VR-DER was in Amed on International Conscientious Objection day
On May 14 and 15, the event titled "We Will Not Let Amed Turn Into Garrison Town" that we as Conscientious Objection Association (COA) together with Tahir Elçi City Forest Coordination have organized ended in 15th May.
On the sessions held on Saturday, May 14 in Sümerpark Reception Hall, many topics from conscientious objection (CO) movement to anti-war movement and to militarization of cities in war. On the first session, Merve Arkun, co-president of COA, talked about the position of CO struggle in anti-war movement; Davut Erkan, attorney of COA talked about the legal aspects of CO; Opuz Sönmez, member of COA talked about the history of CO movement. Ahmet Özgür Erdoğan from Patika Ecology Collective held a presentation and talked about ecologic destruction as a strategy of war.
On the second session, Murat Alökmen, president of Construction and City Plannning of Diyarbakir Municipality talked about the current legal process about the Tahir Elçi City Forest. Nihat Kıratlı on behalf of Mesopotamia Ecology Mevement talked about the ecological descruction continuing in the region. The first day of the program ended with the forum on common line of struggle against war and ecological destruction.
On the second day of the event, May 15, on the occasion of the International Conscientious Objectors Day, Conscientious Objection Declarations were organized in Tahir Elçi Forest. The declarations by Constituents of Tahir Elçi Forest Coordination and members of COA in the Tahir Elçi Forest were prevented by the police blocking the entry to the forest with the claim that "the forest was in military artillery range". The police blocking the area, threatened the conscientious objectors and people from anti-war movement without any legal justification saying "you don't have any security of life", emphasizing that in no circumstances, they will not let any entrance into the forest. Then, the conscientious objectors, against the threats and seizure of the area by the police, emphasizing that they won't let the militarization of Amed in any circumstances, declared their conscientious objections in front of the police barricade.
In the action, while Şahin Efe, Raser Işıkalan and Velat Ekin declared their conscientious objections; the conscientious objection declarations of Mustafa Doğan living abroad, and Kemal Ozan Aybar living in Istanbul were read and shared with the press.
The action ended with "Conscientious Objection Against War" slogans against the militarization of Amed, war and destruction.
Find more photos in our gallery here.