Today, 15th May, is International Conscientious Objectors Day! Around the world activists are using this joint day of action as an opportunity to raise awareness of conscientious objection, to highlight particular movements for conscientious objection now, and strengthen the international network that is active around 15th May.
War Resisters League is launching a campaign to end the use of tear gas and related chemical weapons used (and exported) by various states. WRL sees this focus as a way to link many empowered struggles, as well as to expand what is conventionally thought of as “anti-war” work.
This year, WRI's Council meeting will be held as an electronic meeting. It will be held between Thuresday 20th and Monday 30th September. We'll use a mixture of formats including webinars, videos, conference calls, forums and online 'cafe' spaces, to make the meeting interesting and engaging! We hope that many members of WRI's sections and affiliates will take part. More information of how to join these conversations will follow.
On 24th April, Taiwanese peace activist Emily Wang was held by Korean immigration and later was deported for opposing the construction of the naval base on Jeju Island. Since 2010, Emily has been working with people from the village of Gangjeong on Jeju Island just off the South Korean coast. The people of Gangjeong are at risk of being evicted in order to make way for a naval base, which was planned without proper consultation with the people in the community.
A report written jointly by ForcesWatch and Child Soldiers International, entitled 'One Step Forward: The case for ending recruitment of minors by the British armed forces', was published on 23 April. It argues that not only are military personnel who joined as minors are more likely to suffer from mental health issues – it is more than twice as expensive to train minors than adults. The report was covered in the national press, as well as on radio and television.