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26 Apr 2016
English

By Cristóbal Orellana González (from the Red Antimilitarista y Noviolenta de Andalucía)

In 2013, Ecologistas en Acción de Cádiz wrote an open letter to the central government titled “Environmental, health and safety risk to the civil population bordering the Naval Station Rota in Cádiz”. The letter outlined 19 different environmental concerns the group had about the base, which is a Spanish naval base fully funded by the USA on the south coast of Spain. The base houses US Navy and Marine Corps military personnel.

26 Apr 2016
English

Photo: Peace Action WellingtonPhoto: Peace Action Wellington

25 Apr 2016
English

We previously reported in CO Update that conscription had begun in in Rojava, a de facto autonomous Kurdish region in Syria. Now, the government of Cizre canton has recognised the right to conscientious objection.

25 Apr 2016
English

Having reintroduced conscription temporarily (for a span of five years) last year, the State Defence Council decided in March that mandatory military service would be enacted indefinitely. The council's decision now have to be approved at the Seimas, the country's parliament. Conscription had been abolished in 2008, but was reintroduced - and defence spending also increased - citing security threats in Eastern Europe.

22 Apr 2016
English

There are often rumours of conscription in times of political tension, or when right-wing spokespeople raise fears of the 'indiscipline of youth'. Such rumours often circulate without impact, but sometimes they are the start of a wider campaign and eventual reintroduction of compulsory military service.

14 Apr 2016
English

Compulsory recruitment to the military affects different people and groups in different ways. This month we share the story of transwomen in Thailand. In many countries where men are drafted, trans* women1 are also recruited.

13 Apr 2016
English

We update our World survey of conscription and conscientious objection to military service on a rolling basis.

Updated reports on conscription and conscientious objection to military service are now available on Austria, Kyrgyzstan and Singapore.

Find all the available reports here.

13 Apr 2016
English

KnowDronesKnowDronesA story that we missed a few months ago, but that we think is well worth sharing!

KnowDrones, a campaigning group working to ban drones, placed an advert in the Air Force Times on September 14, 2015, which carried a message from 54 U.S. military veterans urging U.S. drone operators to refuse orders to fly drone surveillance and attack missions.

13 Apr 2016
English

A new report from ACOOC addresses recruitment to the military in Colombia, focusing on the phenomenon of arbitrary detention - usually undertaken through batidas (raids). Though batidas are banned, this report shows that, in practice, they are still common.

The report has been produced by the Acción colectiva de objetores y objetoras de conciencia (ACOOC: Conscientious Objectors' Collective Action) based on information collected in conjunction with other organisations and groups in the Proceso Distrital de Objeción de Conciencia.

In January, the Colombian Constitutional Court ruled that the army should release Cristian Andrés Cortés Calderón. Cristian had been recruited last August, whilst he was still in his final year of high school. Students are allowed to postone military service, but Cristian was nonetheless called up. In court, Cristian's father said that Cristian also works at night in a supermarket to financially support his family. The court ordered that he be released from the military within 48 hours.

The Court however also ruled that Cristian would still be liable for conscription when his studies end.

Sources: corteconstitucional, Sentencia T-004/16, 19 January 2016; Caracol Radio, Ejército no puede reclutar a estudiantes de bachillerato así sean mayores de edad, 23 February 2016.

13 Apr 2016
English

Bolivian army training. Photo: USASOC News ServiceBolivian army training. Photo: USASOC News ServiceColombian conscientious objectors have releseased a statement with conscientious objectors in Bolivia. Read it here in English (Spanish version here).

07 Apr 2016
English

WRI's Egyptian affiliate NoMilService are working with a new conscientious objector, Samir Elsharbaty. Samir has requested his exemption from the service in March. You can find NoMilService's statement supporting him here.

06 Apr 2016
English

Pope Francis recently presented actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio with a leather-bound version of his encyclical on environmental concerns, Laudato Si’. If the irony escaped the Pope, it is because his 40,600-word document makes no mention of the meat industry as a contributor to climate change. Although animal agriculture is the leading cause of climate change, it remains taboo, in public debate and even in environmentalist circles, to say so. Perhaps it will take the peace movement, with its commitment to nonviolence, to break the silence.

06 Apr 2016
English

"This land does not belong to us. We belong to this land". This quote is from an interview with Hadassah Froman, in relation to her late husband – Rabbi Menachem Froman of the settlement1 of Tekoa next to Bethlehem in the West Bank.

06 Apr 2016
English

Jo Ram

In October 2015, the UK Conservative Party (known as the 'Tories') proposed rule changes to public sector pension funds and procurement policies that would prevent local government from being able to divest and boycott. The Tories had singled out the anti-arms and BDS campaigns, claiming that these undermined the UK government’s foreign policy.

06 Apr 2016
English

Adi Winter

I remember standing a few years ago, tears in my eyes, feeling yet not feeling my body, trying to shout but choked up, tears silently streaming down my face, knowing that I don't have the power to stop it. I remember I didn't shout, I felt paralysed, I held myself in my strong arms and felt lost. I remember slowly losing sensation, though pain and horror ran through every cell of my body. No one wanted to see or hear me, most of all not that one who was gripping me. He needed to and I was there, an empty vessel for his urges and needs.

06 Apr 2016
English

Quincy Saul

Mama Charlotte performs at the 'Act now against climate catastrophe' concern at the WRI Conference in Cape Town, July 2014Mama Charlotte performs at the 'Act now against climate catastrophe' concern at the WRI Conference in Cape Town, July 2014

Edited by Hannah Brock of WRI, from a longer trilogy of essays "War, Peace and Crossfire in Cape Town" written for the "Small Actions, Big Movements" conference in July 2014, available online here.

30 Mar 2016
English

REPRESSIVE RESPONSE AGAINST ANTI-MILITARIST MOC ACTIVISTS FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCEUP TO 12.000 EUROS  FINE AND THE POSSIBILITY OF SEVERAL YEARS JAIL SENTENCE FOR  BLOCKADE IN THE PORT OF SAGUNTO AGAINST NATO MANEUVERS. 

The group of antimilitarists that paralyzed the transport of armoured vehicles to the NATO “Trident Juncture“ manoeuvres last October face accusations of “serious disobedience”, “breach of the peace”, and fines for “intrusion". 

29 Mar 2016
English

Tara Tabassi (War Resisters League) and Andrew Dey (War Resisters’ International)

Members of Indonesia's "Combat 88" militarised police unitMembers of Indonesia's "Combat 88" militarised police unit

As antimilitarist activists, we are well positioned to see the power of police within wider weapons industries and militarist agendas. Understanding this police power as it plays out in different contexts around the world is critical in enabling activists against militarisation to keep the power of police in check within our communities. Police forces often act to maintain unjust 'status-quo' distributions of power in society, and tend towards hegemonic, 'power-over' approaches, and especially when the perception of threat is elevated - the police are a form of social control, and militarisation increases their power. Militarism is guns, armored tanks and drones, but it’s also a state of mind. Militarised mentalities have permeated many police forces and amplified dramatically the force of police violence against our communities.

Recent other nonviolence resources related posts