18 January, 2024

No War Anywhere: Antimilitarism across Europe

Looking back at NWA, Jan- Dec 2023

In a world dealing with the widespread effects of war and militarisation, “No War Anywhere” project, coordinated by SCI’s International Secretariat, stands out as a source of hope and a demonstration of the positive impact of peaceful approaches. Through five significant activities, the project has effectively promoted the idea of opposing militarism, connecting with people throughout Europe and fostering a shared commitment to a more peaceful future. By challenging the belief in military force as the best solution to conflicts, the project highlights the importance of rethinking how we handle global challenges. It encourages diplomacy, non-violent approaches, the necessity of utopian thinking, and the pursuit of peace and social justice. In a time when militarism is on the rise worldwide, the project advocates for a shift towards peaceful methods of resolving conflicts.

Utopias Against War: Inspiring Change in Rome

“I learned the existence of different antimilitarist organisations and initiatives” 

People group picture
The journey started with the “Utopias against War” seminar in Rome, Italy, organised in partnership with SCI Italy. Participants delved into various antimilitarist groups and initiatives, gaining valuable perspectives on alternative approaches.Acting as a catalyst, the seminar motivated attendees to plan actions against war and militarism, promoting empowerment that went beyond geographical boundaries.

Strategies Against War: Advocacy and Campaign Training in Vienna

“There were people from all over Europe, with different perspectives on militarisation specific to their own country”

People speaking togetherIn Vienna, Austria, the “No War Anywhere” project took a strategic turn with advocacy and campaigning training. Trainers and participants from across Europe united to explore successful campaigns and develop their own. Through collaborative efforts, individuals from different perspectives and backgrounds worked towards creating strategic plans for a world without war, demilitarisation, and disarmament.

Virtual Exchange and No More War Working Group

people meet on zoomIn September 2023, the No War Anywhere organised a virtual exchange, where it brought back the international “No More War” Working Group. During the two-day meeting, the team aimed at drawing connections between the past, present, and future of SCI to develop a concrete plan for continued action on antimilitarism. Participants established a working group with a focus on group needs and communication. Later on January 16, 2024, the team met with a project idea named “Your Body is a Battleground”, exploring the intersection of military masculinities, body politics, and conscientious objection. There were considerations for educational and campaign aspects, potentially turning it into a series. As well,. the participants emphasised a conversational approach rather than a traditional webinar style for future talks, aligning with the unique niche of the campaign.

Peace Campaigns across Europe: Raising Awareness

The positive impact of “No War Anywhere” spread across Europe. SCI groups and partners ran campaigns for peace, informing people about the harmful effects of war and militarism. 

SCI International Secretariat: The Many ways of peace and antimilitarism

rainbow draw and event details writtenIn September 2023, SCI International Secretariat hosted an online event for International Peace Day to foster discussions on peace, nonviolence, and antimilitarism. The event featured speakers such as Adli Daana, Coordinator for the International Palestinian Youth League, who discussed the role of International Voluntary Service (IVS) in global solidarity, peace, and nonviolent resistance, particularly in conflict areas like Palestine. Other speakers, including Anastasia Tereshchuk from Alternative-V, Danai Tessa, Sean Maguire, Tom Gilmour, and Thomas Schallhart, shared insights into volunteer camps during ongoing wars, challenges of antimilitarism during military aggression, and experiences from the “No War Anywhere” project. 

 

SCI Switzerland: Peace Work in Palestine

projector screenMembers of SCI Switzerland and members of Tent of Nations, a Palestinian partner organisation of SCI, organised an event to draw attention to the situation in Palestine and show the example of the family Nassar from the project “Tent of Nations” – with giving a voice to Daoud and someone from Peace Watch who spent time in Palestine. They talked about  peace work in a conflict area. How is peace work possible in such a conflict zone? What does it mean for activists? How do they find their strength to go on? What can be achieved? All these questions and more were reflected/discussed by the audience.  During this event 2 speakers – one is Daoud Nassar from Tent of Nations (by Zoom) and one is Tamara Gerber (Peace Watch Switzerland) who spent a few months in Palestine as a human rights observer. Both speakers shared their experience with their projects in Palestine, the daily struggles, conflicts, and efforts to create dialogue, peace and anti-militarism on the ground. 

 

SCI Hungary: PeaceBox – Peace up!pictures on a wall
PeaceBox was an art-driven campaign engaging young and socially disadvantaged individuals. The campaign aimed to promote positive messages of peace through various art forms, providing a platform for creative expression to transcend language and cultural differences.
SCI Hellas: Object Militarism

people attending an eventIn Greece, SCI Hellas led a two-month campaign to promote civic service as an alternative to mandatory military service for male Greek citizens. The comprehensive campaign included multimedia components such as video and audio spots in Greek, a multilingual web platform featuring interviews and antimilitarist materials, a podcast/interview of a conscientious objector (Lazaros Petromelidis), and a public networking event. The latter provided an opportunity for young people to learn about the alternative service, connect with those who had experienced it, and engage with legal experts on conscientious objection. Concluding the campaign was a poignant documentary, encapsulating the history, concept, and practice of conscientious objectors, spanning from the foundation of SCI by Pierre Ceresole to contemporary actions taken on national and EU levels due to the war in Ukraine.

VCV Serbia: Palestinian Film Cycle

VCV Serbia orchestrated a multifaceted campaign featuring movie screenings and a reading event. Focused on supporting the Palestinian cause, the campaign brought together people to express solidarity through cultural exchange.

No More War Working Group: Talks Against War
people meeting on zoomOn December 19, 2023, the No More War international team organized a new monthly series of online talks called Talks Against War. Talks Against War #1 focused on pink washing in a war, when the Israeli army used a rainbow flag during the assault on Gaza and the false justifications linking the assault to LGBTQ+ issues. The speakers, Maria Sham and Udi Raz, discussed the intersection of queerness, the fight against war, and Palestinian liberation. The online talk aimed to inspire people to join antimilitarist activism and build alliances against military violence. For more talks, follow our page.

 

Speak Up for Peace: Online Learning Course

illustration written Speak up for peace, a helmet, flowers, a doveCulminating in December 2023, “No War Anywhere” project proudly launched the “Speak Up for Peace” online learning course. This milestone achievement equips young advocates with the skills and knowledge needed to actively champion peace. The course stands as a testament to the project’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of peace advocates.

 

In a world increasingly marred by militarisation, “No War Anywhere” shows the strength of working together, opposing  militarism and working towards a world where peace reigns supreme. As the project continues to inspire and catalyse change, it reinforces the notion that true strength lies not in conflict but in unity, understanding, and the relentless pursuit of a more peaceful tomorrow.

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ESC position open for Project volunteer in Belgium

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We are looking for a European Solidarity Corps volunteer for the Project position at our international office in Antwerp, Belgium. 📆 Period: 29 July 2024 – 28 July 2025 | ⏰ Deadline for application: 9 June 2024

ESC position open for Communication volunteer in Belgium

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We are looking for a European Solidarity Corps volunteer for the Communication and Campaign position at our international office in Antwerp, Belgium. 📆 Period: 26 August 2024 – 25 August 2025 | ⏰ Deadline for application: 9 June 2024