Report of the Office and Executive Committee to the International Conference on Activities in the years 2006–2009

en
es

Introduction

In this report, we present the good work that War Resisters' International has been involved with since 2006 and the challenges WRI faces to become more effective. Yet our starting point, as always, has to be the world in which we live.
WRI's work mainly revolves around two themes - refusing war and war preparations, and promoting nonviolent action.

If our work on refusing war has registered some gains, these are far outweighed by the climate
engendered by the "war against terror" which states
invokes to justify state terrorism and torture, and to insist on
unquestioning obedience to "military necessity" - no
matter how criminal. Where there is war, however, we usually find
some level of resistance. If a strong movement has yet to cohere
against the war in Afghanistan and the kind of thinking that lends
it a veil of legitimacy, at least a basis is being laid for this,
including through the work against NATO in which WRI is engaged.

At the WRI conference in 2006 on
"Globalising Nonviolence", there was optimism about the
growing "counter-power" of the movements opposing
capitalist globalisation. Perhaps these movements are now in a less
optimistic phase, yet at the same time the spread of the use of
nonviolent action on global issues continues in local livelihood
struggles as well as on global issues such as climate change. The
"people power" revolutions of the early part of the decade
have had only limited success in establishing democratic values in
their societies - and it is clear that there is need and more space
for the kind of values-based construction of nonviolent movements
that WRI advocates. At the same time, the current resistance to the
coup in Honduras and the range of international nonviolent actions
mounted in solidarity with the Palestinians are just the most
publicised of a growing range of activities where people turn to
nonviolent action to confront unjust and illegitimate power.

WRI itself has not made many headlines
in the last three or four years. However, we think we have taken
some solid steps in both of our staffed programmes – the Right to
Refuse to Kill and the Nonviolence Programme (which includes our
work against War Profiteers) – as well as in our networking
activities, especially in Latin America and in the European campaign
against NATO (which includes opposing the further militarisation of
the European Union). Moreover, five years ago, we rather expected
that by 2009 we might be discussing how to close down the WRI
office. Instead, we are in a slightly stronger position and looking
forward with some optimism. Our work is having an impact, which puts
us in a better position – with your help – to find the resources
to make it viable.

Finances


Achievements



  • WRI received two significant
    (but one-time) grants, including our first ever from EU funds,
    which may be used as a model for future fundraising.



  • We were able to significantly
    cut our regular costs, especially the costs of office rent.



  • Not exactly an achievement,
    but due to several legacies WRI has received, we were able to keep
    afloat, and now have a better balance than at the beginning of this
    period.



Challenges



  • Network-generated
    income continues to be a small proportion of what WRI needs.



  • There
    is still no permanent and reliable source of funding for the
    Nonviolence Programme.



  • Income
    from sales and individual donations is dwindling.



  • WRI
    needs to find other reliable sources of income (e.g. through
    affiliates doing more international fund-raising, through
    merchandising, through internationalising our donor base, etc.)





Figure
1: Evolution of WRI's network income sources 1998-2008


As we prepare
for the Triennial, time has come to have a look back at the
evolution of WRI's finances over the past few years. We found quite
useful to do it from a 10-year perspective, keeping in mind what
Council said in 2004: "WRI should maintain its radical
anti-militarist character and should function as a network
rather than switch to being a funding-led NGO".


The figures you see tell a different
story:





  • Figure
    2: WRI general financial results 1998-2008


    Our main direct income from
    the WRI network, the affiliations fees, have gone up and down

    over the past decade, reaching an all-time low in 2007 (See Figure
    1). We have fared much better in 2008 and will try to maintain that
    trend through more efficient reminders to affiliates, but this
    income covers less than half a salary in the London office, which
    makes us highly dependent on external non-network based funding.




  • WRI project fundraising (mostly
    the Right to Refuse to Kill programme) is the single most important
    funding source. In 2007, for example, it accounted for 57% of
    our overall income.
    However, this grant will not go on forever,
    and we will have to find alternatives in the short to medium term.
    In the meanwhile, we are still faced with the challenge of getting
    a stable funding source for the Nonviolence programme, which WRI
    has been financing mostly out of its general funds. It is an
    extremely valuable programme, well-received within and outside the
    WRI network. Giving it continuity is one of our top priorities.





  • Individual donations, once a
    significant source of funding, have come down to represent
    less than 10% of the overall income. Our donor base is still
    overwhelmingly British and does not renew itself.



  • The rest of our regular income comes
    from merchandising. However, this is a very small
    contribution
    , especially since the sales of Broken Rifle badges
    have dwindled to almost nothing.




As you can see from Figure 2, the year
results (i.e., straight income minus expenses) have shown mostly
deficits, with a record low in 2002. So, what has saved the WRI
central office from having to shut down? Of course, we have cut
on office expenses all we could
without
major disruption, the last one being a significant reduction
in office space at Caledonian Road, which does not make staff work
any easier. But what has kept us afloat have actually been
periodical, life-saving
legacies
(see Figure 3). We would, of course, like to express
our gratitude to the individuals – past volunteers and supporters,
such as Ron and Inge Carley and Dorothy Merkins
who bequeathed these life-saving sums to us. However, legacies are
hardly a predictable, sustainable funding source for an organisation
like ours.




Figure
3: Proportion of different funding sources in WRI's income,
1998-2008, not including grants.







In summary, there is therefore a
permanent tension between our ambitions – following a
network rather than NGO model, investing in projects we believe in,
organising costly international meetings, etc. – and our
ability to diversify funding sources
and obtain funds in due
time.



Not everything is bad news, though, and
there are some encouraging signs we might be able to start turning
things around. Here are some examples:




  • In 2008, we managed to break even
    thanks partly to a £15,000 legacy, but mostly to getting 100%
    funding for the Bilbao Council meeting (including almost £10,000
    for the Nonviolence Programme). We also cut down on central office
    costs.



  • The 2009 CO day event was a financial
    success, mostly due to the efforts of our Korean affiliates. This
    is the way to go.



  • Towards the end of 2009, we have
    received a €20,000 grant as part of the “Europe for Peace”
    project. The programme and fundraising process is a collective
    effort by several groups in Europe (initiated by our Flemish
    section, Vredesactie),
    most of which are WRI affiliates. WRI's central office participated
    in this project as a UK-based group, and the money will be used to
    organise a meeting in the UK linked to the work of the Nonviolence
    Programme. This is the first time that WRI (as distinct from its
    affiliates) receives European Union funds. It is also a very good
    model to follow in the future, especially because it is a
    consequence of political work.



  • On the merchandising and publications
    side, almost all the copies of the English edition of the Handbook
    for Nonviolent Campaigns
    have been speedily distributed through
    bulk orders to WRI affiliates and other organisations. We are
    also looking into merchandising options which can be organised and
    shipped from outside the London office (e.g. a music CD), and would
    like to pursue other ideas with WRI affiliates who could take the
    lead on it. The new WRI webshop will prove a big help in that
    respect.




Looking at the future, we have
to keep working on long-term sustainability and one of the main
goals is to increase the percentage of funds coming from
the WRI network.
Getting external funding costs an enormous
amount of time, and fundraising cannot fall only on an already
overstretched staff and Exec, as the work priorities shift too far
away from continued network building and programme development.



