From the office

Prisoners for Peace Day 2013

1st December is Prisoners for Peace Day. For over 60 years, War Resisters' International have, on this day, made known the names and stories of those imprisoned for actions for peace. Many are conscientious objectors, in gaol for refusing to join the military. Others have taken nonviolent actions to disrupt preparation for war.

India: Extractive Industries, State Violence & Struggle for Right to Life

War Profiteers' News, No 40

Anand Mazgaonkar

Most current-day economists' guidebooks and blueprints would have us believe that growth trickles down and that is the way to eradicate poverty. Armed with such rationale, various governments fall over each other to attract investment from corporations, regardless of whether they have to re-order policy priorities, change local laws, defray huge public expenditures to provide infrastructure, or hand out massive subsidies to 'foreign investors'. While 'democratic' governments pretend to be accountable to 'people', i.e., common citizens, they unabashedly only serve the interests corporations. The definition of 'extractive industries' would therefore include not just mining corporations but:

Empowering Nonviolent Action in Africa

Dear Friends,

In South Sudan, the seeds of nonviolence are being sown and cultivated by the Organisation for Nonviolence and Development (ONAD), a War Resisters' International affiliate.

Despite changes of attitudes and behaviour of individuals and groups as a result of ONAD's nonviolence trainings, many people still believe armed struggle can bring the changes they hope to see. In South Sudan, society is highly militarized with some civilians owning weapons. While some have surrendered their guns to the government, disarmament of both minds and hearts are equally necessary if we are to avoid ongoing militarization of society.

Why call it nonviolent action?

By Brian Martin

Strikes, boycotts, sit-ins, fasts, mass rallies — these are familiar to many people. They are commonly called methods of nonviolent action. But what exactly does the expression “nonviolent action” refer to? Are there other expressions that would be better? And how well does nonviolent action work?

There are no definitive answers to these questions. A lot of people have opinions, but there are important differences and uncertainties, including among peace activists. Here, my aim is to provide a few perspectives to provide a basis for discussion. First I’ll look at how nonviolent action is defined, then at arguments for using it and at what makes it effective, and finally at different expressions. Through this, I’ll use “nonviolent action” as the provisional expression, acknowledging that others might prefer something different.

WRI welcomes four new affiliates

World Without War after a training for trainers, autumn 2012World Without War after a training for trainers, autumn 2012At this September's eCouncil, WRI was glad to accept the applications of four organisations to become affiliated to War Resisters' International.

Bund für Soziale Verteidigung, Germany
Schwarzer Weg 8, 32423 Minden; Tel +49 571 29456 ; office@soziale-verteidigung.de; http://soziale-verteidigung.de

Webinar: Why be nonviolent? Why call it nonviolence?

Video of webinar by Brian Martin

In this webinar, Brian Martin explores the different terminology associated with nonviolence

This webinar was part of WRI's eCouncil

Webinar: India: Extractive Industries, State Violence & Nonviolent Struggle for Right to Life & Livelihood

Video of webinar by Anand Mazgaonkar

Anand Mazgaonkar makes the case of the huge impact of extractive industries in India and the nonviolent resitance to it.

This webinar was part of WRI's eCouncil

Webinar: Extractivismo y Militarismo en América Latina

Video del webinar por Rafael Uzcategui titulado: "Extractivismo y Militarismo en América Latina"

WRI's eCouncil is open!

WRI's electronic Council Meeting is open now, until 30th September. (link to the forum where most of the discussions are taking place)

In the agenda, you'll see topics such as the links between extractive industries and armed conflict, an exchange on the place of nonviolence in training and the contemporary challenges that face antimilitarists and pacifists.

Egypt: There is No Military Solution!

Statement by War Resisters' International

The situation in Egypt is no longer international headline news, and yet the conflicts persist. War Resisters’ International (WRI) expresses our grave concern and sadness about the situation in Egypt today, fearful that the widespread acceptance of the oft-repeated slogan “the army and the people are one” can only lead to greater militarism, violence, and ultimately repression and injustice. We join with many human rights and peace activists the world over in strongly condemning the recent massacres of largely unarmed civilians. This type of state violence often follows the militarization of politics, as armed forces take control of the offices of government and attempt to dismantle civil society.

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