Counterpower: making change happen New Internationalist Publishing: Oxford, UK

Gee, T (2013) You can't evict an idea: What can we learn from Occupy? Housmans: London, UK

Gee, T (2019) Why I am a Pacifist: A call for a more nonviolent world. John Hunt: London, UK [12]

Gee, T (2022) "Open for Liberation - an activist reads the bible"


Gee, T (2012) The children of the children of the revolution. In: Coatman, C. & Shrubsole, G. [Ed] Regeneration Lawrence & Wisehart: London, UK 109-116


Gee, T (2008) Is Poverty History Yet? Scottish Left Review (47) 20-21

Gee, T (2008) Will Red and Green Ever be Seen? Scottish Left Review (46) 18-19

Gee, T (2013) You cannot be free if you are poor Peace News (2562)

Gee, T (2013) The battle for Mandela's legacy is only beginning The Independent 3 July 2013

Gee, T (2014) Yasuni: a cautionary tale New Internationalist (471) 38-40


Tim produced the film "Marikana's Precious Metal", a 2018 film marking the sixth anniversary of the South African Marikana massacre, when striking mine workers were fired on by security forces. Seventeen workers died.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George Keith (missionary)</span> Scottish religious leader

George Keith was a Scottish religious leader, a Presbyterian turned Quaker turned Anglican. He was born in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, to a Presbyterian family and received an M.A. from the University of Aberdeen. Keith joined the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the 1660s, accompanying George Fox, William Penn, and Robert Barclay on a mission to the Netherlands and Germany in 1677.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tommy Sheridan</span> Scottish politician

Thomas Sheridan is a Scottish politician who served as convenor of Solidarity from 2019 to 2021. He previously served as convenor of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) from 1998 to 2004 and as co-convenor of Solidarity from 2006 to 2016. He was a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Glasgow region from 1999 to 2007.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Britain Yearly Meeting</span> Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

The Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain, also known as Britain Yearly Meeting, is a Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. It is the national organisation of Quakers living in Britain. Britain Yearly Meeting refers to both the religious gathering and the organisation. "Yearly Meeting", or "Yearly Meeting Gathering" are usually the names given to the annual gathering of British Quakers. Quakers in Britain is the name the organisation is commonly known by.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edinburgh University Students' Association</span>

Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA) is the students' union at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. The Association's aim is the advancement of education of Edinburgh students by representing and supporting them, and by promoting their interests, health and welfare within the community. It is led by a team of five elected student sabbatical officers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Testimony of peace</span>

The testimony of peace is the action generally taken by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) for peace and against participation in war. Like other Quaker testimonies, it is not a "belief", but a description of committed actions, in this case to promote peace, and refrain from and actively oppose participation in war. Quakers' original refusal to bear arms has been broadened to embrace protests and demonstrations in opposition to government policies of war and confrontations with others who bear arms, whatever the reason, in the support of peace and active nonviolence. Due to this core testimony, the Religious Society of Friends is considered one of the traditional peace churches.

The Religious Society of Friends began as a proto-evangelical Christian movement in England in the mid-17th century in Lancashire. Members are informally known as Quakers, as they were said "to tremble in the way of the Lord". The movement in its early days faced strong opposition and persecution, but it continued to expand across the British Isles and then in the Americas and Africa.

The Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) is a Quaker organisation that works to communicate between all parts of Quakerism. FWCC's world headquarters is in London. It has General Consultative NGO status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 2002. FWCC shares responsibility for the Quaker UN Office in Geneva and New York City with the American Friends Service Committee and Britain Yearly Meeting.

In the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), a monthly meeting or area meeting is the basic governing body, a congregation which holds regular meetings for business for Quakers in a given area. The monthly meeting is responsible for the administration of its congregants, including membership and marriages, and for the meeting's property. A monthly meeting can be a grouping of multiple smaller meetings, usually called preparative meetings, coming together for administrative purposes, while for others it is a single institution. In most countries, multiple monthly meetings form a quarterly meeting, which in turn form yearly meetings. Programmed Quakers may refer to their congregation as a church.

