Photo: Amnesty International
15th May is International Conscientious Objection Day - a joint day of action used by peace activists around the world to support those who refuse to be part of the militarist system, as well as to remember and learn from conscientious objectors of past generations.
Those who resist war and preparations for war expose the military for what it is. As Yeook Yang, from World Without War, a WRI affiliate in South Korea, tells us: "In a highly militarised society where any discussion of the military is taboo, conscientious objectors are making it clear that the military exists only to kill."
For us, conscientious objection is part of a wider nonviolent struggle to transform oppressive and violent systems, and show an alternative way.
Here are some ways you can support conscientious objectors around the world today:
- attend a CO day event. See our list here in English, Español, Deutsch for info on events in South Korea, Turkey, the USA, Colombia, Britain, Greece, Germany, France and Paraguay.
- talk about CO day on social media. Use #COday in English or #díaOC in Spanish
- sign and share our petition for COs in Korea. Find it here in English, and here in German. You can print a version to share with your contacts in person here
- COs in Colombia are calling for your input into their campaign! They would like short videos of people answering the question: Which service would you provide to your community if you did not have to do military service? More info: http://www.wri-irg.org/co-day-2015
- share our press release, which focuses on conscientious objection in South Korea: http://www.wri-irg.org/press-release-CO-day-2015
- sign up to receive CO Alerts, which put pressure on authorities imprisoning and punishing conscientious objectors