We therefore need more overall
commitment from the network to pay affiliate fees
and
to engage in other international fund-raising activities as several
have for the conference in India. We also could organise
merchandising agreements with some of our member
organisations, both for income and visibility (such cooperation is
also necessary because the London office is now very limited in
storage space). And we need to adapt our pattern of events
to financial reality
. Important savings have already been made.
For instance, we are testing out an electronic Council format; but
face-to-face meetings remain indispensable and the success of such
meetings depends strongly on fundraising efforts by local organisers
and specific affiliates, as conference and travel costs are
increasingly difficult to obtain from foundations and trusts.



Another important goal is to
internationalise and diversify our individual donor base
: WRI´s
new website will be very useful to reach out to even more people,
but the support of our affiliates remains absolutely necessary,
especially outside of Britain. Affiliates could help by giving WRI
access to their database, organising an appeal on WRI´s behalf or
holding a fundraising event in WRI's benefit.



Finally, it is very important we
identify and pursue funding sources for the Nonviolence
Programme
, which cannot receive deficit funding any longer. Here
again, WRI affiliates can help, approaching funders in their own
countries.



It is hard work, but we do get the
rewards from it: higher visibility outside the network, more
dynamism inside the network, more representation from countries in
the South and more south to south collaboration… WRI is still up
and walking after all these years, this is no mean feat in our
current world.


Programme
Work



The Nonviolence Programme


Achievements



  • The Handbook for
    Nonviolent Campaigns
    has been
    written and published. Within six months of its publication it has
    already been translated to five languages and more than a thousand
    print copies have been sent out.



  • Important networking has been
    fostered by various programme activities.



  • A first training project (in
    Russia) has been organised under the auspices of the programme, and
    others are planned.



  • WRI has gained much
    credibility in its work on linking different struggles against war
    profiteering.



  • Some fundraising successes
    have been scored, from the relatively small-scale “Triathletes
    for Peace” effort to the relatively large one-off grants secured
    for the Nonviolence Trainers' Exchange in Bilbao and the new Europe
    for Peace project.



Challenges



  • Despite
    these local successes, the Nonviolence Programme still has no
    regular source of funding, and creates a deficit of up to £30,000
    in WRI's annual balance. A reliable source of funding for the
    programme has to be secured.



  • The
    programme needs to have a stronger programme committee accompanying
    it.




The Nonviolence Programme was created
in 2005 and has since been staffed by Javier Gárate. In 2005 the NV
Programme was supposed to run for two years using money in WRI's
general funds, with the aim of making the programme self financed
afterwards.


Funding



Funding still remains the biggest
challenge of the programme, though we had some successful
experiences, especially thanks to the work of Dominique Saillard
as WRI Treasurer, who obtained a considerable, but non-renewable,
grant from the Basque Government. The programme has launched a
number of appeals to individuals, some bringing in more money than
others. The latest and relatively successful one was the Triathletes
for Peace appeal, where Javier Gárate, Andy Neidhardt,
Ed Neidhardt and Matt Neidhardt ran the London
Triathlon to raise funds for the programme. The programme has
received some project-specific grants, which include the grants for
the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns from Haella Foundation
and a grant for the work against war profiteering by Greenpeace
London.



Obtaining a larger grant that can cover
for a larger percent of the programme expenses is still a challenge
for the programme. We are now working on raising funds for our work
against war profiteers and for projects linked to nonviolence
training and resources.


Projects


Handbook
for Nonviolent Campaigns



After much work by the editorial
committee and staff, the Handbook was published in February 2009,
with a print run of 1200 copies. Currently (October 2009) there are
less than 100 copies left in the WRI office and a new print run is
being considered. All the content of the handbook is available on
the WRI website, where there are already new resources that did not
appear in the printed version, and which we plan to continue
updating.



The Handbook has so far been translated
into Arabic, Indonesian, Korean, Russian and Spanish. Some of the
texts in the other languages are available from the WRI website as
well. The Indonesian version has already been published while the
Arabic, Korean and Spanish are in the process of being published.
The Russian version is only planned to be distributed as a PDF file.
A Turkish version is being worked on and plans for translating the
Handbook into Hebrew are also being considered.



Both the demand for the English version
and the number of translations show that the Handbook has been well
received and that it answered a real need in terms of resources for
nonviolent campaigning.


Nonviolence
training



Since 2006 the Nonviolence Programme
has conducted several nonviolence trainings. Some have been offered
at world and regional Social Forums, as well as at the Alternative
Social Forum in Caracas, Venezuela. In April 2009, a weekend
training was given in Russia by Jørgen Johansen and
coordinated by the Nonviolence Programme. The Nonviolence Programme
also helped coordinate the nonviolent direct action training in
preparation for the NATO-ZU action at the NATO Summit in Strasbourg
in 2009.


Nonviolence
Trainers' Exchange



Attached to the 2008 WRI Council, there
was a nonviolence training exchange gathering organised by the
Nonviolence Programme in Bilbao, Basque Country. The gathering
brought together trainers from different parts of the world for a
three day event. Participants mainly included members of WRI but
trainers from outside the WRI network also took part.




Nonviolence
Trainer's Exchange, Bilbao






Global
Initiative against War Profiteers




WRI's
e-newsletter warprofiteers-news


Working against war profiteers
has been part of the programme since its beginning. First it was
conceived as a global campaign against war profiteers, with the aim
of building a global campaign. This effort was not pursued as it was
hard for the network to agree on one focus for a campaign. In the
last years the effort has been on sharing resources on campaigns
against war profiteers. In 2006 the programme started producing a
by-monthly newsletter – War Profiteers' News – featuring stories
on campaigns against war profiteers and with the highlighted
sections The War Profiteer of the Month and the Campaign of the
Month. For the production of the newsletter there has been a special
effort to invite people working in the field to write articles and
also do their own companies and campaigns profiles, which has
strengthen the cooperation with groups working against war
profiteers.


Javier
Gárate has represented WRI at several European Network
Against Arms Trade (ENAAT) meetings, he also attended the Stop the
Merchants of Death Conference in the USA. As part of this work the
programme has regularly given workshops on the topic at Social Forum
gathering and also gave a presentation at a conference in Medellin,
Colombia, organised by Red Juvenil.

Nonviolence for Change



As mentioned above, the NV programme
organised a WRI presence at a number of Social Forums – with a
comparatively large delegation at the World Social Forum in Nairobi,
Kenya. The NV programme also helped coordinate the efforts of the
European Peace Action Forum in Malmø, that was part of the European
Social Forum. See also under Regionalisation.




WRI
staff Yvonne Kassim at the World Social Forum in Kenya






WRI's
International Conferences



The Nonviolence Programme is closely
linked to the thematic focus of both the previous and the upcoming
WRI International Conference. The 2006 Triennial in Paderborn,
Germany covered a wide range of areas of where nonviolence is alive
in social movements and brought together activists from all
continents. The upcoming Triennial in Ahmedabad, India, with the
theme: “Nonviolent Livelihood Struggle and Global Militarism:
Links & Strategies” is also closely related to the work of the
Nonviolence Programme and promises to be an important gathering to
continue strategising on how to make nonviolence play a more
fundamental role in our work for social change.


The
Right to Refuse to Kill Programme


Achievements



  • WRI was able to renew the grant for the Right to Refuse to Kill
    programme. The programme is now financed until April 2011.



  • The UN Working
    Group on Arbitrary Detention now considers any detention of a CO as
    arbitrary, not just repeated imprisonment.



  • Work
    with Colombian CO groups has been stabilised.



