War Resisters' International at the European Social Forum in Athens

Nonviolence Training, conscientious objection, and war profiteers

ESF AthensESF AthensAfter the European Social Forum in London and the World Social Forum in Caracas, War Resisters' International is again involved in the European Social Forum in Athens from 4-7 May.
WRI staff is offering three workshops:

Training in Nonviolent Action

Thursday, 4 May, 18.00-21.00 hrs, room F35
In this three hours training session we want to explore what we - each one of us - means with nonviolence, and what role nonviolence can play in social change. Practical exercises will focus on consensus decision making and practical techniques for nonviolent direct action.

Conscientious Objection in Greece and Turkey

Friday, 5 May, 10.00-13.00 hrs, room F35
In Greece and Turkey conscientious objection is still a hot and unresolved topic. In Greece, the case of Lazaros Petromelidis, who will be appearing in court on 4 May in the morning, highlights this. In Turkey, although conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan has recently been released, the issue is everything but solved.
The workshop will provide information on the situation in Greece and Turkey, and will discuss strategies to support the movements for conscientious objection in both countries. We hope to have representatives from Greece and Turkey present.

Networking Against War Profiteers

Saturday, 6 May, 10.00-13.00 hrs, room F20
The main aim of this workshop is to share experience of work against war profiteers and plan how to network and coordinate these efforts. The workshops is part of WRI's Global Initiative on War Profiteers. The workshop agenda includes:
  • A presentation on companies that are profiteering from armed conflict.
  • Discussion on what different groups are doing on war profiteers
  • Creation of proposals for networking against these companies.
WRI staff Javier Garate and Andreas Speck will be at the European Social Forum, and will facilitate these three workshops. In addition, WRI is present in one seminar:

USA's military bases and the militarisation of the European Union in the service of "global war against terror". Strengthen our fight against them.

Friday, 5 May, 14.30-17.30 hrs, room F32
Speakers in this seminar are:
1. Greek Social Forum - Assembly of Chania/Speaker: Bihakis Fotis
2. Stop the war coalition (Chania)
3. Confederazione - cobas/Speaker: Vincenzo Miliucci 
4. Campaign for nuclear disarmament (CND - UK)/Speaker: Rae Street 
5. European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL)/Speaker: Hans-Peter Richter (German Peace Council, GE),
6. European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL)/Speaker: Andreas Speck (War Resisters' International, UK)
7. Global Peace and Justice Coalition of Turkey/Speaker: Nύlufer Ugur Dalay

Others events of interest

Besides seminars or workshops with involvement from the WRI office, there will surely be many other interesting events. We here give a small and very subjective overview of events with links to WRI.

Kick NATO out of Europe

Thursday, 4 May, 10.00-13.00 hrs, room F38
Organised by: Bombspotting, Global Peace and Justice Coalition of Turkey, Campaign for nuclear disarmament, Baris Anneleri Inisiyatifi (peace mothers initiative).
Speakers include Hans Lammerant from WRI's belgian section Forum voor Vredesactie.

The role of the European Union and of the social forces in the peace processes of Middle East region

Thursday, 4 May, 18.00-21.00 hrs, room E302
This seminar is organised by CGIL, Information center militarization, GUE, ECCP, SOLIDAR, PROSVIL, War on want, Global Progressive Forum, Action For Peace. One of the speakers will be Claudia Haydt from the Germany based Information Center Militarisation, who will also be a convener of one of the theme groups at WRI's conference Globalising Nonviolence.

Middle East - Mediterranean: opposing war threats and nuclear dangers, promoting peace and nuclear free zones

Friday, 5 May, 10.00-13.00 hrs, room F04
Speakers in this seminar are: Kate Hudson - Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament/UK, Rae Street - Network for peace and Human Rights/UK, Tobias Pflüger - MEP, George Martin - Peace and Justice/USA, Mike Frank Epitropoulos - member of the International Relations Committee of the Greens of USA.

Violence against women in Europe – the obligation of states to prevent, protect and assist women victims of domestic violence

Friday, 5 May, 10.00-13.00 hrs, room S103
Speakers include: Sian Jones (researcher, Amnesty International), Maria Naredo (researcher, Amnesty International - Spain)

Constitution building process in the European Union

Friday, 5 May, 10.00-13.00 hrs, room F15 (subject to change - another source puts this at 14.30-17.30 hrs)
Speakers include: Raquel Garrido (international representative of PRS) – chair, Vittorio Agnoletto (Member of the European Parliament), Miriam Bürger (Young Democrats/Young Left), Susan George (vicepresident Attac France), Jean-Luc Mélenchon, PS senator, spoke-person of PRS, Paolo Nerozzi (confederal secretary CGIL, Italy), Tobias Pflueger (Member of the European Parliament), Franco Russo (Forum per la democrazia costituzionale europea), Christoph Strawe (Attac Germany), Andrew Tompkins (Mehr Demokratie), Nicola Vallinoto (vicesecretary MFE), Dimitris Papadimoulis, MEP (GUE/Synaspismos)

Sience and Peace

Friday, 5 May, 14.30-17.30 hrs, room F35
Workshop organised by INES (International Network of Engineers and Scientists)

Resistance against the new world elite – No to G8

Saturday, 6 May, 10.00-13.00 hrs, room E204
Seminar organised by Euromarches (DE), G8 Alternatives-Scotland, Russian Social Forum, ATTAC (Germany), Campaign GENOA 2001 (Greece)

General ESF information

The 4th European Social Forum will be held at the Basketball and Fencing Facilities, right next to the ex-West Airport at the area of Hellinikon. More information is available on the official website of the European Social Forum.