From 17-21 September, European social movements will gather in Malmö for the European Social Forum (ESF) 2008. Likewise, many peace and antimilitarist activists will meet at the European Peace Action Forum, which is part of the ESF, and organised by many European peace groups, coordinated by the Swedish antimilitarist group ofog.

This will be an important opportunity to strengthen and coordinate our nonviolent resistance to global militarism. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continueing, an escalation of the confrontation between Europe and Russia over the short war in Georgia, and new dangerous armaments projects by NATO, we as antimilitarists and pacifists face huge challenges: how do we end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and bring our countries' troops home? How do we stop the increasing militarisation of the European Union, and the ever closer co-operation between the European Union and NATO? How do we stop the rapid transformation of NATO into a more and more aggressive and offensive intervention alliance, and make steps towards disbanding NATO? How do we confront the increasingly aggressive recruitment efforts of our militaries in schools, universities, and disadvantaged neighbourhoods?

The issues we as antimilitarists face are huge and global, easily crossing the borders within Europe, and beyond. We as antimilitarists lag behind in our European and international coordination, to become a truly European, or even global antimilitarist movement, which can confront the challenges of a globalised militarism. Let's meet at the EPA in Malmö so that we can make some steps to catch up and challenge globalised militarism.

Andreas Speck