15th May is International Conscientious Objectors' Day, and in 2006 War Resisters' International focuses on the situation of and support to US war resisters: Gis applying for conscientious objector status, going AWOL, or finding other ways to get discharged from the US military.
War Resisters League Peace Award
Since 1958, WRI's US section War Resisters League honours a person or organisation whose work represents the WRL's radical platform of action with the WRL Peace Award. Recipients have included peace agitator A.J. Muste, civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, feminist and pacifist theorist Barbara Deming, Plowshares movement founder Daniel Berrigan, Gulf War Resisters, and many others.
War Resisters' International released a report to the United Nations' Human Rights Committee in March 2006, highlighting "issues of conscience and human rights" in relation to the US Armed Forces. The report forms part of WRI's activities in preparation for 15 May 2006 - International Conscientious Objectors' Day - which focuses on US Cos and resisters. WRI's main concerns are:
2005 has been a pivotal year for counter-recruiters as the Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve and Air National Guard all missed their recruiting goals by thousands, effectively bringing about the worst year in recruiting since 1979!
Through workshops, actions, and an international conference, Operation Refuse War will highlight the difficulties that current conscientious objectors face as well as help build relationships and connections between the various communities within the anti-war movement. The focus of the events is on supporting contemporary American conscientious objectors and their families, as well as examining the current potential of conscientious objection (in its various forms) as a strategy for building an anti-war movement.
The Broken Rifle is the newsletter of War Resisters' International, and is published in English, Spanish, French and German. This is issue 70, May 2006.
This issue of The Broken Rifle provides information on WRI's campaign for International Objectors' Day, and was produced by Andreas Speck. Special thanks go to Stephen Funk, Steve Morse, Kevin Ramirez, and all 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.