Challenges



  • It is becoming
    increasingly difficult to find a focus country for the
    International Day on Conscientious Objection (15 May), and to raise
    the funds needed for the international event.



  • It has
    so far not been possible to strengthen the work of WRI and European
    WRI affiliates on counter-recruitment and the professionalisation
    of the military.



  • There is presently little awareness of the issue of conscientious
    objection for professional soldiers.



  • The
    programme needs to have a stronger programme committee accompanying
    it and promoting more activist involvement.




The Right to Refuse to Kill programme
was launched in 2001, with initial funding for 2 years (up to April
2003). WRI succeeded in securing further funding three times, now
until April 2011. The programme is staffed by Andreas Speck.


Activities


International
CO Day



WRI started to co-ordinate activities
for International Conscientious Objection Day (15 May) in 2002, to
fill a void left by the International Conscientious Objection
Meeting (ICOM), which did not meet after 1996, and now no longer
exists.



In 2007, International CO Day focused
on Colombia, and was organised in co-operation with the National
Assembly of Conscientious Objectors
in Colombia. The event was
hosted by WRI affiliate Red Juvenil in Medellín.



The focus of International CO Day 2008
was on the professionalisation of the military, and
counter-recruitment. However, due to a range of problems an
international event did not happen that year.



In 2009, the focus was on South Korea.
In addition to an issue of The Broken Rifle, WRI published a
documentation on conscientious objection in South Korea, in close
co-operation with Korea Solidarity for Conscientious Objection
(KSCO).




Performance
in Seoul on 15 May 2009 - International Conscientious Objection
Day. Photo: Simo Hellsten







In 2009, South Korean intern Myungjin
Moon
and German volunteer Julian Dinkgrefe did a lot of
the work on the documentation. In addition, Myungjin Moon drafted an
update to the WRI World Survey Conscientious Objection and
Recruitment
country report.



For 2010, it is planned to have a focus
on Women and Conscientious Objection. A possible host country for an
international event is Paraguay.


Prisoners
for Peace Day



While WRI attempted in the past to
develop Prisoners for Peace Day on 1 December into more of a
campaign, this has not been successful. Since 1 December is now also
World Aids Day, it is almost impossible to get media attention for a
niche theme such as Prisoners for Peace on that day.



In 2006, the focus of Prisoners for
Peace Day was on “Supporting peace and human rights in Russia”,
following the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. In
2007, the focus was “Support antimilitarists in Turkey”.



In 2008, it was decided to scale back
Prisoners for Peace Day, and to no longer produce an issue of
The Broken Rifle dedicated to it. This coincided with the
launch of WRI's new website, which includes a permanent Prisoners
for Peace
list, accessible via the “In Prison Now
link on the front page. However, in 2008 WRI still produced a
“Prisoners for Peace Honour Roll”, which was also included with
WRI's December Appeal.


Conscientious
Objection Information System (COBIS)



With the launch of WRI's new
website in November 2008, WRI also launched the Conscientious
Objection Information System

(COBIS). The COBIS system combines several elements of WRI's work on
conscientious objection:




  • WRI's co-alert system in cases of
    imprisoned conscientious objectors;



  • a conscientious objector and activist
    database;



  • the co-update e-newsletter;



  • and the world survey on conscientious
    objection and recruitment.




The system also includes a permanent
Prisoners for Peace list, which will strengthen our support for
imprisoned conscientious objectors and peace activists.



The core of COBIS is the
Activist/Conscientious objectors' database, which features
conscientious objectors from many countries, and includes a range of
data.


Women
CO Anthology



While the project to publish a Women CO
Anthology, which started after the WRI Council meeting in South
Korea in 2005, got stalled in 2008, despite some initial enthusiasm,
it was revived again in 2009 and is now scheduled for publication in
early 2010 (ISBN 978‐0‐903517‐22‐5).



Almost all contributions have now been
received and translated into English. They also have been reviewed
by editors Ellen Elster and Majken Sørensen, and are
presently being copy-edited by Mitzi Bales. Cynthia Enloe
has contributed a preface, and so far WRI received endorsements from
Cynthia Cockburn and Ayse Gül Altinaı.







World
Survey of Conscientious Objection and Recruitment
updates



As
a cooperation project with WRI Council member Tobias
Pflüger
MEP, WRI produced
an update to the Refusing to
bear arms
world survey,
limited to the countries of the European Union and European Union
candidate countries. This update includes information on
conscientious objection for professional soldiers. The update was
published by the GUE/NGL parliamentary group in October 2008, and
the individual country reports
have also been incorporated into WRI's World
Survey on Conscientious Objection and Recruitment
.
The report itself can be downloaded from WRI's website. Print copies
are available free of charge on WRI's webshop at
http://wri-irg.org/node/8415.



In addition to this update, the country
report on Eritrea has been updated by Julian Dinkgrefe, and
the country report on Switzerland was updated by WRI's programme
staff.


Country-Specific
Work


Colombia



Since 2006, Colombia has been one focus
of WRI's Right to Refuse to Kill programme. In July 2006, just
before the WRI Triennial in Germany, Andreas Speck
participated in an international conference on solidarity with
Colombian conscientious objectors in Bogota. This was the beginning
of a close co-operation with the National Assembly of
Conscientious Objectors
(ANOOC) in Colombia.



International Conscientious Objection
Day 2007 focused on Colombia (see above), and on this day WRI and
ANOOC also launched the “Conscientious Objectors' ID Card”.
Although the card does not have any legal status, it is a symbol of
the recognition of the right to CO in international law, especially
following the ground-breaking decision of the UN Human Rights
Committee on two South Korean CO cases from November 2006
(CCPR/C/88/D/1321-1322/2004, 23 January 2007).




The
CO ID card (sample)


The card and the underlying
Conscientious Objectors' Database form the basis of solidarity
activities in case a 'registered' conscientious objector gets into
trouble with the Colombian authorities, as background infomation
about the CO concerned is then already available to the network
(with the launch of WRI's new website in November 2008, the database
has been expanded to also include conscientious objectors from other
countries. It is now also the basis for WRI's permanent Prisoners
for Peace list).


Two members of the Accion Colectiva
de Objetores y Objetoras de Conciencia
from Bogotá visited
Europe in November and December 2007, and also visited several WRI
affiliates – among others, groups of AA-MOC in the state of Spain
and Union Pacifiste in France.



Andreas Speck visited Colombia
again in May 2008, and visited groups in Cali, Villa Rica, Bogotá,
Sincelejo, and Medellin. He also met various governmental officials
and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in
Colombia.



Also in May 2008, the United Nations
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention published its Opinion No
8 (Colombia) on three cases from Colombia, submitted to the Working
Group by War Resisters' International.



In March 2009, Colombian NGOs and CO
groups submitted a “demand of inconstitutionality” to Colombia's
Constitutional Court, claiming that the country's recruitment law
violates the constitution by not providing exemption for
conscientious objectors. Jointly with the Quaker United Nations
Office at Conscience and Peace Tax International, WRI submitted an
Amicus Brief to the Constitutional Court.



In August 2009, WRI submitted a
detailed report on recruitment and conscientious objection in
Colombia to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.



In addition, WRI has intervened with
Colombian authorities in several individual cases of recruitment. In
spring 2008, the combined efforts of ANOOC, WRI and others lead to
the release of Diego Alexander Pulgarin and Diego Yesid Bosa Rico
from military service, after several months of resisting within the
military.


