War Resisters' International: an international movement against war

War Resisters' International was founded in 1921 under the name "Paco". It was and is based on the WRI declaration:

"War is a crime against humanity. I am therefore determined not to support any kind of war, and to strive for the removal of all causes of war"

War Resisters' International exists to promote nonviolent action against the causes of war, and to support and connect people around the world who refuse to take part in war or the preparation of war. On this basis, WRI works for a world without war.

Nonviolence

WRI embraces nonviolence. For some, nonviolence is a way of life. For all of us, it is a form of action that affirms life, speaks out against oppression, and acknowledges the value of each person.

Nonviolence can combine active resistance, including civil disobedience, with dialogue; it can combine non-cooperation - withdrawal of support from a system of oppression - with constructive work to build alternatives.

As a way of engaging in conflict, sometimes nonviolences attempts to bring reconciliation with it: strengthening the social fabric, empowering those at the bottom of society, and including people from different sides in seeking a solution.

No to war

WRI will never endorse any kind of war, whether it is waged by a state, by a "liberation army", or under the auspices of the United Nations, even if it is called a "humanitarian military intervention". Wars, however noble the rhetoric, invariably are used to serve some power-political or economic interest. We know where war leads - to suffering and destruction, to rape and organised crime, to betrayal of values and to new structures of domination.

Get involved! Support COs in prison: co-alerts

In many countries, prison is still the fate of conscientious objectors. Thousands of COs are still in prison [radical] in South Korea, Israel, Finland, and many other countries. Despite many countries having introduced laws on conscientious objection, many COs still face imprisonment, either because they don't fit into the authorities' criteria, or they refuse to perform any alternative service. War Resisters' International supports conscientious objectors who are imprisoned because of their conscientious objection, or face repression by the state or state-like entities.

CO-alerts, sent out by email as soon as the WRI office receives information on the imprisonment or trial of a conscientious objector, are a powerful tool to mobilise support and protest.

CO-alerts are available by email (subscribe at http://lists.wri-irg.org/sympa/co-alert) or on the internet at http://wri-irg.org/news/alerts.

The WRI office also needs more information on imprisoned conscientious objectors from all over the world.

Get in touch with us at:
War Resisters' International, 5 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9DX, Britain; tel +44-20-7278 4040; fax: +44-20-7278 0444; email concodoc@wri-irg.org ; http://wri-irg.org/news/alerts

The broken rifle

The symbol we use, two arms breaking a rifle, was probably used for the first time by the Dutch antimilitarist newspaper Down with Weapons around 1909.

In 1919 Ernst Friedrich, founder of the Berlin Anti-War Museum, met Bart de Ligt - leader of the Dutch Pacifist movement at the time, and was so fascinated by the symbol - which meant anarchy and liberty to him - that he resolved to develop a metal badge of it, he also made flags with the broken rifle and the rising sun. WRI has used the symbol since 1932.

Roberta Bacic