Nonviolence

Lessons from the Arab Spring

The Broken Rifle 98

Libyan protesters stage a demonstration in the capital, Tripoli, in May. Credit: Mahmud TurkiaLibyan protesters stage a demonstration in the capital, Tripoli, in May. Credit: Mahmud TurkiaThe popular unarmed uprisings in the Arab World early in 2011 took the world by surprise, both because most observers did not expect demands for human rights and democratic choice to become central in Arab states, and because they did not expect mass protest to be predominantly unarmed. However, in retrospect there are many reasons why initially the 'Arab Spring' took the forms it did in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Libya and other states. Moreover, as scholars of nonviolent civil resistance pointed out, in the first months the most significant movements displayed some of the classic characteristics of such resistance. In the longer term, however, many of the movements have failed to fulfill their initial promise, overtaken by armed civil war (as happened quickly in Libya and more gradually in Syria), or failing to achieve their initial democratic promise - most notably in Egypt. The impressive protests at the 'Pearl Roundabout' in Bahrain were quite quickly crushed, and preemptive offers by rulers of Morocco and Jordan to make reforms to meet public demands have so far only diluted royal power. This article briefly elaborates on the points made above, and then raises some questions about the future.

Nonviolence at work in South Sudan

ONAD Nonviolence WorkshopONAD Nonviolence WorkshopA Pastor reported (in a follow up meeting) “Since I attended the nonviolence workshop, I stopped hating Muslims. They burnt our Churches in Khartoum and since that time, I lost respect to Muslims and hate them. Now we are in a new Country, I don’t want Muslims to suffer the way Christians suffered under Islamic regime in Sudan. Its painful to forgive but my Bible tells me to forgive as God has forgiven us”. Since 2011 the pastor, a few other Christians and group of Muslims are working together. They organize outreach workshops to both Christians and Muslims in Juba.

Empowering Nonviolent Action in Africa

Dear Friends,

In South Sudan, the seeds of nonviolence are being sown and cultivated by the Organisation for Nonviolence and Development (ONAD), a War Resisters' International affiliate.

Despite changes of attitudes and behaviour of individuals and groups as a result of ONAD's nonviolence trainings, many people still believe armed struggle can bring the changes they hope to see. In South Sudan, society is highly militarized with some civilians owning weapons. While some have surrendered their guns to the government, disarmament of both minds and hearts are equally necessary if we are to avoid ongoing militarization of society.

Against Military Intervention in Syria

Statement by Women in Black Madrid

Once again the guardians of democracy rise up as saviors, in this case, saviors of Syria. But when they speak of helping the Syrians, they speak of military support to the insurgents in order to defend their own interests in the area. While peaceful protests lasted, the international community looked aside. When Asad crushed them harshly: the uprising of the children of Deraa, the sit-ins and demonstrations of the young people and the country folks, there was no great echo in the conventional media.

Time to Go! Belgian campaign against nuclear weapons

Press statement , 14 October 2013

Belgian former prime ministers and a former Secretary General of the NATO support campaign against nuclear weapons.

'Time to Go!' is the name of the campaign of the Belgian peace movement against the American nuclear weapons stationed in Belgium. On Sunday 20 October 2013 (from 2 until 6 p.m.) the peace movement organizes a national demonstration for nuclear disarmament in the Belgian capital Brussels (Jubelpark- Cinquantenaire ). There will be speeches, entertainment for children and concerts of Jaune Toujours, James Deano en Helmut Lotti.

http://www.timetogo.be

Webinar: Extractivismo y Militarismo en América Latina

Video del webinar por Rafael Uzcategui titulado: "Extractivismo y Militarismo en América Latina"

Mexico – so far from peace, so close to the United States

Protest for liberation of tzotzil teacher A. Patishán, acused of assesination of 7 police officersProtest for liberation of tzotzil teacher A. Patishán, acused of assesination of 7 police officers

By Igor Seke

The 'War against Drugs' erupted in Mexico at the end of 2006 when Felipe Calderón, just 10 days into his presidency, launched the joint operation 'Michoacán' to fight organised crime. It has resulted in at least 60,000 deaths from executions, confrontations between gangs of narcotrafficers and battles with federal forces.

A Call for Action at AWE Burghfield 26th August to 7th September 2013

Burghfield Disarmament Camp on Day One. Photo: Zoe BroughtonBurghfield Disarmament Camp on Day One. Photo: Zoe Broughton

By Angie Zelter

In 2016 the UK government will finalise the decision to build a new nuclear weapons system to replace the present Trident system (http://actionawe.org/the-trident-system/). The nuclear submarines that carry Trident are getting old, so the government has pledged to finalise contracts to replace them in 2016 in order to build a new generation of nuclear weapons at an estimated cost of £76–100 billion. This is more than the current planned public spending cuts of £81 billion. If the contracts go ahead, the warheads would be designed and manufactured at AWE (Atomic Weapons Establishment) Aldermaston and Burghfield, in Berkshire, about 50 miles west of London ( http://actionawe.org/awe-burghfield-maps-gates/ ).

Diego Garcia: the Biggest Military Base in Africa

By Lindsey Collen

The Island states of Africa often get forgotten. The word “the continent” somehow leaves them out. And this is a serious conceptual error when it comes to scrutinizing the US military presence in Africa.

Let’s take things step-by-step.

Okinawa: Militarised Islands

By Dr. Masami Kawamura

Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture of Japan, consisting of some 160 islands with a population of approximately 1.4 million, is known as kichi no shima or military base islands. While Okinawa consists of only 0.6% of all the Japanese landmass, 74% of US military bases in Japan are concentrated in the prefecture. At present, further militarisation of Okinawa is taking place and Okinawan people are putting up a stern opposition to it. With a brief background of the militarisation of Okinawa, I would like to highlight two recent developments: the construction of a US military airport in the Henoko/Oura Bay area and the construction of six helipads at Takae in Yanbaru Forest.

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