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Nonviolence Programme

War Resisters' International Nonviolence Programme

WRI's Nonviolence Programme promotes the use of active nonviolence to confront the causes of war and militarism. We develop resources (such as the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns) and provide nonviolence training to groups seeking to develop their skills.

Recent War Profiteers posts

09 May 2017
English

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In September 2017, thousands of arms dealers will descend on London to market their wares to militaries from across the globe. Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) - is one of the biggest arms fairs in the world, and it takes place in east London every two years, exporting death and destruction around the world.

We are the international resistance to DSEI, and we need your help.

28 Apr 2017
English

International activists inside the arms dealers' welcome dinner at ADEX 2015 in SeoulInternational activists inside the arms dealers' welcome dinner at ADEX 2015 in SeoulThis is a call-out to arms fair resisters across the world to join a Skype conversation with other grassroots activists.

05 Apr 2017
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Activists in Madrid have taken action against Spain's biggest arms fair, with large demonstrations accompanied by nonviolent direct action, which saw activists covering themselves in red paint and unfurling banners at the entrance to the HOMESEC arms fair, in Madrid.

05 Apr 2017
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Activists - including members of WRI - celebrate being found not guilty after actions against DSEI in 2015Activists - including members of WRI - celebrate being found not guilty after actions against DSEI in 2015WRI's Council meets once a year, to discuss the future work of the network. This year, our meeting will be in London in September, hosted by our affiliates Peace Pledge Union, Fellowship of Reconciliation (UK), Campaign Against the Arms Trade, and Trident Ploughshares, and coincide with the mobilisations against the DSEI arms fair.

Recent Nonviolence Programme related publications

15 May 2017
English

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!

28 Apr 2017
English

Approaching International Conscientious Objection Day (15th May), the updates from the last couple of months - which have unfortunately been mostly negative - are reminding us: we need to keep mobilising our movements for conscientious objection, and strengthening our networks of international solidarity.

28 Apr 2017
English

Militarised police in training. Photo: Tim McAteerMilitarised police in training. Photo: Tim McAteerAll around the world, police forces are being militarised. The lines between the roles of the police and the military are being blurred, with narratives of heightened threat (from terror, drugs, social unrest or people on the move) being used to justify this militarisation.

28 Apr 2017
English

Militarised police in training. Photo: Tim McAteerMilitarised police in training. Photo: Tim McAteerAll around the world, police forces are being militarised. The lines between the roles of the police and the military are being blurred, with narratives of heightened threat (from terror, drugs, social unrest or people on the move) being used to justify this militarisation.

Militarised policing is something which runs far deeper than the surface veneer of militarised equipment and body armour; scratch the bullet-proof vest and underneath you will find a militarised mentality conditioned to perceive the 'other' as a threat, an enemy, and to respond accordingly.

28 Apr 2017
English

Members of WRI resist the ADEX arms fair in Seoul, 2015Members of WRI resist the ADEX arms fair in Seoul, 2015

28 Apr 2017
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International activists inside the arms dealers' welcome dinner at ADEX 2015 in SeoulInternational activists inside the arms dealers' welcome dinner at ADEX 2015 in SeoulThe arms trade is a global phenomenon and arms fairs are the nexus of this trade: the physical sites which bring together those who manufacture, profit from, orchestrate and deliver suffering and death. But asthe arms trade is global so is our resistance, with actions against arms fairs taking place worldwide and increasing levels of transnational activism reflecting the global reality and consequences of this trade.

27 Apr 2017
English

The new NATO headquarters in Brussels under constructionThe new NATO headquarters in Brussels under constructionOn 24th and 25th May, NATO leaders will be in Brussels for the inauguration of their new headquarters and an important NATO summit – the first to be attended by US president Donald Trump.

On the table will be a push to make certain that NATO member states increase spending on their military budgets to 2% of GDP, with 20% going towards buying arms; fuelling a destabilising arms race.

27 Apr 2017
English

Netiwit ChotiphatphaisalNetiwit Chotiphatphaisal

27 Apr 2017
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War Resisters' International has a CO-Alert system that we use to pressure authorities across the world where conscientious objectors (COs) face persecution.

Hundreds of subscribers receive an email, and they use an email template (here's an example) to protest the treatment of COs to the relevant authorities, for example asking for their release from forced recruitment or imprisonment.

