globalising nonviolence. War Resisters' International Conference

War Resisters' International conference, 23-27 July 2006

With the conference 'Globalising Nonviolence' only six weeks away, it is high time to register for the conference NOW. And to make travel arrangements.
The Triennial programme - which is certain to change slightly - is now available on the WRI Wiki, as is a preliminary list of workshops, which you can also use to add your own workshop proposals.

The General Structure of the Conference

Each day of the conference will begin with a plenary session on the major topic of that day. Then participants will divide into 10 theme and activity groups, where the same 10-30 people will meet every day during the conference to discuss a specific theme in depth or engage in action to produce some tangible outcome. After lunch there will be one-time workshops, an afternoon plenary session and space for different home-groups (groups of common language, geographical area or field of interest) to meet and discuss the various issues that came up during the day. There will also be an exhibition, music/art performance, time for a party and other forms of social space, since much of the best networking takes place in between the official programme.

The details in the programme outline below are still in the planning stages.We have not yet planned individual workshops for the conference, and indeed, it is part of the plan for the conference to leave some space for spontaneous organisation of workshops by participants on the spot. Names of speakers, facilitators and other resource persons, as well as the exact content of plenary sessions, are being discussed at present, and are therefore not mentioned below.

Day Topics

Day one: Opening Plenary “Globalising Nonviolence”Facilitation: Howard Clark, Majken Soerensen

Speakers: Joanne Sheehan, Jürgen Grässlin

The opening session aims to set a more participatory tone than in most international conferences. In addition to two keynote speeches (speakers yet to be invited), there will be activities to bring participants together – first to explore their own involvement in globalisation and second to present some of the projects they are promoting.

The session will conclude with an exercise drawing up a list of the assumptions that participants hold in common – points that do not need debating or constant reiteration but can be assumed in the debates that follow, so reducing the danger of too much repetitive stating of the obvious.

A multi-media presentation on campaigns focusing on globalisation is also being considered.

Day two: “Militarism and globalisation”

On this day we will analyse the process of globalisation and its links with militarism, especially focusing on the economic aspects of globalisation.

Morning plenary: "Economy and militarism"

Facilitation: ?
Speaker: Maria Mies

The speaker of the morning plenary will address the following questions:

* How does economic globalisation strengthen militarism?
* How does militarism strengthen economic globalisation?
* How is the justification (the public and the real justification) for war changing (eg “war on terrorism”, “conflict prevention in failed states”)?
* How is war itself changing?


Workshops will include (still in planning stages):

* “The role of military intervention in globalising the sex industry”
* “Globalisation and the rise of belligerent religious fundamentalism”
* “Post-war peacebuilding: an abused concept”

Evening plenary: "Privatisation of Military and War"

Facilitation: ?

Speakers: Ann Feltham (Campaign Against Arms Trade UK), Simon G Harak (WRL, USA)

One of the ways warfare is changing is the increase in private military companies and private security, "outsourcing" of services for the military and "mercenaries". The speaker(s) of the evening plenary will address the following questions:

* How is the military in different parts of the world making use of "outsourcing" and for what reasons?
* What is the role of "mercenaries"?
* Do private military contractors change warfare?

Day three: “Learning from globalisation from below”

This day will investigate nonviolent actions against the negative aspects of globalisation already taking place and present the possibilities for activists from all over the world to learn from the experience of these nonviolent actions.

Morning plenary

Facilitation: ?
Speakers: Paul Russmann, Germany, Samiira Jama Ebli, Somaliland

The morning plenary will focus on a case study where groups from the global south and global north have worked together as an example of globalised cooperation from below. The case study will be on small arms, where German and East African groups have worked together (wihtin the IANSA network).

The plenary will address the following questions:

* How to start a north/south cooperation
* What are the benefits and challenges of campaigning together?


Workshops will include:

* “Military, Conscription and Social Welfare”
* “Women – the global proletariat”

Evening plenary

Facilitation: Jorgen Johansen ?

