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Thu
26
Sep
2019
Submitted by Gary
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.

Fri
28
Apr

Making Your Claim as a Conscientious Objector to War

A training video created for Veterans for Peace by PepperSpray Productions.

Making Your Claim as a Conscientious Objector to War
Wed
19
Apr

Colombia: Conscientious objector Diego Blanco illegally recruited

Conscientious Objector Diego Fernando Blanco López from Colombia was illegally recruited by the Colombian army, despite his right to postpone due to being a student. He is currently being forced to serve in the Grupo de Caballeria Mecanicado No 4 Juan de Corral of the Colombian Army in Rionegro, Antioquia.

Since his declaration of conscientious objection on 20th March 2017, Diego Blanco has been subjected to aggression and harassment by his superiors. When he refused to take arms earlier this week, he was attacked by the First Sergeant Oscar Camacho Cartagena and has been threatened with a court martial for disobedience/insubordination.

Support Diego Blanco with your protest emails to the authorities. Send your emails here.

Wed
19
Apr

Protests at Israel's leading university for its marketing course on the arms trade

As part of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, Hamushim activists from Israel delivered hundreds of protest letters to the Technion, a public research university based in Haifa and Tel Aviv, calling on the university authorities to stop their course on arms trade, “Defense Strategy for International Markets”.

The Technion, Israel's leading academic institution, now offers this course for arms exporters and executives in the defense industry. It's designed to upgrade their knowledge and expertise specifically regarding the international arms trade, and to teach them how to form a strategy for arms exports for international markets. After demonstrating at the Tel Aviv campus where the course takes place, activists delivered protest letters signed by hundreds to the Technion on Monday this week.

The letter reads as follows:

Fri
07
Apr

After 130 days in prison, IDF frees conscientious objector Tamar Alon

After 130 days in military prison, the Israeli army on Wednesday released conscientious objector Tamar Alon from mandatory service. Alon served six terms in military prison for her refusal to be conscripted, which she said would have contributed to the oppression of the Palestinian people. She had expressed her willingness to instead perform civilian national service, an alternative the army rejected.

“The price I paid is small compared to the price millions of Palestinians have been paying for 50 years, whose basic rights are violated on a daily basis and whose freedom has yet to be returned to them like mine was returned to me,” Alon said upon being released from prison and military service.

Read the full article here.

This is an article by Yael Marom which appears on +972 Magazine.

Thu
30
Mar

Poverty, Militarism and the Public Schools

John Moore via Getty Images

By Robert Koehler What’s the difference between education and obedience? If you see very little, you probably have no problem with the militarization of the American school system — or rather, the militarization of the impoverished schools . . . the ones that can’t afford new textbooks or functional plumbing, much less art supplies or band equipment.

The Pentagon has been eyeing these schools — broken and gang-ridden — for a decade now, and seeing its future there. It comes in like a cammy-clad Santa, bringing money and discipline. In return it gets young minds to shape, to (I fear) possess: to turn into the next generation of soldiers, available for the coming wars.

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