Cape Town, South Africa
This July, in an historic conference to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, War Resisters International (WRI) will be convening a conference on "Small Actions, Big Movements: the Continuum of Nonviolence". While we recognize that at times our demonstrations and campaigns start small, they can have wide effects when we work together.
From the historic struggle against apartheid, South Africans along with international supporters have gained the experience to speak on a range of global challenges. The post-apartheid problems of the country, however, also require a revival of civic struggle. WRI's venue for the July conference - the very City Hall where Nelson Mandela chose to address the world in his first hours after release from 27 years behind bars.
This is planned to be a Pan-African meeting - not limited to participants from Africa, of course, but placing African movements and activists at its centre, both as organisers and as participants. Our main partner and co-host is the national, anti-militarist Ceasefire Campaign, being supported by Embrace Dignity, who work against the exploitation of women, especially those forced into sex-trafficking. The Action Support Centre based in Soweto is also playing a key role.
Feminist movements have taught us that a "continuum of violence" exists between the battlefields of traditional war and often-silent wars at home in the guise of intimate partner violence and abuse - and all the agression and militarism that takes place in between.
The conference theme of “continuum” has special relevance in our Africa context. With much creative local work being done on issues such as street violence, small arms, and the justice-based causes of war, we come together with continent-wide and global campaigners against multinational military alliances and resistance to active combat. Making these connections – between people and across campaigns - will be fruitful and valuable to all.
We are delighted to be holding our conference alongside meetings of the African Nonviolence and Peacebuilding Network, and the Women Peacemakers Program's Gender and Militarism Consultation.
Calendar of events
1 and 4 July: African Nonviolence and Peacebuilding Network Meeting
2-4 July: Women Peacemakers Program Gender and Militarism Consultation
3 July (afternoon): WRI Council meeting
4th July (morning): WRI Assembly
4 - 8 July: from evening of 4 July, Small Actions, Big Movements: The Continuum of Nonviolence International Conference
9 July: Excursion day
10 July: WRI Assembly
11 July (morning): WRI Council meeting
For more information about all events around the conference, visit Related events