WRI activists

Direct action against NATO's Trident Juncture war games in Barbate, Cádiz

Happening now: direct action against NATO's Trident Juncture military exercises that are taking place across Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Members of the European Antimilitarist Network join antimilitarists from state of Spain.

Follow #TJ15 #WarStarstHere #OTANno on social media for updates La Guerra Empieza AquiLa Guerra Empieza Aqui

 

Seoul: Activists disrupt arms dealers' welcome dinner

Photo: Sarah WaldronPhoto: Sarah Waldron

After the Stopping the War Business seminar, WRI and World Without War activists took action to disrupt the welcome dinner for the ADEX arms fair in Seoul.

Inside the hotel that was hosting the dinner, activists held banners, chanted 'Stop Arms Trade', and flung money strewn with 'blood' on the ground. They were forceably removed by security, but caught the attention of over around 100 'VIPs', arms dealers and members of the military.

Photo: Mohannad DarabeePhoto: Mohannad Darabee

Outside, protesters held a rally, with speakers, songs, a die-in and a dance, in full view of the buses of arms dealers arriving for the dinner.

Wolfgang Zucht

WRI is sad to announce the death of Wolfgang Zucht, who died on 17 September 2015. Wolfgang was an activist, long-time member of WRI sections in Germany (the Federation of Nonviolent Action Groups and of IdK Berlin), and ran a libertarian-nonviolent publishing house, WeZuCo.

We are happy to pass on messages to Helga Weber, Wolfgang's partner, which you can send to info@wri-irg.org

See Wolfgang Zucht - Gedenkseite

Two Conscientious Objectors, Polen Ünlü and Alper Sapan, were murdered in the Suruç massacre

Polen ÜnlüPolen ÜnlüStatement from WRI affiliate Vicdani Ret Derneği

On 20th of July, many young people from different cities took the road for the re-construction of Kobanê which is the city that has been resisting against the attacks of ISIS for several months. Those young people wanted to re-build the city which was destroyed by war and bring life back to the children who are sentenced to death in the pillaged land. Alper SapanAlper Sapan

But they could not success. Everlasting war policy turned to a bomb and exploded right at the middle of the crowd of young people who were resisting to build the peace. Tens of people lost their lives and hundreds of them were injured.

One of those young people who had lost her life is Polen Ünlü who declared her conscientious objection in 2012 by saying “That war does not murder only men, but it murders women as well.” Alper Sapan is also one of those young people who had murdered in the massacre, and also one of conscientious objectors who declared his conscientious objection in May 2014 by saying “For the world where there is no war, no nation, no border; for freedom, I am listening to my heart and rejecting the military service.”

Auction of Runham Brown's watch

This beautiful, working watch belonged to Herbert Runham Brown (1879-1949), one of the founders of WRI.

It has been kindly donated to WRI for auction by WRI member and former staff person Wolfgang Zucht, in the hope that it might again be owned by someone connected with WRI who would appreciate its history, and be able to help to continue Brown's work through WRI in the process.

Winning bid: £111.11

The auction has now closed. Thank you to everyone who bid!

European antimilitarist actions

Through May and June, WRI affiliates across Europe have been taking action against war profiteers and the military. On 26th May, 'Switzerland Without an Army' blockaded the entrance to a military facility to obstruct a sales pitch by Drones company Elbit Systems. On the same day, Belgian affiliates Vredesactie and Agir Pour La Paix occupied the offices of four government parties in protest at the plan to purchase new F-35 fighter jets. On 8th May, ten protesters in Turkey protested against the IDEF 2015 arms fair in Istanbul, despite heavy resistance from the police (you can see a video of their statement in Turkish here). A few days later, arms dealers attending the IDET arms fair in Brno, Czech Republic, were welcomed to the fair by a host of grim reapers and a banner reading "Death stalks Brno".

WRI supports human rights defenders in Venezuela

War Resisters' International (WRI) is concerned for the safety of its members and of their fellow human rights defenders in Venezuela.

