War Resisters' International is organizing the 2nd International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth this year from 14-20 November. The week is a call for nonviolent actions across the world to raise awareness of, and challenge, the ways young people are militarized, and to give voice to alternatives.
Last year saw the first ever international Week of Action whose main focus was education and research. Many groups in various countries including Canada, Germany, South Korea, the state of Spain, the USA, Israel and the UK took action to call for an end to the military's role in education and research. This year we are expanding our theme from education to all other public spaces where we see military engagement with young people.
We invite all groups and individuals willing to take action as part of this week and contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week the Japanese Parliament approved bills allowing the Japanese military to engage in overseas combat in limited circumstances. This is the first reinterpretation of the 1946 constitutional that renounced war and outlawed it as a means of settling international disputes. The bills sparked massive demonstrations in Tokyo streets in recent months and physical altercations in parliament this week – the largest in 50+ years, at around 120,000 people.
The Second volume of A Guide to Civil Resistance is available now. The guide considers indigenous, feminist, LGBT and regional movements in different countries and provides a global perspective on struggles for peace, the environment and social justice. It highlights a variety of nonviolent strategies and range of tactics from kiss-ins and public fasts to blockades, protest camps and civil disobedience. Howard Clark, former Chair of WRI, worked on the first volume of the book, and his work is also very present in the second volume, which uses some of the work he did for the guide's website.
The Latin American and Caribbean Anti-Militarist Network (RAMALC) with the antimilitarists from Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Serbia and United States issued a solidarity statement with the mothers, fathers and relatives of the 43 students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College disappeared in the State of Guerrero last year in September.
In Spain, preparations are being made for resistance to the planned NATO war games, Trident Juncture. Trident Juncture will take place throughout October and into early November, and will include the participation of 36,000 soldiers from over 30 countries – it is one of the biggest mobilisation of NATO troops for a decade. WRI's affiliate 'Alternativa Antimilitarista.MOC' are part of coordinating protests against the exercise, and a call-out is available here in Spanish: http://www.antimilitaristas.org/spip.php?article5569
Large demonstrations are planned, and a general strike has been called by local communities and trade unions. The European Antimilitarist Network is also preparing to take part, with activists travelling from across the continent to oppose this huge military mobilisation. You can read an article about the background to the war games on the WRI website here: /node/24821
Since the historical conference in Cape Town in the summer of 2014, the WRI office and network have continued to do important work around the world, supporting Conscientious Objectors, taking action against military bases and arms production, countering military recruitment, resisting police militarisation, spreading the word about nonviolent resistance and creating networks to support each other and be stronger together.
Read our annual report for August 2014 – September 2015 here.