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War Resisters' International sections Vredesactie and Agir pour la Paix were joined by activists from across Europe earlier this month in a blockade of the annual European Defence Agency conference being held in Brussels. Arms dealers were meeting with policy makers to lobby for subsidies and to push the European Union further down the road towards militarisation. Using lock-ons, human chains, ribbons and banners to stop the arms dealers from getting inside, protesters succeeded in causing major disruption to the conference and bringing greater public attention to an issue of growing concern.

See more photos here.

Today we're into the third day of a blockade of the Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire, Britain.

The construction gate is hosting an impromptu pop-up peace camp! Here's Tristi from France explaining why she's travelled here - joining WRI members from Trident Ploughshares, DFG-VK (Germany), AKL (Finland) and Agir Pour La Paix (Belgium).

I spent the weekend in the good company of the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO), a European umbrella organisation campaigning for the rights of conscientious objectors. In their 30+ year history, EBCO have never before met in Britain. They chose to on this occasionat the invitation of the First World War Peace Forum, a group of British peace groups working to give an alternative, antimiltiarist view of the centenary memorials to the first World War, which in Britain have been an excuse for nationalism and militarism.

Today, a delegation organised by War Resisters' International arrived in Turkey. The group will be visiting Diyarbakir, and towns affected by the curfews and armed conflict that have been ongoing since August 2015. WRI activists, including the Chair Christine Schweitzer, will have meetings with human rights groups, peace activists, and officials in the region.
Alongside other peace activists, WRI members from around Europe are in court in London from next Monday on trial for their disruption of the DSEI arms fair in September last year.   Anyone available to join us in solidarity in the Court next week, check out Stop The Arms Fair Facebook event for info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1716179711938981/   Use #stopDSEI to share you solidarity with Javier, Bram, Luis and others in the run up to their court appearance next week.
 

What: Rompiendo Filas ('breaking ranks') is the 'call to action' and the name of the publication that the Latin American Antimilitarist Network is launching this week. The publication is a response to the challenge of linking reflection, experience and the possibility of change, and for that we bring into dialogue places and voices committed to antimilitarism in Latin America. The publication will come out every six months and it comes with articles, essays, interviews, and stories that reflect the daily experiences and common areas of resistance to militarism in the region. 

Last Monday Abraham passed away in Offenbach, Germany. For many years he had been engaged in the Eritrean Antimilitarist Initiative and recently translated the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns, as well as the book From Dictatorship to Democracy, into Tigrigna and spread them in the Eritrean community.

He was only ten years old when he suffered from consequences of the war in his country. Playing on the ground, a mine exploded in his hand. He lost his right arm and became practically blind. He was able to finish his High School and study law at the university in Asmara, the capital city of the newly founded state Eritrea.

After the Stopping the War Business seminar, WRI and World Without War activists took action to disrupt the welcome dinner for the ADEX arms fair in Seoul.

Inside the hotel that was hosting the dinner, activists held banners, chanted 'Stop Arms Trade', and flung money strewn with 'blood' on the ground. They were forceably removed by security, but caught the attention of over around 100 'VIPs', arms dealers and members of the military.

Outside, protesters held a rally, with speakers, songs, a die-in and a dance, in full view of the buses of arms dealers arriving for the dinner.

Wolfgang Zucht

Placheolder image

WRI is sad to announce the death of Wolfgang Zucht, who died on 17 September 2015. Wolfgang was an activist, long-time member of WRI sections in Germany (the Federation of Nonviolent Action Groups and of IdK Berlin), and ran a libertarian-nonviolent publishing house, WeZuCo.

We are happy to pass on messages to Helga Weber, Wolfgang's partner, which you can send to info@wri-irg.org

See Wolfgang Zucht - Gedenkseite

Statement from WRI affiliate Vicdani Ret Derneği

On 20th of July, many young people from different cities took the road for the re-construction of Kobanê which is the city that has been resisting against the attacks of ISIS for several months. Those young people wanted to re-build the city which was destroyed by war and bring life back to the children who are sentenced to death in the pillaged land.

But they could not success. Everlasting war policy turned to a bomb and exploded right at the middle of the crowd of young people who were resisting to build the peace. Tens of people lost their lives and hundreds of them were injured.

One of those young people who had lost her life is Polen Ünlü who declared her conscientious objection in 2012 by saying “That war does not murder only men, but it murders women as well.” Alper Sapan is also one of those young people who had murdered in the massacre, and also one of conscientious objectors who declared his conscientious objection in May 2014 by saying “For the world where there is no war, no nation, no border; for freedom, I am listening to my heart and rejecting the military service.”

This beautiful, working watch belonged to Herbert Runham Brown (1879-1949), one of the founders of WRI.

It has been kindly donated to WRI for auction by WRI member and former staff person Wolfgang Zucht, in the hope that it might again be owned by someone connected with WRI who would appreciate its history, and be able to help to continue Brown's work through WRI in the process.

Winning bid: £111.11

The auction has now closed. Thank you to everyone who bid!

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