Turkey




Halil
Savda


Turkey was the focus for
Prisoners for Peace Day 2007. In addition, WRI acted on the cases of
COs Halil Savda and Mehmet Bal, both of whom were
arrested in the course of 2007. Mehmet Bal has now been released,
while Halil Savda was only released after serving his prison term.
Both have been discharged from the Turkish army as unfit for
military service. Turkish COs consider the discharge of objectors
from the military as “unfit for service” following an arrest to
be possibly a new strategy of the Turkish state.


WRI presented the case of Halil Savda
to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. Its opinion,
published in May 2008, goes further than in the past and now says
that any deprivation of an objector's liberty – not just repeated
imprisonment – has to be seen as arbitrary.



The Turkish edition of the book
documenting the international conference on CO in Istanbul on 27-28
January 2007 has been published. The English edition was published
by Zed Books in spring 2009, and is now available on WRI's webshop.
Both have been edited by Özgür Heval Cınar and Coskun
Üsterçi
, and include contributions by, among others, Andreas
Speck
, WRI Executive member Pelao Carvallo, and several
other WRI activists.


Russia



Andreas Speck and Exec member
Sergeiy Sandler visited Russia in late February and early
March 2007, consolidating existing links and making new contacts
with a variety of Russian groups. It is becoming increasingly clear
that most Russian contacts are interested in WRI for its experience
of antimilitarism and nonviolence, and work little on the
formalities of conscientious objection. As a follow-up, Olga
Miryasova
participated in the WRI/New Profile seminar on gender
and militarism in August 2007, where she gave a presentation on
“Abuse in the Military – Gender Aspects” (available on the WRI
website).



Work on Russia also continues as part
of the Nonviolence Programme.


Organisation
and Network


The
Office


Staff,
Volunteers and Interns



All three WRI staff members have often
been working long hours, and the workload has sometimes been
increased due to changes in the office (see below). In September
2009, WRI's finance and admin worker Yvonne Kassim retired,
and at the time of writing the report WRI is recruiting a
replacement.



In the last three years WRI has
received a range of volunteers and interns. Sofie Henell
helped in the office about two days a week in autumn 2008 with work
on the India conference. Julian Dinkgrefe from Germany did a
voluntary social year in the WRI Office from August 2008 to July
2009, doing most of the porting of the old WRI website to the new
website. In September 2009, Christopher Bösch from Germany
started his voluntary social year in the WRI Office. From January to
April 2009 Myungjin Moon from South Korea did a three month
internship in the WRI office, mostly working on conscientious
objection in South Korea.



Unfortunately, in September 2007, two
Russian interns who were supposed to come to London got their visas
denied. This meant that work on Russia could not progress as much as
we would have hoped.



London-based volunteer Natasha
Burton
volunteered in the office three days a week from 2007
until December 2008, first trying to raise funds for a co-operation
project with the Eritrean Antimilitarism Initiative in Germany and
the Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights in South
Africa. After that, she developed a research proposal on military
service and domestic violence. Martyn Lowe is still taking
care of WRI's paper archives, and helps with mailings. Mitzi
Bales
is presently volunteering to copy-edit the Women CO
Anthology.



Until the launch of the new WRI
website, in November 2008, Ken Simons was the voluntary
webmaster of WRI, often putting up new information at an incredible
speed. Simo Hellsten volunteered to provide the theming for
WRI's new website.



WRI has also benefited from the work of
our financial agents: Tom
Leonard in New York, taking over from the late Ralph DiGia, and
Helga Weber in Germany continue to do vital voluntary work handling
WRI's income in the USA and Germany.



And last but not least, WRI would not
be able to function without the many voluntary translators: Inge
Dreger
, Gerd Büntzly, Francesca Denley, Pedro
J. Ballesteros
, Carlos Barranco, Nayua Abdelkefi,
Pelao Carvallo, Oscar Huenchunao, Cecile Barbeito
Thonon
, Ima Katarina Segunda Drolshagen, Silke
Makowski
, Tikiri, Rene Burget, and many others.



Deaths: Under finance, we have
already noted legacies bequeathed to WRI by people who have died
since 2006. We also look back with gratitude on the long and active
lives of figures such as Jean van Lierde, past treasurer and
vice-chair of WRI, Ralph DiGia, our US financial agent for
decades, and Howard and Margaret Cheney (British tax
resisters and generous donors to WRI). The sudden death of Keith
Goddard
in October 2009, director of Gays and Lesbians of
Zimbabwe who had planned to come to the conference in Ahmedabad, has
been a heavy blow for all those who worked with him.


Office
Space and Equipment



There have been many changes in the
office space, especially in 2007, aimed at cutting down on office
rent. WRI gave up the meeting room and the small front office at the
1st floor of 5 Caledonian Rd., London. In exchange, WRI
got a new small office extension on the roof of the building. Peace
News Trustees, the owners of the building, have also created a new
meeting room space in the basement, which can be used by all the
groups based at 5 Caledonian Rd. free of charge.



All these office changes put an extra
burden on WRI staff, who not only had to cope with the construction
works, but also had to do some of them, especially wiring and
furnishings, themselves. However, these changes allow us to save
several thousand pounds a year on rent.



In 2008, WRI took over managing its
premises from the Lansbury House Trust Fund, who had acted as
an intermediary before. Immediately, WRI switched its electricity
provider and now uses Ecotricity, a company providing
electricity produced entirely from renewable sources, mainly from
wind turbines.



In terms of equipment, WRI maintained
its policy to buy one new computer every year, to keep its computer
system up to date. In September 2009, WRI also completed the process
of moving the entire office to the GNU/Linux operating
system, so that WRI no longer is dependent on commercial proprietary
software.


The
Network


Achievements



  • After a long break, WRI again
    has a treasurer.



  • Serious work has been done,
    and partly implemented, on the WRI's pattern of meetings.



  • WRI's first ever
    Internet-based Council meeting took place in June 2009.



Challenges



  • Follow-up
    on discussions and decisions between Council meetings is minimal.
    Almost all of the work that is being done is coordinated, and
    mostly performed, by the office staff and, to a lesser degree, by
    Executive members and a handful of other committed, but busy,
    individuals.



  • Gender
    balance on Council and in the Executive Committee is difficult to
    attain.



  • Participation
    in the e-Council was strongly dominated by men, and by staff and
    Executive Committee members.



  • WRI
    needs to review the utility of the Working Groups, that only exist
    nominally, and adopt other models for developing cooperation.



Executive
Committee



The Executive consists of Howard
Clark
(chair), Boro Kitanoski, Sergeiy Sandler,
Majken Sørensen (until July 2008), Pelao Carvallo
(from September 2008), and Hilal Demir (from September 2008).
Dominique Saillard joined the Executive as Acting Treasurer
in February 2008, and was appointed as Treasurer at the Council
Meeting in Bilbao in September 2008. The Executive as a whole now
has a clearer understanding of financial objectives. Dominique has
also contributed her own fundraising and organisational skills into
our work. She obtained the funding for the Nonviolence Training
Exchange
and the 2008 Council in Bilbao and did much of the
organising work for the event.



The Executive usually met three times a
year – once at the seminar and Council meeting, and twice in the
course of the year. While regular Executive meetings were
traditionally held in the office, since 2008, they have increasingly
taken place elsewhere, often linked to other activities (such as
NATO-Game over in Brussels in March 2008, or the Berlin anti-NATO
conference in October 2009), to allow for a stronger WRI presence in
these events.


