15th May: International Conscientious Objectors Day

What?

Since the 1980's, International CO Day has been celebrated as a day of nonviolent direct action in support of CO struggle. Each year, there is a focus on the struggle in a particular country which is accompanied by decentral activities all over the world.This year's activities will focus on Greece with a Training in Nonviolent Action and discussions on issues in Greece taking place between 9th and 14th May

When?

Sunday 15th May (with training running up to it: 9th-14th)

Where?

Thessaloniki, Greece

Why Greece?

Although Greece passed a law on conscientious objection in 1997, this law does not meet international standards, and creates numerous problems for conscientious objectors which result in discrimination.The law on conscientious objection and the case of Georgios Monastiriotis, who refused to participate in Greek military support operations for the occu pation of Iraq, have both lead to increased interest in conscientious objection and growth of the Greek CO movement. Combined with last month's review of Greece by the UN Human Rights Committee, this provides a good climate for increased international activties on conscientious objection in Greece.

Objectives

  • Strengthening the Association of Greek COs through international support.
  • Raising international awareness about the treatment of COs in Greece.·
  • Linking the issue of CO in Greece with nonviolent resistance and nonviolent direct action as a tool for social change movements.
  • Exchange of experience in NV direct action among groups from Greece and abroad.
  • Strengthening international networks of COs through joint training and action.