Eric Baker was a British activist and one of the founders of the human rights group Amnesty International, and the second Secretary-General of the organization. He was also a founder of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

Quaker Peace & Social Witness (QPSW), previously known as the Friends Service Council, and then as Quaker Peace and Service, is one of the central committees of Britain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends - the national organisation of Quakers in Britain. It works to promote British Quakers' testimonies of equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth. It works alongside both small local and large international pressure groups.

Fairtrade Fortnight is an annual promotional campaign which happens once every year, organized and funded by the Fairtrade Foundation to increase awareness of Fairtrade products. It makes use of volunteers who support the goals of Fairtrade but who may also be committed to the more general concepts of fair trade, ethical trading or concerned by development issues. The concept was pioneered by the Fairtrade Foundation in the United Kingdom, initially held in 1997 in Scotland and directed by Barnaby Miln.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Quakers</span> Family of Christian religious movements

Quakers are people who belong to the Religious Society of Friends, a historically Protestant Christian set of denominations. Members of these movements are generally united by a belief in each human's ability to experience the light within or "answering that of God in every one". Some profess a priesthood of all believers inspired by the First Epistle of Peter. They include those with evangelical, holiness, liberal, and traditional Quaker understandings of Christianity. There are also Nontheist Quakers, whose spiritual practice does not rely on the existence of God. To differing extents, the Friends avoid creeds and hierarchical structures. In 2017, there were an estimated 377,557 adult Quakers, 49% of them in Africa.

The Quaker movement began in England in the 17th Century. Small Quaker groups were planted in various places across Europe during this early period. Quakers in Europe outside Britain and Ireland are not now very numerous although new groups have started in the former Soviet Union and satellite countries. By far the largest national grouping of Quakers in Europe is in Britain.

A Book of Discipline may refer to one of the various books issued by a Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, setting out what it means to be a Quaker in that Yearly Meeting. The common name for this book varies from one Yearly Meeting to another and includes Book of Discipline, Faith and Practice, Christian Faith and Practice, Quaker Faith and Practice, Church Government and Handbook of Practice and Procedure. Each Book of Discipline is updated periodically by each Yearly Meeting according to the usual practice of decision making within the Religious Society of Friends.

Quaker Life is a central department of the Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain, the national organisation of Quakers in England, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Its work is to develop the spiritual life of Quakers in Britain, and the running of Quaker Meetings within Britain.

Iain James Martin is a Scottish political commentator, author and public speaker. He writes a weekly column for The Times and is co-founder, editor and publisher of Reaction - a news site providing analysis and opinion on politics, economics and culture. He is a former editor of The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday, and an author of books on the financial crisis and the City of London.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Matt Scott (rugby union)</span> Scotland international rugby union player

Matthew Scott is a Scottish rugby union player with 40 caps for Scotland who plays for Leicester Tigers in England's Premiership Rugby. His regular playing position is Centre.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Housmans</span> Radical bookstore in London, England

Housmans is a bookshop in London, England, and is one of the longest-running radical bookshops in the United Kingdom. The shop was founded by a collective of pacifists in 1945 and has been based in Kings Cross, since 1959. Various grassroots organisations have operated from its address, including the Gay Liberation Front, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and London Greenpeace. Housmans shares its building with its sister organisation Peace News.

Ann Wigglesworth fair trade pioneer, educator and Aberdeen Woman of the Year 1985.