Council
meetings and conferences



The 2007 Council meeting was held in
Neve Shalom, Israel, in August 2007. The 2007 Council meeting raised
several issues of importance for our future work. Substantial
progress has been made on the difficult issue of the WRI
Constitution, serious and detailed consideration has been given to
planning WRI's pattern of meetings in the coming years and some
thinking was started on decentralising WRI's activities, both to
prepare for the possibility of losing our central office and to
strengthen the WRI network in general.



Alas, follow-up on these subjects in
between Council meetings was a problem – another testimony to the
need to expand and invigorate our network. The issue of
decentralisation was essentially not followed up. The Constitution
Committee held very few discussions over the following year.



Council 2008 took place in September
2008 in Bilbao in the Basque Country (State of Spain), and was
mainly organised by WRI's Treasurer Dominique Saillard. The
Council finalised a proposal for a new WRI Constitution (see under
Constitution), and decided on to hold WRI's an electronic Council
meeting in summer 2009.



WRI's electronic Council meeting (or
e-Council, for short) was held on 3-16 June 2009. While we did have
an e-mail consultation of Council back in 2003, this was the first
time we experimented with an internet-based format for a proper
Council meeting. This, of course, allowed for a very significant
saving in resources, and is a format that we should probably be
using more in the future.



In some senses the experiment was a
success. There were discussions, some quite lively, on the different
Council threads. All in all, we had 34 people taking part, on one
level or other, in e-Council discussions, which is quite comparable
to the attendance of a physical Council meeting.



That said, the pattern of participation
revealed many problems. About two thirds of participants were men,
who were responsible for more than 85% (!) of all posts to the
discussion threads – a classical exercise in gender studies
wouldn't have produced a more telling picture. The participation was
also very much centre-driven, in that WRI staff, Executive Committee
members, and a few others who were facilitators of discussion
threads were together responsible for almost two thirds of the posts
made. On the other hand, the relatively large number of
contributions made was very off-putting for many other participants,
who could not handle the amount of e-mail messages they received, or
had difficulty with the technical side of things. Finally, language
was also an important issue, as the little discussion there was on
the Spanish language Council forum was often quite disconnected from
the discussion on the same subjects in English.



All these problems call for reworking
the ways in which future e-Council meetings will be conducted, both
in terms of the technological systems used and in terms of our own
discussion etiquette.



As for the topics discussed, the
e-Council accepted the HRJP Foundation of Nigeria to WRI as an
associate, and the Tolstoyans (UK) as a section, some discussions
have been held in preparation for our International Conference in
India and our Global Initiative against War Profiteers (see under
Nonviolence Programme above) was discussed and received the blessing
of several activists inside and outside the WRI network, who took
part in the discussion.


Working
Groups



The idea of Working Groups was that
they could offer a place for WRI activists to network with each
other on particular themes without depending on the office.
Historically some valuable work has been carried out by some of
these groups – but at the moment not one of them offers a model of
how our network can function more effectively.



The Africa Working Group, despite the
effort made in having a noticeable WRI presence at the Nairobi World
Social Forum in 2007, remains largely limited to the
information-gathering and networking with African groups of its
long-time convenors, Matt Meyer and Jan van Criekinge. Their
valuable work is greatly appreciated, but 15 years ago we thought of
this as a launchpad for something more.



The Colombia Working Group is no more
than an email list – useful for some coordination but not a group,
and with no plans.



There has been little activity in the
Nonviolence Training Working Group email list. Group convenor Dorie
Wilsnack and some list members made a significant contribution to
the editorial process of the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns,
but it seems a different structure is required to give more support
to the development of nonviolence training as part of the
Nonviolence Programme.



WRI's work on gender has continued –
notably the 2007 seminar in Neve Shalom, the gender exercises in the
2008 Nonviolence Training Exchange, the bringing to completion of
the Women's CO Anthology (credit goes to editors Ellen Elster and
Majken Sørensen), and the process of reflection stimulated by
Cynthia Cockburn's research work on WRI (Cynthia was present at our
Council meeting, and the preceding trainers' exchange, in Bilbao,
and has presented her project to us there; her profile of WRI has
been completed and sent out on the WRI-Internal mailing list).
However, this has largely taken place outside the framework of the
Women's Working Group, and there has been little activity on its
email list.



The Working Group on Military
Intervention established notionally at WRI's 2006 conference has not
functioned as envisaged but see the section below on European
regional networking.



Apart
from the Women's Working Group, WRI Working Groups have not provided
a good vehicle for cooperation within WRI more or less since the
advent of the internet! Increased regional cooperation in Latin
America and Europe is pointing to a different way of improving
cooperation between WRI activists, but the need remains for some
more global and more thematic meeting points.


Regionalisation and Liaison with
Other Groups


Achievements



  • In recent years, it has been
    possible to develop a core network of European WRI and non-WRI
    groups working together against NATO and militarism.



  • The work within the broader
    anti-NATO coalition has also increased the visibility of WRI and
    its affiliates in the broader peace movement.



  • On the initiative of
    Vredesactie, it has been possible to obtain funding for
    several European WRI affiliates to continue this networking.



  • A Latin American regional
    network is also forming. The need for such a network has been felt
    and recognised by a number of Latin American activists and groups,
    and lively communication has been established between them, linking
    also with the WRI office in London.



  • WRI has strengthened its
    cooperation with a range of international and regional
    organisations.



  • The participation in the
    International Coordination Committee No to NATO 2009 has increased
    WRI's visibility in the broader peace movements, although it has
    not always been easy.



Challenges



  • Too much of the European
    networking has so far been initiated or coordinated by the WRI
    Office, and also by WRI's Belgian affiliate Vredesactie. The
    network does not yet function on its own, and does not yet take
    decisions as a network.



  • The Latin America network is
    yet to arrange a regional meeting (although one is planned for the
    coming year).



  • Too much of the liaison with
    other organisations is reliant on the WRI Office, even when there
    is not a clear need for this.



Regional
Networking: Europe



In early 2003, in the run-up to the war
on Iraq, British nonviolent action groups called for coordinated
action at military bases against the war on Iraq. In February 2003,
the WRI Executive Committee decided to take up the idea to call for
a weekend of nonviolent action at military bases under the slogan
Reclaim The Bases”. This was meant also to strengthen
networking among WRI's more action-oriented European affiliates.



While back then the success was very
limited – not only in terms of the attempt to prevent the war on
Iraq, but also in terms of strengthening our network – WRI's
Belgian section Vredesactie later took the initiative to
build a stronger European network focusing on nonviolent direct
action (expanding a network of its own European contacts, including
some other WRI affiliates, developed while organising actions
against nuclear weapons sites since 1997).



For the European Social Forum
(ESF) in London in 2004 the WRI Office initiated some cooperation
between European WRI groups and other peace organisations, to
organise a series of workshops at the forum. This involved – among
others – DFG-VK, Vredesactie, and the Campaign
Against Arms Trade
.



At the Triennial in Germany in 2006, it
was decided to establish a Working Group Against Military
Interventions
, focusing primarily on groups in Europe. The
objectives were:




  • to create a network of groups (WRI and
    non-WRI) to work on actions against military interventions and
    military infrastructure



  • to promote this area of work among
    European WRI members




While it is hard to claim that the
Working Group really functioned, Vredesactie and the WRI
Office have cooperated in strengthening the European network since.




