Helping insumisos with a virtual support network

The following is an email message soliciting international support two Spanish insumisos. We reproduce it here as an illustration of the role that technology (and a very small commitment of time) can play in support to military resisters and prisoners. Postscript: on 21 November 2000, José and Alberto began their imprisonment in Alcalá de Henares, Madrid (see PfP list for address).

Dear Friends:

We hope this message finds you well. We come to you with an offer: would you like to join a support network for two anti-militarists who have deserted the Spanish army? For our disobedience, for fighting for a world free of military spending, armies and wars, we have been sentenced to 2 years and 4 months in prison.

What are the issues?

Military spending on this planet is insane and unfair. According to the UN, 5% of all military expenses could provide the basic health, nutrition, education, and sanitation needs of the entire world. However, the role of the army is not, as governments claim, to carry out humanitarian missions or to maintain the peace, but to defend the interests of the rich while the majority of the world is condemned to misery.

In Spain the conscientious objector movement is known as MOC (Movimiento de Objeción de Conciencia). It is a member of War Resisters' International. MOC has spent many years fighting to abolish the army and to redirect military expenses to social needs. To achieve that goal we have employed, among other strategies, insumisión (insubmission), a refusal to submit to obligatory military service. As a result, many people have been imprisoned. The pressure put on the government has caused it to move toward professionalising the army, but the anti-military movement remains firm in its work toward world peace.

The present strategy of MOC is centred on desertion, known in Spanish as "Insumisión en los Cuarteles." In February of 1998, José Ignacio Royo and Alberto Estefanía deserted the Spanish army. This year they were tried by a military court and sentenced to 2 years and 4 months in prison. At this moment they are at large but will soon be taken into custody. What are they looking for? A just world, one without armies and wars. Utopia? No more than the eradication of poverty or equality for women. The aim is to move in that direction-as more people do, we will all gain strength.

What is Red de Apoyo?

Red de Apoyo is Spanish for Support Network. It is an extensive list of people and organisations who are sensitive to injustice and who want to be informed.

What is the commitment?

A small one: to receive a message like this from time to time (once a month, or less) and to send it out to others.

If this cause interests you, all you have to do is reply to redapoyo@ole.comwith a YES.

Muchas gracias for your attention and your support.

Source: Red de Apoyo a José y Alberto (redapoyo@ole.com)