International Conscientious Objectors Day
15th May is International Conscientious Objectors' Day, and in 2006 War Resisters' International focuses on the situation of and support to US war resisters: GIs applying for conscientious objector status, going AWOL, or finding other ways to get discharged from the military. War Resisters' International has joined with many US peace organisations to organise International Conscientious Objectors' Day in the USA - a series of international events under the title Operation Refuse War, culminating in an International Conference of Resisters to Global War in Washington DC from 13th-14th May 2006.
But activities not only take place in New York and Washington DC. In San Francisco, Courage to Resist is organising two events: on May 15 there will be a rally, a march to a local military recruiting station, and non-violent direct action highlighting youth and members of the community directly affected by military policies. On May 14, Mothers Day, there will be an "Afternoon of Youth Perfromance Art and Short Films" to celebrate resistance to military recruiting and the growing opposition to war from witin the military at the Parkway Theatre in Oakland, CA.
On the Balkans, the peace activist Caravan entitled Objection for Peace, organised by the Regional Network of initiatives for Conscientious Objection (CO) in Southeast Europe is starting its journey through the cities of the region on Tuesday, May the 2nd and will travel until the 15th of May 2006. The Caravan will begin in Skopje and then continue through cities of Prishtina, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Osijek, Banja Luka, Sarajevo, Mostar, Šibenik, ending in Zagreb. Two of the participants of this caravan will also join the events in New York and Washington.
In Frankfurt, Germany, Connection e.V. celebrates International Conscientious Objectors' Day with a day of action. This will include the opening of an exhibition "International Work for Conscientious Objectors and Deserters", which will then be open in the Katharinen Church in Frankfurt until 5 June Mondays to Fridays from 2-6pm.
In London, there will be a International CO Day Commemoration at 12 noon at Tavistock Square with main speaker Chris Cole of Fellowship of Reconciliation.
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