NATO-Game
over action in Brussels, Easter 2008







In March 2008, Vredesactie
organised an international Bombspotting action at the NATO
headquarters in Brussels, with support from the WRI Office. Of the
1,000 participants, more than a hundred came from other European
countries – Spain, France, Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Germany,
Finland, Croatia, Macedonia, Russia, and possibly other countries.



Following the action itself, a seminar
on Military Globalisation and Nonviolent Resistance in Europe,
co-organised by Vredesactie and WRI, was held with the aim of
strengthening the European coordination of groups campaigning
against military infrastructure and military intervention coming out
of Europe. The seminar was attended by many groups in the WRI
network and beyond. WRI affiliates AA-MOC, KEM-MOC,
Peace Action, AMK, DFG-VK, AKL Finland,
UPF and possibly others were involved.



In September of the same year, WRI was
involved in an initiative of the Swedish antimilitarist group Ofog
to organise a European Peace Action Forum as part of the
European Social Forum in Malmø, 17-21 September 2008. This
again brought many of the groups mentioned above together.



Following the European Social Forum WRI
got involved in the international coalition against NATO, which was
formally launched at an international conference in Stuttgart on 4/5
October 2008. In addition, Vredesactie and the WRI Office
pushed for nonviolent direct action at the NATO summit in Strasbourg
on 3/4 April 2009, which lead to the formation of the coalition
NATO-ZU (Shut down NATO) in January 2009. In April,
more than 200 people from many WRI affiliates participated in the
NATO-ZU blockade. In October 2009, a meeting of several European WRI
affiliates and other nonviolent groups is to take place in Berlin,
to plan coordinated activities against NATO in the future.


Regional
Networking: Latin America



Since
the last WRI Triennial, there have been a number of developments on
regional networking in Latin America. Latin American participants at
the 2006 Triennial in Germany agreed that more and better
cooperation between antimilitarist groups in Latin America is
needed. In parallel, following the CO day training and action in the
USA in May 2006 some of the activitsts present proposed to relaunch
a Latin American network, which later included the proposal of
having a WRI regional office. The proposal was discussed at later
gatherings (the No Bases
conference in Quito and the 2007 CO day events in Colombia). The
idea of a regional office fell through, at least for the time being,
but work began on strengthening the direct cooperation between
antimilitarist groups on the regional level.



As
a first step, an e-mail group of Latin American antimilitarist
activists was created for sharing information and working
on concrete proposals of cooperation. Through these last years this
listserve has been very active and groups from several countries are
subscribed to it.



Some
concrete examples of
cooperation have been the two statements from the network, the first
denouncing the escalation of conflict between Colombia, Venezuela
and Ecuador in March 2008, and the second condemning the recent coup
in Honduras.



Another
important cooperation
effort has been the publication of the magazine Periferica,
an initiative of GAAA in Asunción, Paraguay. The magazine has
enjoyed the active participation of members from the regional
network, which is consistent with their editorial line. The magazine
has been a space for exchanging content and promoting the work of
different organisations in the region.



An initiative that is
still pending is to have a regional meeting that provides the space
for consolidating the regional cooperation process. A proposal for a
meeting in Quito, Ecuador, has been explored, without much success
yet (mainly due to funding problems), but there is confidence that
some kind of regional meeting will take place within the next year.



Following on the
relatively good level of presence of Latin American activists at the
2006 Triennial, WRI has had Latin American activists present at its
meetings since. Xavier León of Ecuador was present at the 2007
Council in Israel. A larger contingent of activists from Paraguay,
Ecuador and Colombia took part in the 2008 Council in Bilbao. Latin
American regionalisation was also one of the subject threads of our
e-Council in 2009.



The
presence of Adriana Castaño
Román
and Pelao Carvallo as elected Council members and especially Pelao
joining the Executive, has helped to make WRI more visible in
Latin America and to make Latin America more visible in WRI. We hope
that the seeds that have been planted in these four years will bear
fruit in the future.


Liaison
with groups outside WRI



WRI has more or less close
relationships with a range of other organisations.


International
Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR)



WRI has had contact with the IFOR
office in Alkmaar on several occasions. Isabelle Geuskens and
Benashe Hejazi from IFOR's Women's Peacemaker Programme (WPP)
participated in the WRI/New Profile seminar “Gender and
Militarism” in Israel in August 2007. This followed on from the
close co-operation between the WRI Women's Working Group and IFOR's
WPP on the international training consultation “Asking the
Right Questions: Gender and Nonviolence
” in 2004.



The Women's Peacemaker Programme will
also be present at our upcoming conference, Nonviolent Livelihood
Struggle and Global Militarism – Links & Strategies
in
January 2010 and gave us a crucial lead for fund-raising.



IFOR is also helping to spread WRI's
Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns, and in spring 2009 ordered
200 copies of the handbook.


Quaker
Peace and Social Witness/Turning the Tide




Steve
Whiting from QPSW/Turning the Tide at the Nonviolence Trainers'
Exchange in Bilbao







WRI has had a good cooperation with
Turning the Tide in the past few years. Staff members of TTT helped
in the process of producing the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns
and helped promoting it. Steve Whiting from TTT attended the
Nonviolence Training Exchange in Bilbao. TTT also cooperated with
WRI in the preparation for workshops in nonviolence at the European
Social Forum in Malmø in 2008. Marcus Armstrong represented them in
Malmø and conducted a workshop on the Movement Action Plan together
with Andreas Speck.



TTT has a year-long nonviolence
training programme, which WRI interns have attended.


International
Coordination Committee No to NATO 2009 (ICC)



In October 2008, WRI joined the
International Coordination Committee No to NATO 2009 (ICC), which
has been formed to organise the protest against the NATO summit in
Strasbourg and Baden Baden on 3/4 April 2009. The ICC is a broad
international (mainly European) coalition of peace, anti-war and
anti-capitalist groups, involving groups from most European
countries, but so far dominated by German and French groups.



Working in this coalition has not
always been easy. Before the summit, WRI had to work hard co create
understanding and acceptance for actions of civil disobedience
during the summit – something which especially most of the French
groups found hard to accept.



After
the summit, which was overshadowed by violent actions, WRI's
objective is to be clearer on nonviolence within this broader
coalition. This has been reflected, among other things, in a series
of articles by Andreas Speck, which have generated a fair amount
of debate in the movement (see: “Strasbourg
– The organiser’s viewpoint”,
in Peace News
No 2510, June 2009; “NATO-ZU/Shut
down NATO: A successful nonviolent blockade in Strasbourg in the
middle of violence”,
http://wri-irg.org/node/7162;
“After
Strasbourg: On dealing with violence in one's own ranks”,
in Graswurzelrevolution
No 339, May 2009).



WRI's future involvement in the ICC and
the broader anti-NATO coalition is to be discussed at a meeting with
several European WRI affiliates and other nonviolent action oriented
groups in Berlin, in October 2009.


Quaker
United Nations Office (QUNO) Geneva



WRI has a close cooperation with QUNO
Geneva as part of the work of the Right to Refuse to Kill
programme. Rachel Brett from QUNO Geneva participated in meetings
with Colombian authorities following the 15 May activities in
Colombia in May 2007. There has also been a close co-operation on
submissions to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and
in relation to the Universal Periodic Review and the
evaluation of country reports by the Human Rights Committee.


