Civil disobedience/NVDA

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Actions are taking place in Brussels this week against in the run up to the NATO summit. Yesterday (23rd May), a group of peace activists occupied the offices of the European Commission. With their action they denounced the steps the European Union is taking to start a military research programme carried out by the arms industry. They set up tents, and were in place in all morning.

See a video of yesterday's occupation of the European Commission here.

 

Paul Magno

In July of 2012 three disarmament activists in the United States - Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice and Michael Walli - engaged in a nonviolent direct action they dubbed "Transform Now Plowshares" at Oak Ridge, TN's Y12 National Security Complex. Oak Ridge is a site dating back to the beginning of the Manhattan project during World War II and remains an essential link in the nuclear weapons production capability of the US. The three were able to traverse the terrain of the Federal reservation during the night, overcome four security fences, and confront the Highly Enriched Uranium Maintenance Facility (HEUMF) - a repository for 400 metric tons of bomb-grade uranium, enough for 10,000 nuclear weapons. Once there they marked the area with crime scene tape, unfurled peace banners and marked the walls of the building with human blood and spray-painted biblical peace messages.

Activists in Madrid have taken action against Spain's biggest arms fair, with large demonstrations accompanied by nonviolent direct action, which saw activists covering themselves in red paint and unfurling banners at the entrance to the HOMESEC arms fair, in Madrid.

Activists - including members of WRI - celebrate being found not guilty after actions against DSEI in 2015

WRI's Council meets once a year, to discuss the future work of the network. This year, our meeting will be in London in September, hosted by our affiliates Peace Pledge Union, Fellowship of Reconciliation (UK), Campaign Against the Arms Trade, and Trident Ploughshares, and coincide with the mobilisations against the DSEI arms fair.

The War Resisters' International network gathers once a year, to discuss the work of the network and make plans for the future. This year's WRI Council meeting will take place in London in September, coinciding with DSEI - Defence & Security Equipment International - the biggest arms fair in the world. We will take part in actions before and after Council to disrupt the fair.

With the increasing need for solidarity with Turkish civil society, the Bund für Soziale Verteidigung (Foundation for Social Defence) - a WRI affiliate in Germany - are fundraising for 1,400 Euros to print our Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns in Turkish.

This money would go to the Istanbul Nonviolent Education and Research Centre who will then distribute the handbook for free in their nonviolence workshops and trainings. Please help activists in Turkey to improve their skills in nonviolent action through using this handbook!

Please donate here.

When we think of social change, we often think of protests, campaigns, and direct action. These are all vital ways to say “no!” to destructive practices and institutions.

Permaculture farmers in El Salvador

However, it's equally important that we are building concrete alternatives, where we say “yes!” to the vision of the world we want. Built on the same power analysis as our nonviolent direct action, “constructive programmes” can be powerful acts of resistance. Constructive programmes demonstrate the radical alternatives – to militarism and the causes of climate change, for example – that our world desperately needs, and puts them into practise in the here and now.

For Gandhi, a nonviolent revolution without a constructive programme was impossible; direct action and social change had to be embedded in empowered and vibrant communities that were bringing their own radical and egalitarian visions of life. Along with protest and direct action, he called for communities in India to start building the world they wanted to see, to build a new world in the shell of the old.

Sarah Robinson

In early November over a hundred activists from several European countries blockaded the entrances at the annual conference of the European Defence Agency in Brussels where arms manufacturers were meeting European policy makers behind closed doors.

The conference was invite-only but the activists turned up without an invitation to let the arms dealers know that they were not welcome.

Ariel Gold, CodePink

RE/MAX, one of the world’s largest real estate companies, is contributing to the Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise. Denver based RE/MAX International oversees more than 100,000 franchises in over 100 countries across the world, including Israel. RE/MAX Israel sells homes in all of the major settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and even has an office in the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.

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