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WHITE poppy sales have hit a record high, with numbers expecting to rise further until Remembrance Sunday.
Despite a stream of abuse against white poppy wearers on social media and from public figures including Tory MP Johnny Mercer and broadcaster Piers Morgan, the Peace Pledge Union (PPU) said they have sold close to 120,000 white poppies so far this year.
The previous records was 110,000 in 2015 and 80,000 in 1938, five years after white poppies were founded.
Numbers of shops and outlets known to be selling white poppies has risen by almost a third, while there has been double the amount of orders for the schools pack compared to last year.
The white poppies for churches pack, which was piloted this year, received 34 orders.
PPU said that the rise in sales was a sign of more people wishing to remember victims of war by working for peace.
White poppies represent remembrance for all victims of war for all nationalities, a commitment to peace and a rejection of militarism, compared to red poppies, which the Royal British Legion says concerns only British and allied armed forces.
Sophie Morrison of the PPU said they are “very pleased” with the rise.
“In a world where the news is full of violence and the rise of nationalism, it is encouraging to see so many people upholding different values,” she said.
“If everyone who wears a white poppy takes action against militarism and war and works for peace and active non-violence, that would be a fitting memorial to the millions of civilians and combatants whose lives have been wasted in war.”
The PPU and other peace organisations are preparing for alternative Remembrance Sunday ceremonies around Britain this weekend.
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