27 Apr 2017
English

Conscientious objector Onur Erden has been sentenced to 10 months in prison on charge of deserting mandatory military service. Erden will go to prison if the penalty is approved by the Military Supreme Court.

Trials of conscientious objectors Onur Erden and Uğur Gültekin, who were pending a trial without arrest on charge of deserting mandatory military service, were heard by Gelibolu 2nd Corps Commandership Military Court.

27 Apr 2017
English

Sweden is to reintroduce military conscription by 1 July, citing difficulties in filling army ranks on a voluntary basis and increased Russian military activity in the Baltics.

The defence minister the Social Democrat-Green coalition government, Peter Hultqvist, said the move was in response to a deteriorating security environment in Europe. “We are in a context where Russia has annexed Crimea,” the minister told AFP. “They are doing more exercises in our immediate vicinity.”

27 Apr 2017
English

Atalia Ben-AbbaAtalia Ben-AbbaIsraeli conscientious objectors Tamar Alon and Tamar Ze'evi, who declared their refusal to serve in the IDF and take part in the occupation on 16th November 2016, were freed after each spending more than 100 days behind bars.

27 Apr 2017
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Conscientious Objector Diego Fernando Blanco López from Colombia has been illegally recruited by the Colombian army, despite his right to postpone as a student. He is currently being forced to serve in the Grupo de Caballeria Mecanicado No 4 Juan de Corral of the Colombian Army in Rionegro, Antioquia.

27 Apr 2017
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In February, War Resisters' International responded to a request for information from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on conscientious objection to military service, towards a quadrennial analytical report on conscientious objection to military service that will be presented to the Human Rights Council.

27 Apr 2017
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The Georgian Ministry of Defense (MoD) reintroduced compulsory military service, which had been abolished several months ago by the former Minister Tinatin Khidasheli. This was an expected move by the current Defence Minister, Levan Izoria, who announced his plan to reintroduce conscription in November 2016.

27 Apr 2017
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In this issue of the CO-Update, we would like to share with you an inspiring story from 2003, which we think worth re-sharing and remembering. We are aware of many protests that took place across different countries to avert Iraq War in 2003.

27 Apr 2017
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The Ministry of Defence in Croatia considers reintroducing compulsory military service, which was “suspended” in 2008 following high numbers of applications for conscientious objection by young people.

26 Apr 2017
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In December 2016, the Association of Greek Conscientious Objectors called on conscientious objectors (COs) in Greece to boycott the Conscience Examination Committee, which considers CO applications under the authority of the Ministry of Defence. In their statement, the Association said "The existence of a committee, which, like another Holy Inquisition, interrogates the conscientious objectors, violates any sense of the protected right to freedom of conscience."

26 Apr 2017
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Former Maoist child soldiers in Nepal, discontent with the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN or Maoist-Centre) for discarding them unceremoniously during the peace process, locked party leaders at the CPN office in Kathmandu. During their action, at least seven party leaders were locked in the building when the main door was padlocked.

26 Apr 2017
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War Resisters' International maintains a unique resource, the World survey of conscription and conscientious objection to military service: a database of country profiles and information on the situation for COs and conscripts around the world. This is updated on a rolling basis, and we have recently revised our report on Greece.

Click here to read it.

26 Apr 2017
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In December 2016, the Defense Minister of Taiwan, Feng Shih-kuan, announced that 2017 will be the last year young men will be required to serve in the military and that by 2018 military conscription will be abolished in the country.

26 Apr 2017
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WRI has been working with former soldiers from Rwanda and the German campaigning group Connection e.V.. In December 2016, we published a report exploring the experiences of former members of Rwandan armed forces, especially the barriers they experienced in leaving the army over the past decade.

26 Apr 2017
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International delegation at Serdar Kuni's trial. Sirnak/TurkeyInternational delegation at Serdar Kuni's trial. Sirnak/TurkeyOn 24 April 2017, War Resisters' International joined a group of international organisations to observe the second hearing of Serdar Küni, a doctor and veteran human rights defender from Turkey imprisoned last October. The charges against Dr.

