News from WRI

18 Dec 2014
English

The libreta militar (military card), will no longer be required to graduate from university in Colombia, meaning that those who have not completed military service will now be able to receive their degrees. However, a libreta militar is still required for the enjoyment of many other rights. For example, you still require a libreta militar to work in many jobs. When batidas (forced recruitment raids) occur, it is those without a libreta militar i.e. those who cannot prove that they have completed compulsory military service, including conscientious objectors, who are most at risk. Antimilitarists in Colombia will continue to campaign for the abolition of the libreta, and indeed military service. The campaign: Libre de Libreta (freedom from military cards) that we highlighted in the last War Resisters' Stories continues!

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10 Dec 2014
English

Conscientious objector Haluk Selam Tufanlı has been imprisoned in northern Cyprus for refusing to undertake reserve military service. International actions were held on Tuesday 9th December 2014, in Athens, Istanbul, Nicossia and London.

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You can also protest in writing to the authorities in Northern Cyprus. Find all the details here (including an email alert): NORTHERN CYPRUS: Haluk Selam Tufanlı imprisoned

01 Dec 2014
English

Each year on 1st December War Resisters' International and its members mark Prisoners for Peace Day, when we make known the names and stories of those imprisoned for taking action for peace. This day is a chance to demonstrate your support for them.

There are some changes in this list from previous years. In October, all but one Jehovah's Witness conscientious objectors in Turkmenistan were freed from Seydi Labour Camp. This is great news for those people. However, it does not mean that COs who are not Jehovah's Witnesses will not be imprisoned in future, and conscription itself is still in full flow.

27 Nov 2014
English

One year ago, in the early hours of the 29 November, WRI Chair Howard Clark passed away. We still miss him keenly – his passion, his deep strategic thinking, his memory reaching back over many decades of WRI's history, and his friendship.

A lot has happened this year. Howard died in the middle of the preparation of the first ever international conference of War Resisters’ International in South Africa. We have managed to make this dream of his come true. We have also managed to build a new programmatic area, the resistance of militarisation of youth, to a point that we are now going to hire an extra worker. There have been several events commemorating and celebrating Howard’s life – in Madrid, London and Cape Town. In Zagreb activists organised a “Howard Clark Dialogue” event. Writings by Howard have been republished, for example his essay on Nonviolent Revolutions. More are probably to come later.

While the work goes on: Howard will not be forgotten. Howard, thank you!

25 Nov 2014
English

For over 100 days, a black-led movement for justice in Ferguson, Missouri, has come out every single night in response to the murder of Michael Brown. Today, 400 National Guard troop members stand ready—under the “state of emergency” banner— as a militarized force ready to repress and intimidate a peaceful resistance movement.

This “state of emergency” has allowed for the Department of Homeland Security to spend over $3 million dollars in the St. Louis area through the Urban Area Security Initiative. These millions have allowed more than 1,000 officers to undergo some 5,000 hours in crowd control trainings, and have outfitted these officers with $172,000 worth in riot gear, tear gas, grenades, pepper balls and plastic handcuffs (Democracy Now!)

18 Nov 2014
English

The first ever international week of action for military-free education and research was held between 25-31 October 2014. This follows on from a day of action last year. Antimilitarists across the world took action to raise awareness, and challenge, the role the military has in education and research in educational institutions. This role gives them access to young people - to lay the groundwork for recruitment later in life, and to promote military values.

Demilitarize McGill students disrupt space militarisation eventDemilitarize McGill students disrupt space militarisation eventDifferent groups used the week of action in different ways. Some challenged military presence in schools through direct action, some publicly debated the presence of the military in education, others showed films, wrote articles, and campaigned on social media.