Speakers: N.N. (ISM), Dorothee Naor (New Profile), Sheering al-Ajab, Palestine

Global politics created and continues to fuel the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But this conflict has also been the focus of a range of nonviolent initiatives – among Palestinians and Israelis, as well as internationally. These range from promoting cooperation and dialogue between various types of counterparts in each community – youth, women, professions, etc – to solidarity projects, various forms of “accompaniment” and international nonviolent presence. To some extent, non-governmental initiatives around this conflict can be seen as an example of “globalisation from below” trying to support local attempts to attain a just peace. The plenary will thus address the following questions:

Some international nonviolent initiatives has been seen as an attempt to dictate strategy to the Palestinians. *What can be learnt from the interaction between international movements and local actors?

* Solidarity actions with various groups inside Israel-Palestine are often a means of pressure on external actors such as foreign governments. What leverage for change do they exert, and how can that be strengthened?
* Can we consider nonviolence as effective in this context?

Day four: “For a nonviolent strategic framework”

Building on the previous day, day four will look at how WRI can develop its nonviolent strategies and how WRI can contribute with its knowledge of nonviolent actions to the globalisation-critical movement.

Morning plenary

Facilitation: ?
Speaker: Stellan Vinthagen

For several years, globalisation from below movements have organised actions at summits and meetings of the global financial institutions like the World Bank. The movement has established its own structure of world, regional and local social forums.

* What are the strengths and weaknesses of the actions at global summits? How can their nonviolent character be strengthened? What means are appropriate in challenging non-state structures of power? How relevant is civil disobedience in this context?
* What are the possibilities for action against corporations making profit of war? Mobilisation is itself a goal but for what goals do we mobilise?
* What is needed to move beyond protest and towards social change?


Among the workshops this afternoon there will be:

* “Nonviolent strategic planning for globalization from below groups”
* “Alliance-building - overcoming the marginalisation of women at Social Forums”
* “Alliance-building – accepting diversity while maintaining nonviolence”

Evening plenary

Facilitation: Howard Clark
Speakers: Felix Kolb, Germany, Sian Jones, Britain

The evening plenary will have two speakers, one identified with the globalisation from below movement, and one more identified with the peace/pacifist movement - a speaker from the WRI council. The speakers will discuss several aspects of nonviolence and globalisation:

* What does a nonviolent strategy have to contribute to the movement for globalisation from below?
* What does involvement in the movement for globalisation from below have to contribute to a nonviolent antimilitarist strategy?

The plenary will use an interview format to create more interaction.

Day five: Closing Plenary From Protest to Social Change

Facilitation: ?

Presentations from Theme Groups

* Analysis: A dialogue on alliances and goals
* Campaigns: short presentations and comments/questions/answers with audience on plans for action in the coming years
* Action: video presentation and short training exercise

Theme and Activity Groups

The list of groups below is not yet final.

Campaigning against military interventions

Convenors: Hans Lammerant, Forum voor Vredesactie, Belgium, and Claudia Haydt, IMI, Germany

Today the military industry, like other branches of the economy, is privatised, diversified, and globalised. But unlike other industries, it is still the classical example of a two-sided monopoly, of a political economy and industry. This group will be dealing with the connections between both aspects and their consequences, with the connection between neo-liberalism and neo-imperialism, arms production and export on a global level, and concentration and diversification in military industry. It would work out an analysis of both the strategy and the practice of the global military-industrial complex.

Military presence

Convenors: Sergeiy Sandler, Israel, N.N., Germany or elsewhere??

The military does more than just wage wars. It has a profound impact on society and culture through processes of militarisation. It occupies space, both physical and cultural. In some countries (eg Israel and Turkey), this is done in a deliberately conspicuous manner. In other countries military presence is less apparent, but it is still there. This theme group will study the various forms of this military presence and will work on incorporating the concept of militarisation into global political analysis. Finally, it will examine possible strategies of nonviolent resistance to militarisation and constructive action towards demilitarisation to be taken globally and locally.