26 Apr 2017
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Photo: Atomwaffenfrei.jetztPhoto: Atomwaffenfrei.jetztFrom the 12th to the 18th of July, German activists are inviting internationals to join them at the  military base for a peace camp and actions against the deployment of the new B61-12 nuclear bomb by the US military at the base. The B61-21 will be completed by 2020 and deployed in Italy, Belgium, Holland, Turkey, and Germany.

For more information, see here

 

25 Apr 2017
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International delegation at Serdar Kuni's trial in Sirnak/TurkeyInternational delegation at Serdar Kuni's trial in Sirnak/TurkeyOn 24 April 2017, War Resisters' International joined a group of international organisations to observe the second hearing of Serdar Küni, a doctor and veteran human rights defender from Turkey imprisoned last October. Below is the statement of the international delegation, including Andreas Speck from War Resisters' International, explaining their concerns from the trial yesterday.

11 Apr 2017
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War Resisters' International has a CO-Alert system that we use to pressure authorities across the world where conscientious objectors (COs) face persecution.

Hundreds of subscribers receive an email, and they use an email template (here's an example) to protest the treatment of COs to the relevant authorities, for example asking for their release from forced recruitment or imprisonment.

Our information about CO-Alerts come from grassroots activists supporting COs, and we rely on their information. We'd love to hear from you when you know there is a CO at risk, or facing repression, so that we can use CO-Alerts to spread news of their situation amongst pacifist supporters around the world, and to campaign for their improved treatment. You can write to us in any language, but we can reply in English, Spanish or Turkish. Write to us at co-alert-editor@wri-irg.org

05 Apr 2017
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European Bureau of Conscientious Objection held its spring General Assembly last week at the Peace House in Brussels. he meeting was attended by WRI and COs and activists from  Belgium, Catalonia, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Turkey, and the UK. The EBCO Board repeated its call to the Greek Government to keep its promises to address shortcomings in its legislation and procedures regarding conscientious objection to military service.

In November 2016, an EBCO delegation, headed by Vice-President Sam Biesemans, met the Deputy Minister of Defence, Mr. Dimitrios Vitsas in Athens. As reported by EBCO delegation, the Deputy Minister recognised the existing problems and expressed the intention to present to the parliament a draft law specifically on conscientious objection. In its press release, EBCO Board stated that they will “carefully monitor the process”. They are also offering their assistance to the Greek authorities in bringing their conscientious objection provisions  into line with European and international human rights standards.

Read EBCO's statement here: http://www.ebco-beoc.org/node/421

05 Apr 2017
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Serdar KuniSerdar KuniThis month, War Resisters' International joined a group of international organisations to observe the hearing of Serdar Küni, a doctor and veteran human rights defender in Şırnak, Turkey. Dr. Kuni was arrested last October, accused of “providing treatment to alleged militants” and not informing security services about it. In the trial, which was attended by 70 people, including six observers from Germany, UK, Sweden, Norway and US, Dr.

05 Apr 2017
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Atalia Ben-Abba is an imprisoned Israeli conscientious objectorAtalia Ben-Abba is an imprisoned Israeli conscientious objectorAfter 115 days of imprisonment, Israeli conscientious objector Tamar Ze'evi has had her objection to military service recognised, and has been granted CO status as a political refuser. However, conscientious objectors Atalia Ben-Abba and Tamar Alon have been imprisoned again for their refusal to take part in the occupation and serve in the IDF. This is Atalia's second, and Tamar's sixth imprisonment, and each will spend 30 days more behind bars. Click here send a protest email to the Israeli authorities.

Along with our email alert, you can also send your solidarity messages to Atalia and Tamar. Use this link to write them and your messages will be passed on.

05 Apr 2017
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Diego Blanco has been illegally recruited into the Colombian militaryDiego Blanco has been illegally recruited into the Colombian militaryConscientious Objector Diego Fernando Blanco López from Colombia has been illegally recruited by the Colombian army, despite his right to postpone due to being a student. He is currently being forced to serve in the Grupo de Caballeria Mecanicado No 4 Juan de Corral of the Colombian Army in Rionegro, Antioquia.

Since his declaration of conscientious objection on 20th March 2017, Diego Blanco has been subjected to aggression and harassment by his superiors. When he refused to take arms earlier this week, he was attacked by the First Sergeant Oscar Camacho Cartagena and has been threatened with a court martial for disobedience/insubordination.

Support Diego Blanco with your protest emails to the authorities. Send your emails here.