  1. Williams, Andrew (28 November 2011). "Social change sometimes happens in unpredictable ways". The Mancunion.
  2. Justice and Peace Commissions of the dioceses of Shrewsbury and Liverpool. Thompson, Marian (ed.). "Counterpower - Making Change Happen" (PDF). Mouth and Peace. Manchester (76): 12.
  3. Sinclair, Ian. "The march that shook Blair: 10 years on". ZCommunications. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  4. 1 2 "Tim Gee". New Internationalist.
  5. 1 2 McCracken, Edd (2014). "Forging the Fairtrade way". Edit: The Alumni Magazine of the University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh (Summer 2014): 8–11.
  6. "Edinburgh Uni P&P have marked Fairtrade Fortnight by launching a You Tube video to inspire more Fairtrade universities". People and Planet. 27 February 2007. Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  7. Gee, Tim (2011). Counter power : making change happen. Oxford: World Changing. ISBN   978-1780260327.
  8. Newton, Mark (17 November 2011). "Counterpower: Making Change Happen (book review)". The Ecologist.
  9. Flood, Alison (6 March 2012). "New prize for radical writing announces shortlist". The Guardian.
  10. Gee, Tim (2013). You can't evict an idea: What can we learn from Occupy?. London: Housmans Books. ISBN   9780852832745.
  11. ""You can't evict an idea" by Tim Gee". Housman's Books.
  12. 1 2 GEE, TIM. (2019). WHY I AM A PACIFIST a call for a more nonviolent world. [S.l.]: CHRISTIAN ALTERNATIVE. ISBN   9781789040173. OCLC   1113411120.
  13. Gee, Tim (2008). "Is Poverty History Yet?". Scottish Left Review. 47: 20–21.
  14. "Tim Gee | the Guardian". The Guardian.
  15. "Prominent British writers campaign against ban on books for prisoners". 26 March 2014.
  16. Gee, Tim (21 October 2016). "A walk through the Calais Jungle - how humanity is surviving against the odds". The Tablet.
  17. 1 2 Gee, Tim. "Tim Gee for VPS".[ permanent dead link ]
  18. "University gets top marks to retain Fairtrade status". The Scotsman. 4 August 2006.
  19. 1 2 "'Superglue 3' admonished for RBS demo". The Scotsman. 17 February 2011.
  20. "Climate change protesters appear in Edinburgh court". BBC News. 24 August 2010.
  21. "Court told of RBS glue protest". The Scotsman. 28 January 2011.
  22. Gee, Tim. "Why I superglued myself to the Royal Bank of Scotland". Bright Green Scotland.
  23. Cave, Andrew (1 September 2010). "RBS has much in common with protesters". The Scotsman.
  24. "Sheila McKechnie Foundation: Judges - Global Action". Archived from the original on 19 December 2010.
  25. "Faith in Politics Programme" (PDF). Christian Aid. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  26. "Jews, Muslims and Christians stand shoulder to shoulder in call for climate action - Christian Aid". www.christianaid.org.uk. Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  27. Harvey, Chelsea (10 February 2016). "What these Christians are giving up for Lent: Fossil fuels". Washington Post.
  28. Gee, Tim (19 April 2016). "Protecting God's Creation: churches commit to the green energy transition". The Ecologist.
  29. Clark, Pilita (1 September 2016). "Churches put their faith in green energy". Financial Times.
  30. Gee, Tim (5 October 2012). "Making peace a way of life". New Internationalist.
  31. Gee, Tim. "Movement Building". Britain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
  32. Smallman, Elinor (10 August 2017). "The George Gorman Lecture: Movement building from stillness". The Friend.
  33. Quakers in Britain (2 August 2017). "Gorman Lecture given by Tim Gee at Yearly Meeting Gathering 2017". Vimeo.
  34. Hall, Laurence (October 2017). "Movement Building from Stillness" (PDF). The Young Quaker. No. 16. p. 10.
  35. "Memorial Lecture". The George Gorman Memorial Fund.
  36. Gee, Tim. "Why it is time to build a culture of sanctuary". Quakers. Britain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
  37. Gee, Tim. "Why rejecting a person seeking sanctuary is a rejection of Christian values". Quakers.
  38. "Should Bath Quakers become a Sanctuary Meeting?". Bath Quaker Meeting. 23 August 2017.
  39. "Being a sanctuary meeting East Cheshire Quakers". eastcheshirequakers.org.uk.
  40. "Quaker Week meeting: Creating Sanctuary" (PDF). Stratford-upon-Avon Quakers Newsletter. August 2017. pp. 1–2.