15th May: Today is International Conscientious Objection day

Conscientious objection means refusing to be co-opted into militarism. It means naming armies and organised violent groups for what they really are, and often being at risk of imprisonment and social stigma for doing so.

It also means joining in an internationalist movement, which is organising nonviolently towards societies free from war and oppression. This work is made more possible by solidarity across borders - and that's where you come in!

Every year on this day, activists around the world gather to celebrate those who have - and those who continue - to resist war, especially by refusing to be part of military structures.

Events are taking place today in Germany, South Korea, Colombia, Turkey, the UK, USA, and elsewhere. Plans range from a vigils with song in Sheffield, the naming of a street in an old military barracks after a Iraq war refuser in Mannheim, a webinar on militarisation in Colombia (which you can sign up for here), and pedalling for peace in Seoul!

Get involved

You can join a webinar (in Spanish) at 8.00pm UTC on 'Peace negotiations and deepening militarization in Colombia'. Register here.

Have a look here - there may be an event near you! Or get inspiration for planning an event next year. If there's not something happening near you, please support the day on social media, using #COday. There are some sample tweets below that you could use.

And you can support conscientious objectors to militarism around the world all year round, by:

Sample social media posts:

  • Today is #COday. Over 700 #conscentiousobjectors are imprisoned today in #SouthKorea alone. Sign up to support them http://lists.wri-irg.org/sympa/subscribe/co-alert
  • Today is #COday: #ConscientiousObjectors are working internationally against #militarisation. Sign up to learn more: http://lists.wri-irg.org/sympa/subscribe/co-update
  • Today is #COday: we celebrate all those who refuse to be part of militarist structures, both as conscripts and in everyday life

Thank you. Solidarity to those who refuse to kill!