Are you interested in both nonviolence and globalisation?

Are you campaigning against war?
Are you involved in nonviolent direct action or curious to learn more?

Globalising Nonviolence will be a great opportunity to meet activists from all over the world, to get to know what makes them tick, and to see how you can help each make another world possible. Around the world, a movement of movements is converging. This movement seeks to counterpose the perspective and values of people's power to those of global financial institutions, transnational corporations or governments. This is a movement of globalisation from below. WRI believes that nonviolence has a major role to play in this globalisation from below. Hence the theme of our upcoming international conference - Globalising Nonviolence.

Conference discussions will:

  • Analyse the contemporary situation of economic, cultural and political globalisation. How are capitalist globalisation and militarism related?
  • Develop strategies for nonviolent resistance towards the unjust aspects of globalisation. How do we create nonviolent social change?
  • Bring together people from the globalisation critical movement and WRI's network of pacifists and anti-militarists for mutual exchange of ideas on nonviolent opportunities for resistance.
  • Strengthen networks and create new links between activists from all over the world.

Conference structure

Each day of the conference will begin with a short plenary session on the day's major topic. Then participants will divide into theme and activity groups, where the same people will meet every day during the conference to discuss a specific theme in depth. The afternoons will include one-time workshops and plenary sessions.

Day Topics

  1. Globalising Nonviolence We aim to make this a highly participatory conference and that will begin with the opening session.
  2. Militarism and globalisation The morning plenary will ask: How do economic globalisation, militarism and war relate? The evening plenary will address issues arising from the "privatisation" of war, by the increase in "outsourcing" to private companies.
  3. Learning from globalisation from below Investigating nonviolent actions already taking place against the negative aspects of globalisation, the morning plenary will focus on how German and East African groups have worked together against the trade/traffic in small arms. The evening plenary will concentrate on the strategies pursued by the movements involved in globalisation from below to support citizens' peace processes in Palestine as a specific case study.
  4. For a nonviolent strategic framework What does a nonviolent strategy have to contribute to the movement for globalisation from below? What does involvement in the movement for globalisation from below have to contribute to a nonviolent antimilitarist strategy?
  5. From protest to social change Discussing alliances and goals, and reviewing the plans and ideas developed during the conference.

Theme and Activity Groups

Militarism in a global economy
Military industry tends to be privatised, diversified, and globalised, and yet still - compared to other industries - privileged. This group will analyse the strategy and the practice of the global military-industrial complex.

Military presence
The military has a profound impact on society and culture through processes of militarisation. It occupies space, both physical and cultural. This group will examine possible nonviolent strategies for demilitarising society.

Nonviolent citizens' interventions
Nonviolent citizens' intervention is a practical example of globalisation from below, making links globally and supporting peace building and resistance to oppression in other parts of the world.

Nonviolent strategy and globalisation
What are the strategies and objectives of globalisation-critical movement and the place of nonviolence within these? How do the activities of the international anti-war movements fit with this?

The right to refuse to kill
Themes for discussion will include conscientious objection, war tax resistance, deserters, and/or war resistance without conscription. "The Right to Refuse to Kill" is one of WRI's major programmes.

War profiteers
This theme group will name some of the biggest transnational corporations that make a profit through war, and seek ways to direct nonviolent actions against these companies.

Nonviolence training for beginners
Through games, role plays, exercises and discussions, the participants in this group will be introduced to various aspects of the field of nonviolence.

Video activism
This group is both about practical introduction to the technical aspects of video and about how to use video as a political tool. This group will produce a video of the conference!

War Resisters' International

WRI believes that "war is a crime against humanity" and works "to refuse war and to remove the causes of war". Founded in 1921, it is now a network of pacifists, anti-militarists and nonviolent activists on every continent. Throughout its history, members of WRI have taken a lead not only in movements against war but in applying nonviolence to a wide range of other social issues, both in their own countries and internationally.

German Conference Hosts

The Conference will be hosted by and organised in cooperation with all WRI's German affiliates, participating in the WRI-Förderverein as a legal framework:

  • Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft - Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen (DFG-VK)
  • Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft - Internationale der Kriegsdienstgegner (DFG-IdK) Hamburg
  • Internationale der KriegsdienstgegnerInnen (IdK) Berlin
  • Institut für Frieden und Gewaltfreie Konfliktbearbeitung (IFGK)
  • Archiv Aktiv
  • Graswurzelrevolution
  • Antikriegsmuseum Berlin