War Resisting


War Resisters’ Stories

Newsletter of War Resisters’ International


September 2014

Take action for military free-education and research

Militaries across the world gain access to young people through education systems. It gives them an extraordinary chance to shape every generation’s perception of military violence, and lay the groundwork for future recruitment. From 25 – 31 October, join our international week of action for military-free education and research! You could sign our call to action (write to cmoy@wri-irg.org for a copy), raise awareness of the role the military plays in education in your area, or directly challenge it. Visit this page for action ideas, and write to cmoy@wri-irg.org if you’d like to tell us what you are planning.

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Colombian conscientious objector arrested for desertion

Jhonatan David Vargas Becerra was forcibly recruited by the Colombian military last year. He left the army as soon as he could, and later the police issued an arrest warrant for him on grounds of desertion. He was arrested by the police on 4 September in Barrancabermeja, and is still being detained. WRI put out a CO Alert on Jhonatan’s behalf, and on September 16 we heard the news that Jhonatan had been recognised as a conscientious objector by the Constitutional Court. The ruling orders the Colombian army to ‘unenlist’ Jhonatan within 48 hours. Jhonatan’s supporters, through Justpaz, ask that we keep up the pressure to ensure this happens. Please find the new CO Alert here.

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Resisting NATO is resisting War

Once again the deadliest military alliance got together, this time Newport, Wales. As state leaders met to discuss their plans for a stronger military presence in eastern Europe, the creation of a rapid response force, an increase in the military budget, how to intervene in Iraq, and many other militarist plans. Groups gathered to resist and counter the summit. Several activities were organised by the No to NATO No to War network as well as the No NATO Newport group. They included demonstrations, a counter summit, an anti-NATO camp, direct actions, a Women Say No to NATO action and much more.

Spreading the word on resisting war profiteering

War profiteering is one of the main causes of war. To keep informed on what groups are doing to resist the merchants of death, you can sign up to WRI’s War Profiteer’s News. In our last issue we had stories about how the Palestinian BDS movement is gaining momentum, and how it learned from South Africa; how the EU is becoming more and more a militarised and pro-military industry union; how activists in Ecuador are nonviolently resisting the government’s plans to extract oil from the Yasuní national park. Regular features of the newsletter include the campaign of the month, which this month highlighted the “Arming all Sides” initiative, which looks at the arms trade during WWI and beyond, and the war profiteer of the month, which profiles Elbit System, the Israeli arms manufacturer, and their increase in profit thanks to the attacks on Gaza.

We Pushed Urban Shield Out of Oakland, But the Struggle Continues!

On Friday 5 September, hundreds of protesters in the US gathered in front of the Marriott in Downtown Oakland, California, to stand against Urban Shield and declare two major victories: Urban Shield will no longer be held at the Marriott and it will no longer take place anywhere in Oakland. Reclaiming the streets in celebration of our power, we made it loud and clear that we do not welcome militarization and policing of our communities. Urban Shield is part of a growing national and international coordination of policing empowered by military tools and tactics, and our Coalition insists that we must work to roll this back while advancing community-led initiatives to provide actual safety.

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