All articles

Tue
04
Jul

UK: New report on the effects of army training on attitudes, health, and behaviour

The First Ambush? Effects of army training and employment

Veterans for Peace UK has released a new report exploring the effects of army employment on recruits, particularly during initial training. The report, drawing on veterans’ testimony and around 200 studies, finds that the risk of violent offending and heavy drinking rises after joining the army.

Dan joined the army in 2006, at 18, having grown up in an area of high unemployment. He was told that military discipline would keep him out of trouble. After training he deployed to Iraq, and when he came home he assaulted a warrant officer. He was sentenced to 18 months in military prison.

Tue
04
Jul

Israel: Atalia Ben-Abba exempted from conscription

Conscientious objector Atalia Ben-Abba has been exempted from military service after spending 110 days in military prison for her refusal to join army. Ben-Abba's release was on grounds of unsuitability, after her request to be recognized as a conscientious objector was rejected.

In her statement following her release, Ben-Abba said “The army can call the waiver [from mandatory conscription] whatever it wants, but the fact of the matter remains that it gave me a waiver as a result of my simple refusal to participate in a system that uses violent means to oppress another people, which has imposed an occupation upon it for 50 years, and is imposing a siege, the consequences of which are yet to be seen.”

Fri
30
Jun

Military Recruiting And How To Confront It

By Pat Elder

Wars start in our high schools and this is where we can end them.

This year the Army’s goal is to recruit 80,000 active duty and reserve soldiers. The Navy is trying to sign up 42,000; the Air Force is looking for 27,000, and the Marines hope to bring on 38,000. That comes to 187,000.  The Army National Guard will also attempt to lure 40,000.

Fri
30
Jun

Recording of webinar: Educating for peace and conscientious objection in South Korea

On 25th May, War Resisters' International organised a webinar on conscientious objection, peace education and countering youth militarisation in South Korea. In the webinar, we had presentations from two Seoul-based peace campaigners: Hanui Choi, Coordinator and Peace Education Facilitator at PEACE MOMO, and Seungho Park, a conscientious objector and an activist from World without War. 

Thu
29
Jun

UK: Protesting Armed Forces Day in Liverpool

By Rhianna Louise*

Today, on Saturday, June 24th, Liverpool is hosting Armed Forces Day in Britain. Armed Forces Day is a relatively new occasion in the UK; it began as Veterans’ Day, in 2006, and was then renamed Armed Forces Day in 2009 in response to declining public support for the armed forces. Events take place across the UK (this year there are over 350), and local councils bid to host the national event – for which they receive a small amount of government funding and sponsorship, and also spend significant amounts of their own money.

Mon
19
Jun

Russia: The Case of the Tenth-Grade Pacifist from Tatarstan

Natalia Vasilieva, The Evening Kazan

They threatened to mess up his permanent record if the tenth grader at a village school in the Arsky region did not take military training classes. The classes are required for boys as part of OBZh — a health and safety course taught in all Russian schools. “I’m a pacifist. I think it’s just not right for me to assemble and disassemble automatic weapons. I don’t want to spend beautiful days in May playing war,” explained 17-year-old Kamil Sh. to newspaper Evening Kazan. Staff at the human rights organization “For Our Sons” note that this is the first case in Tatarstan where a student has openly refused to take part in the OBZh classes out of conviction. Up until now, if young people asked to be excused from the training, it was on grounds of poor health.

Thu
01
Jun

ISRAEL: Conscientious objector Atalia Ben-Abba imprisoned again!

Conscientious objector Atalia Ben-Abba, 19, has been imprisoned for the fourth time for her refusal to serve in the IDF. With this final sentence, Atalia will spend 30 more days behind bars, adding to the 80 days she has already served in military prison.

Send your protest emails to the Israeli authorities here.

Atalia's declaration

In her declaration Atalia states:

My social responsibility as a stakeholder in our society is important to me. The people living here are important to me, all of the people living here, and it's my responsibility and the responsibility of all of us to act for a better life here. My refusal to be drafted doesn't come out of a renunciation of this responsibility, but out of the understanding that our present reality needs to be changed, and that my refusal is my way to change it.

Thu
18
May

Europe's treatment of child refugees 'risks increasing radicalisation threat'

Europe’s “abysmal” treatment of refugee children, who have made up about a third of those seeking asylum on the continent over the last two years, will increase the danger of their later radicalisation and drift into criminality, a damning report from the Council of Europe has said.

A system that allows the sexual and physical abuse of children in overcrowded detention centres, where they are often separated from their families, will only condemn Europe to trouble in the future the report warns.

The number of unaccompanied children who applied for asylum in the European Union reached 96,465 in 2015 and they accounted for almost a quarter of all asylum applicants under 18 years of age.

Thu
18
May

Webinar: Countering youth militarisation in South Korea

War Resisters' International organises a webinar on conscientious objection, peace education and countering youth militarisation in South Korea. The webinar will be joined by two activists from South Korea, Hanui Choi and Seungho Park, who have been active in the field for many years. It is going to take place on 25th May, Thursday, at 12:00 (London), 13:00 (Berlin) and 20:00 (Seoul) (See here for your local time)

To register click here and to find more information see below.

Wed
17
May

Arms and fossil fuel industries in British schools: Undermining the next generation?

Scientists for Global Responsibility

Philip Wood, Scientists for Global Responsibility

The arms and fossil fuels industries are putting a lot of resources into science and engineering educational material for British school children. We should be very concerned, argues Philip Wood, SGR.

In 2007 the head of the Army’s recruitment strategy stated, “Our new model is about raising awareness, and that takes a ten-year span. It starts with a seven-year-old boy seeing a parachutist at an air show and thinking, ‘That looks great.’ From then the Army is trying to build interest by drip, drip, drip.” Industries, crucially the arms and fossil fuels industries, are attempting to do exactly the same thing. They are using the notion of a skills shortage in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to provide STEM ‘enrichment activities’ as a way of getting in front of and influencing a captive audience of impressionable children.

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