Nonviolent citizens’ intervention

Convenors: Jorgen Johansen, Norway/UK, Jill Sternberg, East Timor/USA

Nonviolent citizens' intervention is a practical example of globalisation from below, making links globally and supporting peace building and resistance to oppression in other parts of the world.

This group will review different styles of intervention, on a spectrum from solidarity action to non-partisan “accompaniment”, evaluate the goals and impact of various movement initiatives, and will discuss issues of analysis and strategy involved.

Nonviolent strategy and globalisation

Convenors: Stellan Vinthagen, Sweden, and Jai Sen, India

This group combines the central issues of the conference, promoting nonviolence in the context of resisting globalisation. The theme group will begin with analysis. What are the strategies and objectives of the globalisation-critical movement and the place of nonviolence within these? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the apparent diffuseness of its goals? What alliances have grown up within the “movement of movements” and what has been neglected? How do the activities of the international anti-war movements mesh with this? The discussion will then move on to propose means of strengthening the nonviolent character of “globalisation from below”, including considering how to focus certain strategic alliances and how to clarify strategic objectives. Issues of raising the profile of antimilitarism in “globalisation from below” will be addressed in this context.

The right to refuse to kill

Convenors: Aimee Allison, USA and Andreas Speck, UK/Germany

Globalisation leads to new roles for the military, or new justifications for old roles. This has some influence on resistance against conscription and recruitment. Discussions in this group will Include the themes of conscientious objection, war tax resistance, deserters, and/or war resistance without conscription. “The Right to Refuse to Kill” is one of WRI's major programmes. This group will discuss how to develop this programme further in the context of the general theme of the conference.

War Profiteers

Convenors: Javier Garate, Chile/Britain, and Joanne Sheehan, USA

This theme group has a very specific task: to develop a campaign against war profiteers. Many campaigns are focused on the negative aspects of profit; this campaign should focus on the negative aspects of making a profit on war. It should name some of the biggest transnational corporations that make a profit through war, develop a campaign with informational material, identify potential allies, seek ways to direct nonviolent actions against these companies, and draw up appropriate goals.

Nonviolence training for beginners

Convenors: N.N., Germany, and Enrique Gauto Bozzano, MOC Paraguay

Nonviolence is an important tool of struggle in the movement for globalisation from below. Through games, role plays, exercises and discussions, the participants in this group will be introduced to various aspects of the field of nonviolence. The group is intended for participants who are new to the nonviolence tradition. What is nonviolence, and what is the difference between nonviolence as a technique and nonviolence as a way of life? Which nonviolent methods are efficient for what purposes and under what circumstances? How can nonviolent actions inspire us, and how to sustain a commitment to nonviolence through time?

Home groups

The home groups will meet for half an hour at the end of each day, and be a support and discussion group with no more than 10 people. The participants will here have the opportunity to exchange what they have experienced during the day, and come up with suggestions on how to improve the conference.

Home Groups should be language and affinity groups, so members have a common origin or common interest. This is an excellent chance to socialise and network, and to build up sustainable connections for future work.

Conference Timetable


22.07.06 23.07.06 24.07.06 25.07.06 26.07.06 27.07.06 28.07.06 29.07.06 30.07.06

militarism and
learning from
globalisation from below
strategic framework

Council Morning Session Morning Session Morning Session Theme Groups
Home Groups
Business Meeting Council Exec
Morning Break Departure
Council Theme Group Theme Group Theme Group Closing Plenary Business Meeting Council
Opening Plenary Workshop Workshop Workshop Departure Business Meeting Council
Afternoon Break
Exec Theme Groups Afternoon Session Afternoon Session Afternoon Session Departure Departure Departure
Arrival Home Groups Home Group Home Group Home Group
Departure Departure

Travel Information


There are many international and regional airports as well as cheap and more expensive airlines in Germany. Warning: Airports of budget airlines often will not be as close to the next city as they seem!

