Candidates for election to WRI Council 2006
Adriana Patricia Castaño Román
I am Adriana Patricia Castaño Roman, activist of the Red Juvenil of Medellín since 1996, and previously a participant in youth groups in the north-west of Medellín, in community activities, and in grass-roots organisations working for social change. (note to other translators - literally, "strengthening the social fabric for change") As an activist in Red Juvenil, since 1998 I have been promoting active nonviolence, conscientious objection and hum rights. I took part in organising the international conference on war resistance in Medellín in 2003, especially in structuring its methodology.
It means a lot to be part of the WRI Council. First because we want to link ourselves in a more active and purposeful way to this work, and to exchange approaches that we have putting into practice in South America for quite some time. We have experience militarism, in governments and societies that approve this method of maintaining social, political and economic conditions. Second, we became part of the WRI several years ago and now is the moment to propose debates, join in decision-making and generally participate more actively in the internal organisation.
I became a pacifist at school, on a day when someone was hanged "to show that killing people was wrong". But at the time I didn't know there was a name for that viewpoint.
Republic of Macedonia, Balkans
Languages: Macedonian, Serbian/Croation/Bosnian, English
Peace Action (previously GAMA – Group for Anti-Military Action)
I’m one of the founders of GAMA and later on (in 2001) of Peace Action. My involvement in antimilitarist groups came alongside my growth from a motivation driven by theory to concrete actions for peace, solidarity and social justice. Peace Action is an affiliate of WRI and one of the founders of the Regional Network for Conscientious Objection – Objection for Peace (for the region of the Balkans). In Peace Action I’m supposed to be working as a programme coordinator, but in view of the regular lack of staff, I work lots of other ‘what-ever-needs-to-be-done’ things (from fundraising, implementation, administration, etc.).
I’m a conscientious objector. I see my conscientious objection not only as objection to military system, but as a personal philosophy applied on daily basis, on lots of choices that we make every day in our life and taking a pro-active approach towards changing the system we’re put to live in. I’m also one of the founders of a small informal group called “Square Freedom” (“Plostad Sloboda”) which has existed since 2004 and deals mostly with translation, publication and distribution of radical literature (all done on DIY basis) as well as involvement in or/and organization of other public activities.
I am (and was) also personally involved into the work of several antimilitarist groups or initiatives being active on the region of the Balkans in the past several years.
I was born in 1976, and am father of a beautiful baby child Gorazd.
My personal motives for involvement into the work of WRI is mostly based on what I think WRI is: a radical antimilitarist international. When speaking of my priorities within the WRI work, it would probably be connecting WRI work with other groups existing specially on the region of the Balkans (on which I have most knowledge and contacts). To me it seems important also to introduce the WRI work and WRI campaigns to the groups that have similar political understanding and approach and their involvement into the current issues treated by WRI. I would like to be active in the group working on War Profiteers. I think I can connect the work in the group working on War Profiteers with the work on starting the anti-NATO campaign in Macedonia and maybe connecting it with other campaigns in the region of the Balkans. It is also important to link the war profiteers interests in the globalised world – a response to it should be global too. It is also a matter of my interest as an important part of the global antiwar struggle specially in the view of current campaigning on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and probably in near struggle on the situation in Iran.
Languages: English, Shona, Ndebele
My name is Chesterfield Rhodnie Samba, I am a 31 year old gay man, Born 4th September 1975 in Gweru Zimbabwe. I am a black shona man, born to a Zambian father and a Malawian Mother. I am fluent in three languages – mainly English and two local languages, Shona and Ndebele. I am a gay activist and currently employed by the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe as an operations manager, I hold a Zimbabwe accounting Diploma and I am still studying to advance myself in the field of accounting. I have been involved in activism since 1996. My passion is to uphold individual freedoms and rights. I experienced nonviolence training in 2001 in Germany and this helped me in gaining experience especially on how to mobilize and campaign nonviolently. My dream is to rid the world of oppression and war and to have equality of mankind regardless of race, colour, gender or sexual orientation. I am a naturally quiet person and rather shy at times. I hope the exposure I will get in WRI will assist me in my work and that my experience in GALZ will also be useful to the work of WRI.
