War is a crime against humanity: The Story of War Resisters’ International

en

Published by War Resisters’ International
5 Caledonian Road
London N1 9DX
2005

© Devi Prasad

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C O N T E N T S

PART ONE

CHAPTER 1

The motive force

CHAPTER 2

How has humankind been handling its creative contradiction?
Abraham and Judaism
Vedic and Upanishadic Teaching – Advaita
Mahavir and Jainism
Buddha and Buddhism
Christ and Christianity
Muhammad and Islam

CHAPTER 3

Nonviolence and Pacifism
Early pacifism
Rejuvenation of pacifism in Christian sects
Waldenses
Anabaptists
Mennonites
Old Amish Order
Doukhobors
Jehovah’s Witnesses
Nazarenes
Quakers – The Religious Society of Friends

CHAPTER 4

Pacifism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
Emergence of new peace organizations
Massachusetts Peace Society
League of Universal Brotherhood
Universal Peace Union
Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft
National Council of Peace Societies
Bureau International de la Paix (International Peace Bureau)
New York Peace Society
American Peace Society
The League of Nations
Tolstoy: a new light on pacifism
The first two decades of the 20th century – the First World War
Formation of organisations with an anti-war stance
Women’s International League for Pace and Freedom
Fellowship of Reconciliation
International Fellowship of Reconciliation

CHAPTER 5

Conscription, its origin and opposition to it
France
United States of America
Switzerland
Norway, Denmark and Sweden
Russia
Finland
Asia and Africa
United Kingdom
Conscription and the First World War
Why do people accept conscription?
WRI opposes all conscription

PART TWO

CHAPTER 6

The beginning
The birth of the War Resisters’ International
Herbert Runham Brown
The growth of the International
Publication of the Bulletin
First International Conference
A Statement of Principles

CHAPTER 7

The growing struggle of the war resister
Russia
United States of America
France
Czechoslovakia
The Anti-Conscription Campaign
The Anti-Conscription Manifesto and world opinion
Conscription, alternative service and war resistance
Alternative service

CHAPTER 8

Social revolution and war resistance
Pacifism and freedom
WRI’s contact with Gandhi
WRI and the League Against Imperialism
The Sonntagsberg Conference

CHAPTER 9

After Sonntagsberg
War resistance and the stand of socialists
Christian pacifism and war resistance
A WRI friend visits two COs in prison
Joint Advisory Council – Joint Peace Council
A youth wing for the International
StudycConferences
The first study conference
Affiliates outside Europe and North America
The Digswell Park Conference
The Bart de Ligt Plan

CHAPTER 10

Gathering war clouds – a challenge
WRI resolution on Austria
The political situation in Germany
Changes in Europe
Italy’s occupation of Ethiopia
In Fascist Italy
Japanese occupation of Manchuria
Industrial war resistance
The Spanish Civil War
The loss of Brockway and Einstein
Dick Sheppard’s Pledge
The pacifist attitude to Nazi Germany
Relief work in war-torn Spain and with refugees
WRI faces the challenge
Special need to emphasise adherence to the declaration
The state of the movement and the approaching world war
Re-affirmation of principles
The Fifth and the last pre-war Triennial Conference
Conscientious objectors speak

CHAPTER 11

The Second World War
Adolf Hitler – the Nazi Messiah
What did The League of Nations achieve?
On the eve of the Second World War
War breaks out
Work in various countries of Europe
Denmark – the King defies Adolf Hitler
Norway – teachers defy the Quisling government
Sweden
Finland
The Baltic States and Russia
Czechoslovakia
Switzerland
Belgium
Holland
France
Italy
Malta
Bulgaria
Hungary, Yugoslavia and Greece
Roumania
Spain and Portugal
Germany and Austria
Poland
Countries outside Europe
U.S.A.
WRL on Dumbarton Oaks Proposal
Canada
Mexico
South America
Australia
New Zealand
South Africa
Lansbury Gate Farm – Great Britain
‘Practical pacifism’
Hope for the future
Opposition by the Danes against Nazi occupation
Peace Now – proposals for a sensible peace settlement
Statement by the authors of the proposal
Basis of the proposals
The Proposals
The end of the war
Unconditional surrender

CHAPTER 12

New Challenges in the Aftermath of War
France
Belgium
Holland
Finland
Austria
Germany
Other accounts
Simultaneous Regional Conferences
Suggested agenda for the simultaneous conferences
Additional suggestions for the agenda
The conferences
Conference in New York
Arms race and disarmament
World government – national sovereignty – United Nations
Power politics – imperialism
Atomic energy – the economic factor
Freedoms
What shall we do?
Other regional conferences
Conference in Los Angeles
The WRI Council enlarged
War Resisters’ hope for the future
The first post-war Council Meeting
Right of Conscience, and Alternative Service
Statement On Alternative Service
New Headquarters for WRI

CHAPTER 13

Post-Second World War pacifism and the WRI
An Unfavorable Climate
Options for the WRI?
India’s nonviolent struggle for freedom and its impact on pacifists
Rajendra Prasad’s visit
Shrewsbury Conference – 1948
Bread and peace
The memorandum
Anti-militarism and Gandhian economics
Pacifism and liberation
Gandhi’s call for a World Pacifist Meeting
The World Pacifist Meeting
Some personal impressions
The struggle against military service
Some pioneer objectors who inspired the young
Pietro Pinna from Italy
Jean van Lierde from Belgium
Jean-Bernard Moreau of France
The death of Runham Brown
Proposals for changes of structure and priorities
An American proposal for future strategies

