A Call For Conscientious Objection to War and War Preparations

War Resisters' International, an international network of pacifist organisations with 90 affiliates in more than 40 countries, calls for conscientious objection whenever and wherever war is being prepared or fought. We are deeply shocked and outraged by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11th. Equally, we condemn the so-called war on terrorism. Responding to the crime of the terrorist attack by committing the crime of bombing and killing equally innocent people would not set the balance equal, nor make people feel more secure- it only adds to the suffering. We call for justice without war. A war of retaliation will only fuel the cycle of violence.

Confronted by President George W. Bush with the choice: "If you are not with us, you are with the terrorists", we choose a third option: nonviolence. Nonviolence is an active response and offers each and every one of us the opportunity to resist war and the preparations for war. It enables us to build a world in which security is gained through disarmament, international co-operation and social justice, not through escalation and retaliation.

Consequently, War Resisters' International urges

  • all soldiers - in whichever forces they are supposed to fight: follow your conscience and refuse to take part: apply for conscientious objector status, refuse orders, desert, Say No!
  • all those involved in preparations for war, in administration or in arms factories: refuse to do so, Say No!
  • journalists and the media asked to promote war: refuse to do so, insist on writing and broadcasting the uncensored truth, Say No!
  • all those who pay tax: demand that your taxes are used for peace, withhold the proportion of tax used for war, Say No!
  • its members and everyone: support those refusing to participate in war and preparations for war, get involved in direct nonviolent resistance against war!
We are aware that not everybody in every country or situation will be in a position to take up any of these ways to resist. There are many other ways to express protest and resistance, too. War Resisters' International stands with all who take action against war, and commits itself to do its best to help those facing repression because of their resistance.
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