Hello to you, little girl with a gun. You, who were dressed in a uniform, who was placed second row on the side, between your fellow pre-schoolers. You who marched to the beat and saluted to the sound of parents clapping in the Independence Day party. You wanted to make the largest Purim food package1 in class, you wrapped all the sweets in colourful paper. One older kid passed between the classroom and asked for an “educational shekel”2. You didn't even know what that was, but you gave three shekels anyway.
Association of Conscientious Objection in Turkey organises the International Symposium on Conscientious Objection this weekend in Istanbul. The Symposium will take place between 5-6 September with the participation of conscientious objectors, experts and activists from Germany, Turkey, Egypt, Switzerland and the UK. See Vicdani Ret Dernegi (Turkish) for further information.
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.
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.
The military in the United States portrays itself as endowed with the highest virtues—honor, duty, self-sacrifice, courage and patriotism. Politicians, entertainers, sports stars, the media, clerics and academics slavishly bow before the military machine, ignoring its colossal pillaging of state resources, the egregious war crimes it has normalized across the globe, its abject service not to democracy or freedom but corporate profit, and the blind, mind-numbing obedience it inculcates among its members. A lone soldier or Marine who rises up inside the system to denounce the hypermasculinity that glorifies violence and war, who exposes the false morality of the military, who refuses to kill in the service of imperial power, unmasks the military for what it is. And he or she, as Chelsea Manning has learned, swiftly pays a very, very heavy price.
Submitted by antimili-youth on Fri, 15/05/2015 - 17:36
15th May is International Conscientious Objection Day - a joint day of action used by peace activists around the world to support those who refuse to be part of the militarist system, as well as to remember and learn from conscientious objectors of past generations.
Those who resist war and preparations for war expose the military for what it is. As Yeook Yang, from World Without War, a WRI affiliate in South Korea, tells us: "In a highly militarised society where any discussion of the military is taboo, conscientious objectors are making it clear that the military exists only to kill."
For us, conscientious objection is part of a wider nonviolent struggle to transform oppressive and violent systems, and show an alternative way.
Here are some ways you can support conscientious objectors around the world today:
A new law stipulates that young men in the cantons of Kobani, Ifrin and Al Jazeera must enlist. Now, some have begun to flee.
When 29-year-old Bassam defected from the Syrian army he thought he had escaped mandatory military service for good. The law school student fled to Iraqi Kurdistan in early 2012, then to the neighboring Syrian city of Qamishli.
But the draft followed him. On July 13 the militant arm of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which exerts civil control over Kurdish-majority areas of the northeast, introduced a bill that would force Bassam to join the Kurdish armed forces.
From children's shows to national war drills, a discussion on militarism in Israeli society and gender equality in the army.
On Wednesday, June 22nd, Israel held the largest war exercise in its history. The Real News' Lia Tarachansky interviewed Rela Mazali, the founder of New Profile, an organization working to demilitarize Israeli society, and Alex Cohn, a war resister who served five months for objecting to serve in the army. Cohn analyses a children's show that portrays a typical interaction between soldiers and Israeli children as part
Through articles, images, survey data and interviews, Sowing Seeds: The Militarisation of Youth and How to Counter It documents the seeds of war that are planted in the minds of young people in many different countries. However, it also explores the seeds of resistance to this militarisation that are being sown resiliently and creatively by numerous people. READ MORE