  • Frankfurt, the biggest airport with 130 airlines and 260 daily connections, directly to and from all continents:
    If you fly Lufthansa, it may be cheaper and/or faster to have a flight connection to Düsseldorf, Hannover or Paderborn, which costs only the airport fees. But it may be as cheap or fast to take a train from the airport station. You have to check...
  • Düsseldorf ( is closer to Paderborn and also has many international connections and an airport train station. Besides Lufthansa and similiar airlines there are some international budget airlines like Air Berlin ( and Germania Express (, too. The local train from Düsseldorf to Paderborn is almost as fast as the express train (ICE), but cheaper.
  • Niederrhein ( is what Ryan Air calls Düsseldorf. Ryan Air ( flies to "Düsseldorf" (or Berlin) from Milano, Jerez, Glasgow, Bologna (Forli), Montpellier, Rome, Pescara, Tampere, Alghero, Gothenborg, Venice (Treviso), Kerry, Stockholm (Skavsta), Oslo (Torp), Shannon, London (Stansted), Girona (Barcelona), Pisa (Florence), Reus (Salou). There is an airport shuttle bus to Weeze rail station, from where you can get local trains to Krefeld or Düsseldorf proper. From there you can get other trains to Paderborn.
  • Hannover is almost as close to Paderborn as Düsseldorf, but not so big and so well connected by train:
  • Besides there are some other convenient international airports like Köln/Bonn ( and Berlin-Tegel or -Schönefeld (
  • Dortmund ( and Münster/Osnabrück ( are even closer, but have less airlines and connections, though some very cheap ones (EasyJet:, Air Berlin:, Eurowings: You have to take a bus or a taxi to get to the next train station.
  • Paderborn/Lippstadt is of course the closest, but has the least connections (including London). You have to go on to the venue by taxi (8 km only):


If you are coming from London, Amsterdam, Brussels, or Paris, you can go to Cologne with Thalys, an international railways service:

In any case you should see the very good german railways service website including a query form in english, french, spanish and italian. Reference: Regular one way express train ticket from Frankfurt to Geseke costs 63,- € via Kassel, and 83,- € via Cologne (longer distance, but higher speed and same time)!

There are different prices for local trains (RB, RE) and express trains (IC, ICE) and different offers:

Express and Local Train Ticket Offers

BahnCard 25

25 per cent off

in Germany

for 51,50

BahnCard 50

50 per cent off

in Germany

for 206,-


25 per cent off

in Europe

for 15,- more

Local Train Ticket Offers

Schönes Wochenende

up to 5 persons

up to 24 hours on weekends

in Germany, Poland, and Czechia

for 32,-

Schöner Tag NRW

up to 5 persons

up to 24 hours

in North Rhine-Westphalia

for 29,-

Schöner Tag NRW

1 person

up to 24 hours

in North Rhine-Westphalia

for 23,-

Schöne Fahrt NRW

1 person

up to 2 hours

in North Rhine-Westphalia

for 13,20

North Rhine-Westphalia includes the cities of Cologne, Dusseldorf, Dortmund, Munster, and Paderborn.

Within NRW it may be almost as fast to go to Geseke by local train as by express train.

If you come by express train via Kassel, you have to go to Paderborn, if you come via Hamm, you have to go to Lippstadt. Then you have to go on to Geseke by local train. Trains leave appr. every 30 min. and take appr. 10-15 min. There will be a connection to the venue in Eringerfeld by bus (during working week buses leave appr. every 60 min. and take appr. 20 min.) or mini-van (at weekend on demand) or taxi (at night; 8 km only).


You have to get on the highway/motorway/autobahn A 44 between Dortmund and Kassel.

You have to get off at exit Geseke and go on in direction of Steinhausen.

In Steinhausen in front of the Volks-Bank you have to turn hard right in direction of Eringerfeld.

In Eringerfeld pass the castle, cross the side street and then turn right onto the parking.

Visa information

Please check visa requirements on the website of the German Foreign office at If you need a visa to come to Germany, please contact WRI after registration for the conference. We will provide you with an invitation after payment for participation in the conference has been received.

We are looking forward to meeting you in Germany in July 2006!

Kind regards,
The Conference Team

Registration information

War Resisters' International, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX, Britain
+44 20 72784040