1 December - Prisoners for Peace Day: Focus on Russia
Traditionally, War Resisters' International celebrates Prisoners for Peace Day on 1 December. The history of War Resisters' International's activities for Prisoners for Peace goes back to the 1920s, but 1 December was for the first time celebrated as 'Prisoners for Peace Day' in 1956.
The focus of Prisoners for Peace Day 2006 will be the situation in Russia:
the situation of conscientious objectors after
the introduction of a law on conscientious objection in 2004 (see href="http://wri-irg.org/news/2003/un0309ru.htm">WRI's report from 2003,
and the QCEA report ' href="http://wri-irg.org/co/rtba/russia.htm">The Right to
Conscientious Objection in Europe' from 2005);
the measures against NGOs and independent groups in
Russia, which makes it increasingly difficult for oppositional groups
to work in the country.
The war in Chechnya, which is still going on, and not
much in the media any more. We will also aim to cover resistance to the
war within Russia, and in Chechnya itself.
Your support is needed
War Resisters' International needs your support in compiling the
annual 'Prisoners for Peace' list, which will include activists
imprisoned for conscientious objection, but also for other nonviolent
action against war and violence. Data for prisoners who will be in jail
at any time during the year can
be sent to the WRI office using this form. Or sent your information
by fax (+44-20-72780444) or email to the href="mailto:email@example.com">WRI Office.
The deadline for information to be included in the list is 20 October
2006, and the material will be available from 24 October on in English,
German, French, and Spanish (languages other than English might be
available slightly later).
On 1 December, put aside at least one hour and write at least
four cards to prisoners;
Get your peace group or class or meeting place to organise a
Set up a stall in your town centre, perform a bit of street
theatre, or do whatever else it takes to attract attention and interest.
Always send your card in an envelope;
Include a return name and address on the envelope;
Be chatty and creative: send photos from your life, drawings;
Tell prisoners what you are doing to stop war and war
Don't write anything that might get the prisoner into trouble;
Think about the sort of thing you'd like to receive if you were
Don't begin, "You are so brave, I could never do what you have
Don't expect the prisoner to reply;
Remember -- next year it could be you ...