War Resisters' Stories

Minneapolis Police fire tear gas at those protesting the May 25th death of George Floyd. Photo: Chad Davis/Flickr
Issue number
WRI Solidarity with #BLM protests, the Council of Europe decision on Turkish COs, and #Antimilimarathon

In this issue, you will find stories on WRI solidarity with #BLM protests, the Council of Europe decision urging Turkey to recognise conscientious objection, Ukrainian pacifists' statement condemning a new bill, and #Antimilimarathon events series.

In response to the murder of George Floyd by a member of the Minneapolis police department on 25th May, thousands of people across the United States joined protests demanding justice for his killing, radical reform of police forces, and driving home the message that Black Lives Matter. Many of these protests were responded violently by the US government using militarised police forces.

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has urged Turkey to stop prosecuting conscientious objectors and take the necessary measures to address the judgements of the European Court of Human Rights. Since 2006, the ECHR has ruled against Turkey multiple times regarding the treatment and status of conscientious objectors. 

A network of antimilitarist activists from East and North Europe has launched an online event called Antimilimarathon. For 42 consecutive days, starting on 1st June, they will share and post in social media a variety of events, workshops, discussions and webinars, promoting antimilitarist art and culture. If you want to participate in this marathon use the hashtag #Antimilimarathon.

WRI affiliate Ukrainian Pacifist Movement (UPM) released a statement condemning a bill introducing “intolerable elements of military dictatorship” in Ukraine. UPM said, Bill No 3553, proposed by the president Volodymyr Zelensky, introduces mandatory military registration for employment, as well as draconian fines and imprisonment for conscientious objectors and those showing solidarity with them.

In recent months, states around the world have had to respond to the unprecedented challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the next edition of The Broken Rifle, we want to explore the militarised aspects of this response. Read here to contribute.