Land-grabbing and militarism is the theme of this Broken Rifle, a theme that it is as timely as ever. As I write, activists in South Korea are using their bodies to blockade the construction of a military base in Jeju Island - as reported in Angie Zelter's article.
Some of the most powerful nonviolent movements have been closely connected to land rights struggles. Even if some of these struggles have only had a remote connection to resisting militarism, they have greatly inspired our work in WRI for their commitment to nonviolence. Still, numerous movements resist land-grabs by the military or by corporations profiteering from the war machinery. In these movements, antimilitarist and nonviolent action groups link up with local communities. In many of these struggles you see rural community members hand in hand with urban activists. This is a very important opportunity to connect different struggles and also connect urban and rural struggles.
In today's world, where everyone seems to act in a very specific social sphere and where social movements are atomised and work on very specific issues, it is inspiring to learn of experiences where different movements come together. Howard Clark's article sets the theme for this Broken Rifle with different experiences of land movements, some of them deeply connected to WRI. In this issue we also have a story on the Diego Garcia military base, which is one of the most dramatic examples of the consequences that the war machine can have, with the displacement of a whole community off its land.
Some of the articles in this issue of the Broken Rifle were selected to follow up on actions and events that the WRI has organized in recent years. An article on the NEAT military test range in northern Sweden brings us back to the place where last year WRI helped organise a mass civil disobedience action, under the slogan "War Starts Here!" Finally, the article on nonviolent land movements in India re-connects us to our last International Conference in India and the issue of nonviolent livelihood struggles.
As you can see, this issue of The Broken Rifle is not a collection of articles on just any theme. Rather, we revisit here a theme that touches on the core principles of WRI and links to a continuous thread of action and involvement on WRI's part. The articles are all based on work by groups connected to WRI, and in its content, it provides a vivid illustration of the truth of our declaration that war is a crime against humanity.