CHAPTER 14

The Fifties
WRI and the Cold War
Russian influence and its impact
United Nations Organisation
The alternative to militarist blocks
The Third Way
Where to look for third camp forces
Comments on the Third Camp
Other movements and the Third Camp
Religious Aspects of the Third Camp
Contact with other international organisations
Peace organisations
UN Economic and Social Council
UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
International Bill of Human Rights
World Council of Peace
Formation of Executive Committee
Grace Beaton’s resignation
The Roehampton Triennial – 1957
India’s Land-gift Movement
Further development of the concept of war resistance
Recognition of CO as a basic human right
Appeal by WRI Council to UN Human Rights Commission
Would legal recognition be a pacifist victory?
Prisoners for Peace Day
The relationship with the Sections
How much mutuality between headquarters and Sections?
Direct individual membership

CHAPTER 15

The Sixties
The Gandhigram Triennial – 1960
Triennial arrangements
The WRI in Gandhigram
The Gandhigram Statement
WRI sets up the World Peace Brigade
WPB Conference in Beirut
Relations between WPB and WRI
The WPB launches its First Project
Everyman III, WPB ‘Project Leningrad’
Research on conflict and peace
The Partinico Council Meeting and Changes in the WRI Secretariat
Arlo Tatum’s Statement
Proposal to move the headquarters to India
Change of General Secretary
International Council Meeting 1962
International Confederation for Disarmament and Peace
Tony Smythe leaves the WRI
War Resisters’ International News Service
Charbonnières Study Conference – 1963
Moving Headquarters to Central London
Lansbury House Trust Fund
Publication programme of the International

CHAPTER 16

The WRI widens its concerns
The Korean crisis
The background of the crisis
Action by Sections
Eleventh Triennial Conference – 1963
The Cuban Missile Crisis
The Sino–Indian War
Emergency Laws in West Germany
India–Pakistan war
The Leaflet
WRI-WCP Meeting at Ostend
Nonviolent revolution needs Training in Nonviolence
The first conference on training
Education for a World without War – study conference 1966
The Rome Triennial 1966
Meeting of the International Council 1966
The Vietnam War
WRI’s Response to American War in Vietnam
Memoranda on Vietnam situation
The Rome Triennial and the Vietnam War
Resolution on ‘War in Vietnam’
The leaflets
World campaign in support of American deserters
Asylum for deserters and AWOLs
Vietnam Direct Action Project
In support of the open letter by 7 US resisters
Pacem in Terris II – Manifest of Love
A Manifesto of love on behalf of the Human Race
WRI and the Liberation Movements
Russian Invasion of Czechoslovakia
Project – Support Czechoslovakia Action
The Leaflet
Protest Teams to Moscow, Warsaw, Budapest and Sofia
Biafra’s Struggle for Independence
Boycott of Arms to Nigeria and Biafra
Invasion of Anguilla by the British
Mahatma Gandhi’s Centenary
The Thirteenth Triennial Conference
Liberation and Revolution – Gandhi’s Challenge
The Conference
Work in commissions
A call for A Manifesto for Nonviolent Revolution
Commission on Training for Nonviolent Action
Commission on the Middle East
Motion on Nonviolent Revolution and Developing Countries
Chairman’s closing speech
A few highlights of the Conference
Randy Kehler – ready for prison
Vigil in support of Bob Eaton – at the Philadelphia Court
International Year of Human Rights – 1968
Gandhi’s Relevance Today
International Seminar in Budapest
Appeal to all who cherish peace: Seminar Statement

CHAPTER 17

Beyond Anti-Militarism
Second seminar on Mahatma Gandhi’s Relevance Today
Aid and development
Concluding Statement of the Seminar
Invasion of Cambodia
Special Press Release Issued by the Headquarters and the Chairman
State of the struggle against conscription
Training for Nonviolent Action
The seminar
Spain’s first pacifist CO – Pepe Beunza
The Bourg-Madam demonstrations
The trial of Pepe Beunza
Beunza’s letters from prison
Operation Omega
Bangla Desh declares independence
Operation Omega
A worldwide Appeal from Omega
The Indian response
Independent Bangla Desh
‘Fifty years of war resistance: what now?’
Council Meeting in Germany – July 1971
Homage to Louis Lecoin
Conscientious Objection on the United Nations’ agenda
The Northern Ireland crisis
Human rights, conscientious objection and the sale of arms
The fourteenth Triennial Conference
Revolution: Prospects and Strategies
Manifesto for Nonviolent Revolution
Aid and development
Sex roles liberation
International Action commission
Some Comments and experiences of the fourteenth Triennial
General Secretary’s retirement
1972–1975
A New Staff Structure
Council Meeting – St Louis, May 1973
Move to Brussels
The fifteenth Triennial Conference

EPILOGUE

Unity and Mutuality
The non-Western World

APPENDICES

APPENDIX ONE: Constitution and Rules
APPENDIX TWO: International conferences
APPENDIX THREE: Meetings of the International Council
APPENDIX FOUR: Members of the International Council
APPENDIX FIVE: Some selected publications of WRI (1921–1975)
APPENDIX SIX: WRI International Network
APPENDIX SEVEN: Austria and Germany – Between two world wars
APPENDIX EIGHT: Herbert Runham Brown, 1879–1949
APPENDIX NINE: Grace Beaton leaves the WRI
APPENDIX TEN: Is legal recognition a pacifist victory?
APPENDIX ELEVEN: Bob Eaton’s trial
APPENDIX TWELVE: Discussion on WRI policy
APPENDIX THIRTEEN: Objectives of WRI
APPENDIX FOURTEEN: WRI gets Consultative Status at UN
APPENDIX FIFTEEN: WRI and the non-Western world

INDEX

ILLUSTRATIONS

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Theme
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