From the office


Dear friends,

Today, Colombia has an historic opportunity to move beyond an armed conflict that has lasted more than 50 years.

I'm part of Acción Colectiva de Objetores y Objetoras de Conciencia (ACOOC: Colombian Collective Action of Conscientious Objectors), and I'm writing to tell you about the progress antimilitarists in Colombia have made — and to ask you to donate to War Resisters' International so that WRI may continue supporting our struggle.

Burghfield Lockdown: 25 European Activists Questioned under Schedule 7 Terrorism Act 2000 in Calais

25 international peace activists from Finland, Sweden, and Belgium travelling on a coach from Finland to Burghfield in Berkshire to take part in the Burghfield Lockdown blockade planned for Monday 2 March were stopped and searched under Schedule 7 Terrorism Act by British anti-terror police in Calais on 28 February 2015. The pacifists from groups including the Union of Conscientious Objectors Finland (AKL), ofog in Sweden and Agir pour la Paix in Belgium are part of a group of more than 40 European activist who will take part in the blockade of AWE Burghfield on Monday 2 March 2015, to build up pressure against the renewal of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapon system [1].

After ten years Javier Gárate, WRI's first ever Nonviolence Programme worker, is leaving WRI. When Javier started, there was little else than an old computer and WRI’s track record in nonviolence trainings to help him bring together this programme. He has done so very successfully – numerous international trainings for activists, trainings of trainers and two issues of the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns stand for Javier’s achievements in those ten years. Plus of course three "quadriennials", in Germany, India and South Africa, which Javier together with his co-workers played a crucial role in preparing and conducting successfully.

Javier is moving to Belgium, but will continue to participate in some of WRI's regional networks. So we have reasons to hope that this good-bye is also a "see you soon again". We thank Javier very much for his untiring work, his friendliness, his kindness, his dedication, his humour and his keen commitment. WRI has gained so much from your time in the office, and we hope WRI has given you a lot, too. Javier – vaarwel, adiós, all the best and au revoir!

Thank you Domi

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More than seven years ago Dominique Saillard came back from what she calls her 'WRI exile'. As many of you know, Domi had been on the staff of WRI for several years in the nineties, forming a dream team with Howard. When Howard became chair in 2006, WRI didn't have a treasurer. So as one of his first tasks as Chair he said "I know the perfect person to ask to be treasurer - it is Domi! I just need to convince her..." At the time we didn't know how successful Howard's persuasion of Domi would be, but he regularly reported that he was making more and more progress in getting WRI a treasurer.

Conscientious objector Haluk Selam Tufanlı has been imprisoned in northern Cyprus for refusing to undertake reserve military service. International actions were held on Tuesday 9th December 2014, in Athens, Istanbul, Nicossia and London.


You can also protest in writing to the authorities in Northern Cyprus. Find all the details here (including an email alert): NORTHERN CYPRUS: Haluk Selam Tufanlı imprisoned

In the WRI office we are looking for a volunteer to help us reconnect with War Resisters' International affiliates.

WRI is first and foremost a network, so it is important for the office to be in touch with WRI affiliates, but this can be difficult with all other tasks we do in the office. The goal of the work of the volunteer would be to make the WRI network more integrated (with each other and with the WRI office in London) and dynamic. With a stronger network, we can do more together!

Howard Clark

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One year ago, in the early hours of the 29 November, WRI Chair Howard Clark passed away. We still miss him keenly – his passion, his deep strategic thinking, his memory reaching back over many decades of WRI's history, and his friendship.

A lot has happened this year. Howard died in the middle of the preparation of the first ever international conference of War Resisters’ International in South Africa. We have managed to make this dream of his come true. We have also managed to build a new programmatic area, the resistance of militarisation of youth, to a point that we are now going to hire an extra worker. There have been several events commemorating and celebrating Howard’s life – in Madrid, London and Cape Town. In Zagreb activists organised a “Howard Clark Dialogue” event. Writings by Howard have been republished, for example his essay on Nonviolent Revolutions. More are probably to come later.

While the work goes on: Howard will not be forgotten. Howard, thank you!

During this, the International Week of Action for Military-Free Education and Research, WRI and other organisations have issued this call to action: War is not the answer: resist youth militarisation!

From the moment we are born, children and young people all over the world are exposed to the military and military values around them. They are taught that armed force and violence can solve problems.

We call this the militarisation of youth.

In some countries, this militarisation is visible and obvious: young people (mainly, though not exclusively, young men) are forced to join the military through conscription. This might include forced recruitment, or recruitment of children.

Dear friends,

Ten years ago I made one of the best decisions of my life. In Chile, I received an announcement that a position at WRI was opening for work in nonviolence and decided to apply for it. To my surprise – and I think also to that of many others! - I was chosen to be the first coordinator of WRI's Nonviolence Programme. Today I'm writing to you to ask you to help this work continue.

The day I came to work, I was told: “OK, here is your desk. Now you need to produce a handbook on nonviolent action, and launch a global campaign against war profiteering” – all very straightforward indeed.

Applications are open for the positions of Nonviolence Programme Worker and Countering the Militarisation of Youth Programme Worker.

Information for both positions can be found on our website:

Nonviolence Programme Worker Countering the Militarisation of Youth Programme Worker

We look forward to receiving applications from people committed to nonviolence, with fundraising skills (or willingness to learn) and experience of nonviolent campaigning. Applicants should have knowledge of English and another language, and be willing to travel. All applicants should feel able to sign the WRI declaration: 'War is a crime against humanity. I am therefore determined not to support any kind of war, and to strive for the removal of all causes of war'. Full job descriptions and application forms can be found on the respective adverts.

The closing date for applications for both roles is 2 November, midnight (UTC).

Please share the job adverts with your contacts, and write to with any questions.

Dear Friends,

Looking back over the months since I last wrote, I'm realising it has been quite action-packed, without much time for reflection, but sometimes this is where life and work leads you!  Writing a letter is a great way of taking half a step back from the email inbox and to-do list, so I'm very grateful for that.  It was a privilege to travel to Cape Town in South Africa for three weeks in July, to attend the War Resisters' International (WRI) international conference, where the printed version of the 'Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns' I have been editing was released. There have also been several actions at Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment, and we've been getting on with the final preparations for the 'Wool Against Weapons' event on the 9th August.

Desmond Tutu's makes a surprise appearance at the opening of the Small Actions, Big Movements: The Continuum of Nonviolence conference on the evening of 4th July 2014.

This page will gather text, videos and images from the Small Actions, Big Movements International Conference in Cape Town, July 2014.

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