France

Dockworkers in France have blocked a shipment of ammunition onto a ship destined for Saudi Arabia. Members of the CGT union working at the Marseille-Fos port said they would remain “faithful to their history and values of peace” as they refused to load the ammunition onto the Bahri Tabuk. The whistleblowing organisation Disclose tweeted that the shipment was not going to be loaded and had been moved to an undisclosed location:

In Paris, activists from across Europe joined with French protesters to take action against the Eurosatory arms fair, a biannual event that in 2018 saw over 1,700 arms companies exhibit their products to 57,000 individuals from over 150 countries, including military delegations from across the world.

In Paris, activists from across Europe joined with French protesters to take action against the Eurosatory arms fair, a biannual event that in 2018 saw over 1,700 arms companies exhibit their products to 57,000 individuals from over 150 countries, including military delegations from across the world.

WRI affiliates and friends are calling for direct actions against Eurosatory – the Paris arms fair – and the NATO summit that will take place in Brussels in July. Eurosatory is one of the world's biggest arms fairs, and takes place every two years in Paris. It features over 1500 arms companies displaying all the weapons, equipment and technology needed for waging war.

Thales is a French company, part owned by the French government, that builds a vast range of radars, sonars and electronic surveillance satellites, tactical communication systems and combat management systems, drones, helicopter avionics, armoured vehicles, mortar systems and missiles.

For many years, it looked like obligatory military service was on the way out. But in the last five years, the picture has changed: Norway has extended conscription for women; Sweden has reintroduced conscription for all; Ukraine, Georgia, Lithuania and Kuwait have reintroduced conscription for men after short hiatuses; Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have introduced conscription for the first time. We look at why governments are turning to compulsion in filling their armies, and what this means for pacifist movements.

From 11 to 15 September, Geneva will be hosting the Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty. The world’s third largest purveyor of armaments, France has a privileged relationship in this area with Saudi Arabia and its allies. According to hitherto undisclosed data revealed to Orient XXI by the Observatoire des Armements, the French government used a contract for weapons ostensibly meant for Lebanon to prepare for the Kingdom’s war in Yemen and speed up delivery at the height of that conflict.

WRI's Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns is now available in French! The translation was completed by friends at the Union Pacifiste de France, collaborating with WRI staff on the design work – to get a copy of the book, please email andrew@wri-irg.org.

Subscribe to France