After Cape Town: gathering photos and reports

Desmond Tutu's makes a surprise appearance at the opening of the Small Actions, Big Movements: The Continuum of Nonviolence conference on the evening of 4th July 2014.

This page will gather text, videos and images from the Small Actions, Big Movements International Conference in Cape Town, July 2014.

War Resisters' International statement on Ukraine

War has returned to European soil, and it seems that Europeans are not capable, or not willing, to apply the lessons they try to teach in other parts of the planet. The European Union, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, put Ukraine in an impossible position when it asked it to choose between a political pact with the EU or a close economic relationship with Russia. Ordinary people in Ukraine have some of the lowest wages in the continent, and face one of the highest levels of political and economic corruption, creating hopelessness among many of them - hence the offer from the EU seemed to many like a golden opportunity to take a first step out of the mire.

The use of violence by both sides in the later stages of the Maidan protests created a precedent, and served as a justification for the use of violence in parts of Ukraine where many people disagree with the country's new political course. Also, the presence of neo-nazis in the new official Ukrainian politics, and the rise of the paramilitary units connected with them, encouraged other Ukrainians - in areas where many feel more attracted to and connected with Russia than with the EU - to consider armed struggle a legitimate method of dealing with conflict.

Small Actions, Big Movements: the Continuum of Nonviolence

WRI International Conference, co-hosted by Ceasefire Campaign, Cape Town

This July, in an historic conference to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, War Resisters International 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.

Civil resistance and 'people power' movements: beyond regime change

South Africa in solidarity with PalestineSouth Africa in solidarity with PalestineToday it is obvious that unarmed popular movements are able to overthrow authoritarian regimes, even militarized and dictatorial regimes that have controlled countries for decades. Through mass demonstrations, civil disobedience, noncooperation, strikes and boycotts some 30 dictatorships have fallen during the last decades. We have more recently seen how entrenched authoritarian regimes have fallen within “the Arab Spring” in Egypt and Tunisia, and previously similar dramatic transitions have happened throughout Latin America, Easter Europe, Western Africa, as well as in South Africa, Iran, Indonesia, the Philippines, etc. All these examples point towards the people power or nonviolent revolution that Gandhi was instrumental in developing during the struggle in South Africa and India. However, it is also obvious today that these regime changes point towards a number of problems and challenges, some of which our theme group want to engage with.

An appeal from Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge: Please support the South Africa conference

Dear friends,

People power in South Africa – mass nonviolent direct action – helped end the scourge of apartheid and vicious, politically-sanctioned racism.

Today, twenty years since our first democratic elections, South Africa still faces many problems - including street violence, small arms, xenophobia, economic injustice – and opposition to these ills are mounting, with civil society again using creative, unarmed methods. Throughout the continent, we see increasing militarism too often supported by powerful politicians, and this year’s South African elections suggest that people all over are tired of business as usual.

It is in this context that we are welcoming War Resisters' International to Cape Town, for the first ever WRI International Conference in Africa.

We'd like your help to make this possible.

Register to join us in Cape Town!

With less than three months to go, join those (from Africa, Oceania, Europe, Asia and North America) who have already registered to join us at WRI's first International Conference in Africa, co-hosted by the Ceasefire Campaign! Registration is open until 10th May. If you need any help with the form, please just contact us at

One year to go! International Conference: SMALL Actions BIG Movements

International Conference of WRI co-hosted by Ceasefire Campaign, Cape Town, South Africa, 4 - 8 July 2014

On Friday, 4 July 2014, in Cape Town City Hall, the international conference 'SMALL Actions - BIG Movements' will begin. Health-permitting, Archbishop Desmond Tutu will open the conference in an event open to the general public.

Co-organised with our affiliate Ceasefire Campaign, the other supporting organisations in South Africa are: Embrace Dignity, working against the exploitation of prostitution and sex-trafficking, and the Action Support Centre, based in Soweto which is the African regional hub of a global network of organisations and individuals committed to transforming conflict.

Countering the Militarisation of Youth - newsletter no 1

International seminar, Darmstadt, Germany, 8-10 June 2012

Organised by War Resisters' International, in co-operation with Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft – Vereinigte Kriegsdienstgegner/innen (DFG-VK) and Bertha-von-Suttner Foundation

You are receiving this email because you have previously shown an interest either in attending or supporting the Countering the Militarisation of Youth Conference. With this email, we are sending you some news and updates.

Conference updates

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