15 May: International Conscientious Objectors Day


15th May is International Conscientious Objectors day. Around the world, campaigners will be remembering the generations who refused to go to war, and raising awareness of the many who continue to be persecuted and imprisoned for refusing to kill. Please join an event (listed below), hold your own, or spread the word about the day!

South Korea

15 May film showing

Showing of the film 'How to start a revolution' Here's a review of the film written by WRI's Javier! http://wri-irg.org/node/14932 All the details for when and where this film is to be shown can be found on the event's info page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/459419437477692/



15 May, Galatasaray Lisesi Önü, 7.00pm

Event: BARIŞ İÇİN VİCDANİ RET! (Conscientious Objection for peace!)

From the HDK Anti-militarizm ve Vicdani Ret Komisyonu (Anti-militarism and Conscientious Objection Commission)

18 May, launch of Association for Conscientious Objections in Turkey

'Turkey's conscientious objectors are set to kick off their first association on May 18 - during the week of International Conscientious Objectors Day. The association will be open to all who refuse the compulsory military drafting for religious, moral or political reason, activists said.' - read more info here in English and in Turkish on file below.



15 May Peace Flag raising ceremony, Berkeley

On International Conscientious Objectors’ Day, Celebrate the 7th Annual Berkeley C.O. and War Resisters’ Day: 11:30 A.M. Wednesday, May 15 Peace Flag raising ceremony, first at Civic Center flagpole at 2180 Milvia Street, corner of Allston Way and then at the flagpole at MLK, Jr. Civic Center Park, 2151 MLK, Jr. Way (between Center Street and Allston Way, across from Old City Hall), Berkeley With:

  • Conscientious Objectors and War Resisters from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars
  • Kriss Worthington, Berkeley City Councilmember
  • Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist
  • Emma Cape, Bradley Manning Support Network
  • Bob Meola, Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission, War Resisters League
  • Sing along “Ain’t fest” ["I Ain't Marching Anymore,” “(Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody) Turn Me Around,” “Down By the Riverside (Ain’t Gonna Study War No More)” with Max Ventura, Nancy Schimmel, and Vic Sadot

Sponsored by City of Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission Endorsed by War Resisters League-West and Courage to Resist


Birmingham, UK

19 May Vigil

Birmingham Peace Gardens, 3.00pm - 4.00pm Organised by West Midlands CND and Birmingham United Nations Association. More info: http://wmcnd.org.uk/event/conscientious-objectors-day-birmingham

London, UK


14 May Discussion Group

Join the Nonviolence Discussion Group for a discussion on Conscientious Objection in everyday life 'On the eve of International Conscientious Objectors’ Day, we look at what it might mean to apply the principle of conscientious objection – usually defined in the context of a refusal to co-operate with authorities’ attempts to force involvement in organised killing – to other situations. Or to look at it another way, why are pacifists such troublemakers? Come and bring your ideas to bear…' Info here: http://londonpacifismnonviolence.wordpress.com/futuremeetings/

15 May Vigil

Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury, London Meet at 12 noon at the commemorative stone for conscientious objectors

15 May, Panel Discussion - 'Conscientious Objection: from personal right to universal responsibility'

'Coinciding with the International Conscientious Objectors Day, and in conjunction with the exhibitionCOnscription that runs throughout May in London, this event sets out to reveal some of the issues which don't currently have the same international profile as other human rights questions. Representatives from high profile anti-war organisations and individuals share their expertise and experiences, exploring themes including individual rights versus state coercion, art and politics and the relevance of non-violent strategies in a post 9-11 world.' Speakers:

  • Albert Beale, Peace Pledge Union
  • Chris Nineham, founder of the Stop the War Coalition
  • Derek Brett, International Fellowship Of Reconciliation (IFOR), Main Representative to the UN, Geneva
  • Hannah Brock, War Resisters’ International, Right to Refuse to Kill Programme Worker
  • Joe Glenton, Conscientious Objector
  • Özgür Heval Çınar, Researcher, one of the editors of ‘Conscientious Objection: Resisting Militarized Society’ (published by Zed Books)

Time: 6pm – 8pm (The exhibition will be open from 11am and till 9pm, so come in earlier or stay later if you want!) Info here: http://www.filmpro.net/conscription-panel-discussion RSVP to attend this event by emailing co.thefilm@filmpro.net

Portsmouth, UK

15 May Quaker Meeting

Portsmouth Quaker Meeting will hold a Meeting for Worship at 3pm on Wednesday 15th May for international conscientious objectors day. Join them at 25 Northwood Road, Hilsea, PO2 9QT -------------------------------


  • If you want to tweet about International Conscientious Objector's Day, please use the hashtag #COsDay (o #díaOC en español)!


We will be posting more events as we hear about them. Others are unannounced and so we will post information about them after they have happened. Tell us about things happening near you for International Conscientious Objectors Day! Email hannah@wri-irg.org

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