This issue of The Broken Rifle marks WRI's launching of our new Nonviolence Programme. A process that has been going on since our Council meeting in June, we are looking forward to the arrival of our new programme staffperson, Javier Gárate who will be moving from Chile to London in March.
At the War Resisters' International Council meeting in Ohrid, Macedonia, in June 2004, it was decided to merge the WRI programmes "Nonviolence and Social Empowerment" and "Globalisation and Militarism" to a new programme called "Nonviolence Programme".
We are very pleased to announce that War Resisters' International has hired Javier Garate from Santiago, Chile as staff for our new Nonviolence Programme.
Javier, who is active with Ni Casco Ni Uniforme (Neither Helmet nor Uniform), a WRI Section, brings a variety of experiences that will help him in his new work. Some of you may have met Javier when he attended the International Conscientious Objectors' Day training and activities in Israel in 2003. He was also one of the host organisers for May 15th in Chile in 2004. Javier will begin work in London in mid-March.
Britain's nuclear weapons - the four Trident nuclear weapon submarines based at Faslane on the west coast of Scotland - have a destructive power 1000 times greater than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. They are used, every day, to threaten the rest of the world, and to defend Britain's "vital economic interests" like oil supplies and shipping lanes. Trident benefits the big multinational corporations who see their investments protected around the world, and also the weapons companies who benefit from big arms contracts.
15 May 2005: International Conscientious Objectors' Day
Focus: conscientious objection in Greece. WRI and the Greek Association of COs are organising an international seminar, nonviolence training, and action in Thessaloniki from 9-15 May 2005. Contact WRI for more information.
At the War Resisters' International Council meeting in Ohrid in June 2004, the possibility of a WRI campaign against war profiteers was one important part of the discussion on the new nonviolence programme. Many War Resisters' International affiliates work on issues related to war profiteers - such as the War Resisters League with its "Stop the merchants of death" campaign, or Forum voor Vredesactie in Belgium - but the debate also showed that war profiteering is an issue which is difficult to define.
Bomspotting XL is a mass action of civil disobedience in which we try to stop the preparation of war crimes by trespassing and inspecting nuclear weapon-related military bases and headquarters. We try in an open and nonviolent way to inspect these places for nuclear weapons or evidence about their involvement in nuclear weapons policy and to stop this preparation of war crimes. In the past we have carried out actions at the airbase of Kleine Brogel (where American nuclear weapons are stored), the political headquarters of NATO in Brussels and SHAPE, the NATO military headquarters, in Mons.
Serco is part of the consortium that runs Aldermaston. Since the company began its involvement with the British nuclear weapons programme, women from the Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp(aign) (AWPC) began organising a shareholder campaign.
As Serco Group plc is a huge and rapidly expanding company AWPC had expected their AGM to be a moderately impressive affair: not a bit! Whilst the coffee and apple Danish were pretty classy, and the atmosphere reeks of money, privilege and power, the meetings themselves are very small and short.
The Broken Rifle is the news-letter of War Resisters' International, and is published in English, Spanish, French and German. This is issue 65, February 2005.
This issue of The Broken Rifle was produced by Andreas Speck. Special thanks go to Joanne Sheehan, International Fellowshop of Reconciliation (IFOR), Trident Ploughshares, Forum voor Vredesactie, and others who provided the information used in this issue.
If you want extra copies of this issue of The Broken Rifle, please contact the WRI office, or download it from our website.