Languages: Turkish, English
Date of Birth: 25/07/1979
Name of political group: Izmir Non-Violent Trainer Initiative
I actively worked in Izmir War Resisters’ Association since 1997 till 2002. The association established in 1991 and closed 2002. During my activism within the association I worked on feminist, antimilitarist, anarchist, non-violence and CO issues.
I am still active in antimilitarist movement in Turkey, and made my own woman's CO declaration in 2005.
Within the association we founded an antimilitarist-feminist women's group. After some discussions we became independent in 1999 under the name of “Antimilitarist Feminists”. The group does not exist now. During this time, I personally helped found a homosexual group in Izmir which was a first experience in this city.
I had a nonviolent trainer education for two years in 1999-2001. Also participated in several international trainings.
Within the Izmir War Resisters’ Association we had a nonviolent trainer working group. This working group - now called the Izmir Nonviolent Trainer Initiative - continued to work after closure of association with 5 members, including me. We are working with several political groups like feminist, homosexual, antimilitarist, trade union etc. Our aims are introducing nonviolence and training tools, exchanging experiences, creating a culture of nonviolence.
My priorities within WRI are, nonviolence/trainings and antimilitarist feminism. Therefore I would like to be more active in Nonviolent Training working group and Women's group.
As I step down from being WRI’s Chair for the past 8 years, I wish to return to Council, making my priority the development of the Nonviolence Programme. I serve on the Programme’s Coordinating Committee, and am the point person for the war profiteers initiative, working closely with staff. I wish to continue this work, and feel I can do it best if I am on Council. The work I do with WRL includes nonviolence training and campaigning against war profiteers.
Languages: Norwegian, Swedish, English
I have been nominated and accepted to stand for election to WRI Council. Since my first council meeting 1980 I have not missed a single meeting and a quarter of one hundred meetings should be more than enough. My two reasons for accepting the nomination are that I like what WRI stands for and I see that there could be a lack of candidates. My 35 years in the movement have taught me that there are ups and downs. In the downs it is so much harder to have the engagement and joy of working than when you have the peaks. WRI is now waiting for the next period of growth and development. If we have a number of younger and eager candidates I will be the first to step down and let others take over.
What can you expect from me? Well, in addition to my ongoing work with peace, anti-conscription, conflict transformation and nonviolence (far from all in the name of WRI) I will be taking on tasks when asked by Exec, the chair or others in the network. Don't expect too many initiatives from me. When I am at meetings and conferences I will do my best to be a good participants.
I am “Pelao” Carvallo, Ni Casci Ni Uniforme de Chile. My official name is Sergio Adinson Pinto-Nuñez, but I hardly use it any more. A lifelong antimilitarist, I was - at the end of the Pinochet dictatorship - a revolutionary leader at my secondary school. Together with other libertarians, we reintroduced antimilitarism in Chile through organisations, groups and actions. So since 1989 we took part in the Group of Cultural Initiative, Action Direct, CoLiCo , Intoxicación, as well as in the first alliance against compulsory military service - COSMO (early '90s). In 1997 through the Antimilitarist Aseembly, I met up with a group of youths (among them Javier Garate) and we formed Ni Casco Ni Uniforme, where I continue working today. At the Latin American level, I was spokesperson for the Southern Cone and promote of CLAOC (ex-ROLC - the coordination on CO in the Caribbean and Latin America).
Within WRI I plan to contribute to improving our management (and self-management), bringing Council closer to the sections and vice versa, significantly strengthening the presence of WRI in Latin America, cooperating in the Colombia Working Group (I have supported CO groups there) and programmes that touch my experience in Ni Casco Ni Uniforme (war profiteers, the right to refuse to kill, nonviolence training). To re-invent the WRI on the basis of participation and strengthening of sections and networks. And I have much more to say!