Conscience
and Peace Tax International (CPTI)



WRI has a close cooperation with CPTI
as part of the work of the Right to Refuse to Kill programme,
also linked to our joint work with QUNO (referred to above). Derek
Brett from CPTI participated in meetings with Colombian authorities
following the 15 May activities in Colombia in May 2007. In
addition, Derek Brett and Andreas Speck regularly share information
on the situation regarding conscientious objection in a range of
countries – information which forms the basis of CPTI's and WRI's
submissions to the Human Rights Committee and the Universal
Periodic Review
.



Andreas Speck also participated in the
International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax
Campaigns in Manchester in September 2008.



WRI, CPTI and QUNO Geneva submitted a
joint amicus brief to the Constitutional Court of Colombia, in
support of a claim of unconstitutionality of the Colombian law on
recruitment (see Right to Refuse to Kill programme). The same
organisations – plus the Geneva based CCPR Centre – hope
to co-operate on a project to update and expand Emily Miles' book
The Conscientious Objector's Guide to the UN Human Rights
System
”, originally published by WRI in 2000.


SFD
Kassel



In 2008, WRI began a cooperation with
the SFD Kassel, an organisation sending Germans abroad for a
year-long voluntary service. As part of this cooperation, Julian
Dinkgrefe did a voluntary service at WRI from August 2008 to July
2009. Christopher Bösch started his voluntary service on 1
September 2009.


El
Libertario



El Libertario is an anarchist and
antimilitarist periodical published by a collective of the same
name. Cooperation with El Libertario started in 2004 when Rafael
Uzcategui, from Venezuela, attended the 15th of May event
in Santiago, Chile. In 2006 WRI actively participated at the
Alternative Social Forum in Caracas, Venezuela which was organised
by El Libertario. In 2007 Rafael Uzcategui joined the WRI delegation
to the World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, to speak about the
importance to strive against all militarism, highlighting the strong
militarisation that the Venezuelan society is facing in the past
years, while at the same time recognising the importance of changes
in Venezuela. More recently Howard Clark wrote the preface for a
forthcoming book published by El Libertario about militarism. Rafael
Uzcategui has been one of the key members promoting a stronger
cooperation between antimilitarist groups in Latin America and
helped draft the statements against the escalation of confrontation
between Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador as well as the statement
against the coup in Honduras. Finally WRI has published several
articles written by Rafael Uzcategui focusing on Venezuela and the
arms trade and the general increase of militarisation in Venezuela.


Ofog



WRI's
worked closely with the Swedish antimilitarist group Ofog in
organising the European Peace Action Forum at the European Social
Forum in Malmø, Sweden, in 2008. Ofog has also been our partner in
several anti-Nato actions, and, most recently, in the Europe for
Peace project (see under Finances above).


European
Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT)



WRI has had a good cooperation with ENAAT since the last WRI
Triennial. ENAAT was very well represented at the Germany Triennial,
with activists from Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) in the UK,
Vredesactie in Belgium (also a WRI affiliate) and Campaign Against
the Arms Trade in the Netherlands, who were key participants of the
theme group on war profiteers. WRI has attended ENAAT annual
meetings in Oslo and in Barcelona (where we were represented by Exec
member Hilal Demir).



WRI organised a workshop on war profiteers at the 2008 European
Social Forum, where SPAS from Sweden, Centre d' Estudis JM Delas
from Catalonia and Vredesactie from Belgium were speakers
representing ENAAT. The latest manifestation of this cooperation was
the participation of Ann Feltham (CAAT, UK), Inez Louwagie
(Vredesactie) and Wendela de Vries (Campaign Against the Arms Trade
in the Netherlands) at the war profiteers topic at WRI's e-Council.


Committee
for Conflict Transformation Support (CCTS)



As in previous years, WRI remained
represented at CCTS meetings. At the moment the future of the
committee is not clear. Some individuals and organisations are still
keen to have the committee continue functioning. WRI has been clear
that it cannot put any energy into it apart from attending meetings
and the odd cooperation when requested. Nevertheless, it was through
the contacts made in the CCTS that we managed to raise funds for the
nonviolence training in Russia from the International Peacemakers
Fund of FOR England.


European
Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO)



WRI cooperates with EBCO especially as
part of its Right to Refuse to Kill programme. Andreas Speck
attended EBCO meetings in Brussels and Athens.


WRI
publications


Achievements






















































































































































































Website access
statistics



Month



Daily
Average



Monthly
Totals







Hits



Files



Pages



Visits



Sites



Volume



Visits



Pages



Files



Hits



Sep
2009*)



23461



21953



12868



2628



8503



2.75
Gb



18401



90081



153677



164230



Aug
2009



29625



27171



19023



2833



29885



13.24
Gb



87827



589735



842331



918385



Jul
2009



28226



26403



17776



2048



28345



12.77
Gb



63508



551063



818513



875008



Jun
2009



30519



28180



17281



1996



29936



13.52
Gb



59887



518434



845402



915572



May
2009



30732



28779



16894



2026



32200



13.95
Gb



62809



523738



892169



952713



Apr
2009



33340



30784



17122



1968



30346



18.89
Gb



59067



513661



923538



1000224



Mar
2009



35329



32669



18469



1889



35576



27.97
Gb



58588



572547



1012762



1095204



Feb
2009



31192



28027



19308



1844



26570



13.72
Gb



51641



540630



784756



873399



Jan
2009



26889



24331



16153



1328



23710



11.55
Gb



41195



500760



754282



833579



Dec
2008



32419



28341



20910



1363



26993



12.95
Gb



42275



648235



878582



1005007



Nov
2008**)



7754



5504



4013



277



5526



2.93
Gb



8324



120415



165143



232633




*)
Statistic has been prepared on 7 September, so does not cover all
of September



**)
The website only went live at the end of November 2008, so the
statistic does not cover the full month





  • Through its new website, WRI has increased its presence on the
    internet.



  • The regular email-news­letters of the two main WRI pro­gram­mes
    have increa­sed WRI's credibility in these areas.



  • The publica­tion of the Handbook for Nonvio­lent
    Cam­paigns
    has clearly an­swe­red an existing need, as can also be
    seen by the high number of translations being worked on.



Challenges



  • The new WRI website was designed to facilitate contributions
    from the WRI network. However, this has so far rarely happened.



  • A distribution network and strategy for publishing
    more books, and especially a WRI Yearbook, is so far missing.




Since summer 2006, WRI's publications
have seen quite a few changes. New publications have been launched,
and existing ones revamped. With the launch of WRI's new website in
November 2008 (see below), WRI's publication strategy focuses much
more on the internet.


Launch of WRI's new website
wri-irg.org



On 26 November 2008, WRI finally
launched its new website, based on the open source Drupal Content
Management system. The website was developed by Netuxo
Ltd
, a workers co-operative
providing IT services for small
NGOs and ethical business, and designed by Simo
Hellsten
, a long term
activist with Finnish WRI section AKL and their section
representative at the WRI Council for several years.



The new site includes a new online
Conscien­tious Objection Informa­tion System (COBIS),
which combines WRI's co-alert system in cases of imprisoned
conscien­tious objectors, a consci­entious objector and
activist database, the co-update e-newsletter, and the world survey
on conscientious objection and recruitment. The system also includes
a permanent Prisoners for Peace list, which streng­thens our
support for imprisoned conscienti­ous objectors and peace
activists. In addition, the new website fully integrates WRI
Wiki
, WRI's own Wiki.



Since the launch of the website in
November 2008, the site has seen a steady increase of visits,
with an average of 2800 daily visits in August 2009 (viewing 19,000
individual pages).