On 13 May the President of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, publicly shared details of the travel arrangements of WRI member Rafael Uzcátegui from the Venezuelan Programa Venezolano de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos (Program for Education and Action on Human Rights - PROVEA), as well as those of Carlos Correa from Espacio Público (Public Space). The information was shared in Diosdado Cabello’s weekly television show “Con el Mazo Dando”. On this programme the work of human rights defenders is regularly questioned and details of their whereabouts are shared. The president of Venezuela, Nicholas Maduro, has described NGO workers who criticise the government as 'bandits', and called for the production of a documentary to be broadcast on television exposing the 'truth' about the work of human rights organisations. 

Among other details, on “Con el Mazo Dando” Diosdado Cabello announced that Rafael Uzcátegui and Carlos Correa were travelling to Chile to meet the former coordinator of PROVEA. This information had only been shared in private online communications, so there is cause to believe these communications are being monitored by the authorities.

Sharing such information puts Rafael, Carlos, and their friends and colleagues at risk. It arms militant government sympathizers with the information they would need to intimidate or attack them.<--break- />

Burghfield Lockdown and European Antimilitarist Network meeting

Construction gate blockadedConstruction gate blockaded

On Monday 2nd March, members of the European Antimilitarist Network and hundreds of activists from across the British isles rose early and prepared for a mass blockade of Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) - Burghfield Lockdown. Burghfield is one of the sites where the British government builds and maintains the nuclear warheads that are fundamental to the Trident nuclear weapons system (alongside Aldermaston, seven miles down the road). The activists were aiming to stop work at the base for the day by nonviolently blockading all of the entrances. Working in small affinity groups, they gathered at strategic points around the base, and all but shut the base by sitting in the roads, many locked together using chains and 'lock on tubes' – in fact, it seems work at the base that day had already been cancelled because of the action, something the protesters counted as an immediate success!

European Antimilitarist Network members questioned under UK anti-terror law

European Antimilitarist Network members meeting before Burghfield LockdownEuropean Antimilitarist Network members meeting before Burghfield Lockdown

Burghfield Lockdown: 25 European Activists Questioned under Schedule 7 Terrorism Act 2000 in Calais

25 international peace activists from Finland, Sweden, and Belgium travelling on a coach from Finland to Burghfield in Berkshire to take part in the Burghfield Lockdown blockade planned for Monday 2 March were stopped and searched under Schedule 7 Terrorism Act by British anti-terror police in Calais on 28 February 2015. The pacifists from groups including the Union of Conscientious Objectors Finland (AKL), ofog in Sweden and Agir pour la Paix in Belgium are part of a group of more than 40 European activist who will take part in the blockade of AWE Burghfield on Monday 2 March 2015, to build up pressure against the renewal of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapon system [1].

Thank you, Javier – vaarwel, adiós and au revoir!

Javier and the Lush Charity Pot for WRI: a limited edition hand cream!Javier and the Lush Charity Pot for WRI: a limited edition hand cream!After ten years Javier Gárate, WRI's first ever Nonviolence Programme worker, is leaving WRI. When Javier started, there was little else than an old computer and WRI’s track record in nonviolence trainings to help him bring together this programme. He has done so very successfully – numerous international trainings for activists, trainings of trainers and two issues of the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns stand for Javier’s achievements in those ten years. Plus of course three "quadriennials", in Germany, India and South Africa, which Javier together with his co-workers played a crucial role in preparing and conducting successfully.

Javier is moving to Belgium, but will continue to participate in some of WRI's regional networks. So we have reasons to hope that this good-bye is also a "see you soon again". We thank Javier very much for his untiring work, his friendliness, his kindness, his dedication, his humour and his keen commitment. WRI has gained so much from your time in the office, and we hope WRI has given you a lot, too. Javier – vaarwel, adiós, all the best and au revoir!

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