Languages: Russian, English, Hebrew
Brief bio: I was born in 1975 in the USSR, and have immigrated to Israel with my mother when I was six. In 1994 I refused to perform military service, and have spent time in prison before being discharged. I have also joined the Israeli section of WRI (run by the late Toma Ŝik). In 1996 I was among the founders of the Association of Conscientious Objectors in Israel. Since 1999 I am active in the Israeli antimilitarist movement New Profile (which has recently become a WRI associate). Among other activities, I have initiated in 2001 the establishment of New Profile's Counselling Network, which today directly assists some 5%-10% of all draft avoiders in Israel, on whatever grounds, and practically all declared COs. Since 2002 I have also been on WRI Council, and since 2004 - on the Triennial Committee.
As for my priorities within WRI - I have been involved in CO work, and will continue to do so. A special focus for me, as it is for New Profile, is the issue of women COs. Naturally, I will also work to strengthen cooperation between WRI and Israeli groups.
Languages: Swedish, English, German
My name is Stellan Vinthagen (email@example.com) and I am a peace worker who lives in Hammarkullen, near Gothenburg, Sweden. Born 13/10/1964, I have been active in various social movements the last 25 years; on issues like nuclear plants and weapons, arms trade, environment, refugees, animal rights etc, doing educational and organising work, e.g. action and strategy trainings in 12 countries on four continents, six years as editor of a peace movement journal (Plogbillen), main organiser of a number of international movement conferences in Germany and Sweden (1987-1999). I am one of the founders of the Plowshares movement in Europe, in which during 1986-2000 I took part in two actions and numerous action groups and spent a total of one year in prison.
I am currently Senior Lecturer at the School of Global Studies and Department of Peace and Development Research, Göteborg University (www.padrigu.gu.se) and Associate Lecturer at a school on International Project Management for Social Movements & NGOs, the Peace Centre at University of Madras, and the College for International Citizenship, Birmingham, England.
My reseach is focused on Social Movements & Change, Globalisation, Nonviolent Action Strategies, Resistance, Conflict Transformation, Peace Work, Power Theory. The translated title of my PhD is: [Nonviolent Action – A Social Practice of Resistance and Construction](2005).
Languages: German, English
Executive member of the Information Agency on Militarisation (IMI) e.V
Member of the European Parliament (Confederal Group of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left – GUE/NGL):
As a co-founder and subsequently board member of the Information Agency on Militarisation (IMI) e.V. my focus is on the foreign and military policy of the European Union, and Germany's role within these policies. Since 1996 IMI has been registered as a charitable organisation promoting peaceful options for conflict resolution and raising awareness of the creeping militarisation of Germany and the European Union. The campaign against the draft for a European Constitution was another focus of IMI in the past two years (more information is available at http://www.imi-online.de).
Since June 1994 the militarisation of the European Union has also been my focus within the European Parliament as coordinator of the Left Faction (GUE/NGL) in the Subcommittee on Security and Defence and in the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The militarisation of the European Union is being developed at lightning speed or [or AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT] even without a new EU constitutional treaty, with the establishment of thirteen EU battle groups from 2007 on, the EU Rapid Reaction Forces with 60,000 soldiers, and with the European Defence Agency which has already been established. I experience this in my daily work in the parliament. Other areas of work within and outside of the parliament are: peace policy, anti-fascism, European asylum policy, and anti-nuclear policy.
Several international hearings have already taken place in the European Parliament, organised by the Peace Initiatives Intergroup in the EP, which I co-chair. The last hearing took place on 14 March, when Cindy Sheehan and the German major Florian Pfaff had been invited for a discussion with European conscientious objectors.
I hope through WRI to improve the flow of information from the Subcommittee on Security and Defence into international networks of anti-war and peace organisation.
A project to surveying and map military bases in Germany related to the military policy of the European Union is presently being worked. This can be a contribution to a world-wide survey of existing military bases and can provide helpful information both internationally and locally for an active anti-war organisation, and can support the demand for the dismantling of all military bases world-wide.