At the end of August 2009, WRI also
launched its new webshop, which integrates better into the website.
To increase the number of items for sale (especially books), WRI is
now co-operating with its British affiliate Housmans Bookshoop
who will stock peace and nonviolence related books which will be
available for sale on WRI's webshop.


E-mail
and Web-Based Publications



Note:
All our e-mail-based publications can be viewed and subscribed to on
our website.


The
Broken Rifle



The Broken Rifle continues to be
WRI's quarterly newsletter, with most issues published in all four
official WRI languages, and some even in additional languages. Each
issue focuses on a specific theme. Themes covered since summer 2006
include war profiteers (No 71, September 2006, No 77,
February 2008), Supporting peace and human rights in Russia
(No 72, November 2006), the World Social Forum (No 73,
January 2007), Support Conscientious Objectors in Colombia
(No 74, May 2007), Choosing Nonviolent Action (No 75,
September 2007), Support antimilitarists in Turkey (No 76,
November 2007), the Professionalisation of the military (No
78, May 2008), NATO (No 79, September 2008, No 81, February
2009), Nonviolence Training (No 80, December 2008),
conscientious objection in South Korea (No 82, May 2009), and
Nonviolent Livelihood Struggle and Global Militarism: Links &
Strategies
(No 83, September 2009).



Since the launch of the new WRI website
in November 2008, The Broken Rifle is no longer published as
a print publication, and as a consequence the English edition is no
longer included in Peace News. All four language versions are
now published as email-newsletter, and are available as HTML and PDF
on the WRI website. Also, each individual article is now integrated
into the website categorisation system.


wri-info



The email-newsletter wri-info
was launched in July 2005, with the first newsletter promoting WRI's
seminar and Council meeting in South Korea. The objective of the
newsletter is to provide information from the WRI Office. WRI-info
is mostly published in English, but some issues have also been
translated into some of the other WRI languages.



The email-newsletter wri-info is
not published regularly, but only ad-hoc when it is needed. The last
edition, as of this writing, was published in July 2009, to promote
the upcoming conference in India.


CO-Update
/ Informe OC / Objo-Infos



CO-Update was launched in
September 2004 as a monthly email-newsletter of WRI's Right to
Refuse to Kill
programme. Since June 2006 (No 21), CO-Update is
also published in Spanish as Informe-OC, mostly translated by
Cécile Barbeito Thonon. From August 2006 (No 22) until
October 2008 (No 42), most issues were also published in French as
Objo-Infos, mostly translated by Tikiri. However,
since then a lack of volunteers for translation into French has made
it impossible to continue the French edition of CO-Update.



In September 2009, the 50th
edition of CO-Update was published.


co-alert



WRI launched its email based co-alert
system in July 2001. Although there has been a system for urgent
actions before, this was the first time the email list co-alert
has been used.



Since then, hundreds of co-alerts have
been emailed out. With the launch of the new website, the co-alert
system has been integrated into WRI's conscientious objection
database, and is now managed entirely through the WRI website.



Co-alert is an English only email list,
although some alerts are also available in other languages on the
WRI website.


warprofiteers-news



The email newsletter warprofiteers-news
has been launched in June 2006 as a newsletter of the Nonviolence
Programme
's work on war profiteers. Warprofiteers-news is
published bimonthly in English, and since December 2006 also in
Spanish.



The email-newsletter has been an
important tool to provide information on matters related to war
profiteering to a wide range of groups and activists, and
facilitates networking of groups working on war profiteers. Some
issues have also been translated into Korean, Turkish and
Macedonian.


Facebook



WRI started a “cause” on Facebook
called War Resisters' International in 2008. The cause has now more
than 2,800 members. The “cause” is mainly used to post
announcements, for example co-alerts, or new editions of
warprofiteers-news or co-update.



Attempts to raise funds using Facebook
have so far seen only moderate success.


Books
and other print publications



The publication of Devi
Prasad's book War is a Crime Against Humanity in 2005 was the
beginning of WRI's more recent publishing activity. In January 2009,
WRI published the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns, of which
1,200 copies have been printed, and more than 1,100 sold by
September 2009 (see more under Nonviolence Programme).
The Indonesian edition has been published by Walisongo Mediation
Centre
in 2009. At present, the project of a Women CO
Anthology
is nearing completion, and will be published early in
2010 (see more under Right to Refuse to Kill).



At the Council Meeting in
Bilbao in September 2008, WRI started a discussion to publish a WRI
Yearbook
. While this project is still in its early stages, the
WRI Executive hopes that a first edition can be published at the end
of 2010 (Yearbook 2011).



In cooperation with Tobias
Pflüger, WRI Council member and Member of the European Parliament,
WRI worked on a publication called Professional Soldiers and the
Right to Conscientious Objection in the European Union
. It was
published by the GUE/NGL parliamentary group in October 2008.



WRI staff, Executive and
Council members contributed to several book projects. WRI staff
Andreas Speck and Executive member Pelao Carvallo contributed
to the book Conscientious Objection. Resisting Militarized
Society
, edited by Coskun
Üsterci
and Özgür
Heval Çinar
and published by
Zed Books in 2009.



WRI
Chair Howard Clark
co-edited People, Power and Protest since 1945. A
bibliography of nonviolent action
,
published by Housmans Bookshop
in 2006 and which he frequently updates at
http://civilresistance.info/bibliography/update. Howard
Clark
is also editor of People
Power: Unarmed Resistance and Global Solidarity
,
published by Pluto Press
in 2009 – most of the
contributors to this have links with WRI. This and all other books
mentioned above are available for sale through the webshop on our
new website.



With Véronique Dudouet,
Howard Clark was also co-author of a report commissioned and
published by the Human Rights Sub-Committee of the European
Parliament on Nonviolent Civilc Action in support of Human Rights
and Democratisation.



WRI staff, Executive and Council
members have also published a range of articles in movement and
scientific magazines and journals.


The
WRI Constitution



The WRI Constitution has been in need
of revision for more than a decade, to bring it into line with the
current practice of the international and its affiliates. Thanks
especially to the persistence of Kai-Uwe Dosch, Council has reached
a consensus on major revisions to the Articles which have now been
submitted to Sections for a postal ballot. If passed, the next stage
will be to revise the Rules.






Appendix:
WRI's financial figures


Summary account






Summary balance sheet










Detailed
accounts


















Elected
and appointed positions chosen or confirmed at the 2006 International
Conference


Chair:
Howard Clark, Britain/state of Spain


Internationally elected council
members:



  • Adriana
    Patricia Castaño Román
    , Colombia


  • Albert
    Beale
    , Britain


  • Boro
    Kitanoski
    , Macedonia


  • Chesterfield
    Samba
    , Zimbabwe


  • Hilal
    Demir
    , Turkey/Spain


  • Joanne
    Sheehan
    , USA


  • Jørgen
    Johansen
    , Norway/Sweden


  • Pelao
    Cavallo
    , Chile


  • Sergeiy
    Sandler
    , Israel


  • Stellan
    Vinthagen
    , Sweden


  • Tobias Pflüger,
    Germany



The Council also includes a
representative from each section and a non-voting observer from each
associate organisation or publication.






Executive committee: Howard
Clark, Boro Kitanoski, Dominique Saillard, Hilal Demir (since October
2008), Majken S
ørensen
(until July 2008),
Pelao Carvallo (since
October 2008), Sergeiy Sandler





Attached file
Programmes & Projects

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