3 December 2004Comment

Who are the biggest and most willing purchasers of arms? Tyrants. Why? They need to oppress their own people and to conquer others, to do this one needs the appropriate tools. Who are the biggest sellers and producers of arms? Democracies. Why? They have the market capacity to produce them. Strange bedfellows, but supply and demand brings them together. A cynic would contend that wars and violence are manufactured to make profits, because wars are boom times for almost all involved, except…

1 December 2004News

Even though Ireland remains officially a neutral state, military landings at Shannon Airport in County Clare have nearly tripled in 2004.

The bulk of these landings are US troops travelling in and out of occupied Iraq. It is estimated that a quarter of the US soldiers currently posted in Iraq have travelled via Shannon. In order to allow the US military use of the airport, the government often turned a blind eye to the military presence. It is not known what the contents or…

3 December 2003Comment

In July 2003, the European Convention presented a draft European Union Constitution, consisting of 260 pages, divided into four chapters, plus several appendices and additional agreements which will also have constitutional status. While this constitution puts all the different EU treaties (with the exception of Euratom) into one huge document, that's not all it is.

Even the European Commission had to admit that it “completely rewrites the originals”, as far as foreign actions and…

3 December 2003Comment

Not many people are aware that every year more than 60 young men are sentenced to six and a half months of imprisonment because of their refusal to take part in the system of compulsory military service in Finland. This makes Finland the only European Union country in which Amnesty International says there are prisoners of conscience.

Jussi Hermaja.

Conscription system in Finland

There is still a very extensive conscription system in Finland.…

1 December 2003News

On 25 October hundreds of citizens from Belgium, Britain, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy carried out an inspection of SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe), the NATO military headquarters in Mons, Belgium. The action was organised by Forum for Peace Action, For Mother Earth and Bombspotting.

Good citizens enter NATO HQ in search of evidence of preparations for war crimes.. PHOTO: COURTESY OF FOR MOTHER EARTH

Early in the morning 12 citizen…

1 December 2003News

It is estimated that nearly half million people walked from Perugio to Assisi on 12 October on the traditional peace march which first took place in 1961. Participants were united in their emphasis of article 11 of the Italian constitution - which repudiates war as a means for solving international conflicts.

Tens of thousands of coaches and private vehicles reached the area by the early morning, having travelled from distant places such as Sicily and Venice. The national media did…

1 March 2003Feature

The Nonviolent Movement (Movimento Nonviolento or NM), founded in the sixties by Aldo Capitini, “father” of Italian nonviolence, works to remove individual and group violence from every aspect of social life at a local, national and international level, and to overcome the power structures which are fed by the spirit of violence. NM aims to create a worldwide community without classes, promoting the free development of everyone in harmony with others.

The NM fundamental guidelines…

1 December 2002News

As we went to press another Castor shipment of nuclear waste began its journey from the Cap La Hague reprocessing plant to Wenland. And this time there are 12 containers rather than the usual six.

As we write, anti-nuclear groups are taking part in their first actions and blockades and are preparing actions for the following week.

Last year the state (with the support of the police, judiciary and regional government) limited the right of people to engage in peaceful…

1 December 2002News

As we went to press the European Social Forum (ESF), held in Florence, had just got under-way, with more than 30,000 people signing up to attend.

Women in Black Against War, during the big march. PHOTO: SPADA/IMC ITALY

And as with Genoa last year, we were also receiving the usual reports of activists being turned away from the border and pulled off coaches by immigration officials. Several had received week-long bans preventing them for entering Italy for the duration of the…

3 September 2002Comment

There may be more than one way to stage a nonviolent protest. We had our chance on the Monday, getting to Eurosatory at the crack of dawn, ready to greet visitors to the Expo as they got off the métro. The other team, the CRS, the French “heavy squad”, got there first and watched our antics with grim amusement - they would get their chance the next day.

The Expo visitors ran the gauntlet of our heckling, tomato sauce-letting and dying in front of them, for the most part…

3 September 2002Comment

Tikiri reports on some of the events and actions which took place at the Eurosatory arms "exhibition" in France in June.

One of the special guests at Eurosatory this year was Mr Kalashnikov. His world famous invention - the Kalashnikov sub-machine gun - is now used in most conflicts across the globe. These same conflicts are what companies such as the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), GIAT Industries, British Aerospace Systems (BAeS), and so on, need in order to keep global defence expenditures on the increase - and thus their profits. This is probably why Mr Kalashnikov, a venerable 83-…

1 June 2002Feature

Tobias Pfluger discusses some of the inherent tensions between the wider peace movement and those who identify as antimilitarist.

As in other European countries, a new peace and anti-war movement emerged in Germany after the brutal terror attacks on New York and Washington and particularly after the start of the war on Afghanistan by US troops, supported by the British military, in October 2001.

And after the German government joined the war and provided troops, the activities of the anti-war and peace movement became a bit stronger again .

Reformism or opposing the system?

Most peace and anti-war groups…

1 June 2002Review

MOC/proyecto editorial traficantes de suenos

This 348-page anthology contains the most significant documents of the last 30 years of MOC - the Spanish movement for conscientious objection. The story begins with the pioneer conscientious objector, Pepe Beunza, declaring his refusal to join the military back in 1971 - still in the days of General Franco's dictatorship. It comes right up to the date with MOCs response to the end of conscription in 2000 and a chronology that goes right up to 2002. The texts are mainly short and peppered…

3 March 2002Comment

The arms trade is hardly a new issue and its end is a long way from being seen by groups working against the death trade. But, as French activist Tikiri reminds us, That wont stop us from taking action against it!

Arms traders spread suffering and death wherever they can profit from it. Their political and lobbying power has a huge impact on the violence committed by states and paramilitaries within states all over the world.

Like many other monsters, arms traders don't really like the spotlight. Fortunately for them the mainstream media rarely provides detailed accounts of the realities behind contracts signed between company managers from so-called human rights upholding countries, or of…

1 September 2001News

In June, the 44th international aeronautics and space show took place in Paris at Le Bourget: shorts, ice- creams, air displays and tanned pilots. But that's not all. There were also fighter planes, helicopters and antimilitarists opposed to the arms trade. Francois Maliet reports.

The Bourget air show is generally presented as being a fair for big kids, with aeroplanes, and parachutists performing impressive technical feats.

One leaves with the impression of having been to the circus, and of having entered the cocooned world of the arms dealers. Indeed, the positive or, at best, indifferent reaction of the public to the material exhibited at the show leaves one feeling a deep sense of irony.

Chained to the Tiger

Sunday 24 June, the last day of the…