15th May: Today is International Conscientious Objection day
Conscientious objection means refusing to be co-opted into militarism. It means naming armies and organised violent groups for what they really are, and often being at risk of imprisonment and social stigma for doing so.
It also means joining in an internationalist movement, which is organising nonviolently towards societies free from war and oppression. This work is made more possible by solidarity across borders - and that's where you come in!
Every year on this day, activists around the world gather to celebrate those who have - and those who continue - to resist war, especially by refusing to be part of military structures.
Events are taking place today in Germany, South Korea, Colombia, Turkey, the UK, USA, and elsewhere. Plans range from a vigils with song in Sheffield, the naming of a street in an old military barracks after a Iraq war refuser in Mannheim, a webinar on militarisation in Colombia (which you can sign up for here), and pedalling for peace in Seoul!
You can join a webinar (in Spanish) at 8.00pm UTC on 'Peace negotiations and deepening militarization in Colombia'. Register here.
Have a look here - there may be an event near you! Or get inspiration for planning an event next year. If there's not something happening near you, please support the day on social media, using #COday to tell others why you think the right to refuse to kill is important.
And you can support conscientious objectors to militarism around the world all year round, by:
- signing up to receive our CO Alerts
- following us on social media so you can share news and advocacy alerts as they happen: Twitter | Facebook
- making a donation to WRI, to enable us to continue our work supporting CO movements