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Antimilitarism and gender – the challenge of integration

Talk by Andreas Speck, staff at War Resisters' International, at the launch of Cynthia Cockburn's book ‘Antimilitarism: Political and Gender Dynamics of Peace Movements’ at Housmans Bookshop, 21 April 2012

First of all I want to thank Cynthia for giving me the opportunity to say something today, although I haven't read the whole book yet.

I am familiar with her research, as WRI is one of the organisations which were part of her research. I think we very much welcomed it when she approached us a few years ago, and we are thankful for the challenge this posed, and for being pushed to reflect on the challenges of integrating feminism and gender into our antimilitarist practice. When Cynthia called me earlier this week and asked me to talk today, it had a similar effect again.

„We got rid of the dictator, but not of the dictatorship”

Repression in (post)-revolutionary Egypt

On 7 March, a few weeks after the resignation of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, Maikel Nabil Sanad wrote this sentence in a detailed article on his blog [1]. In this article he analysed in detail the role of the Egyptian military during and after the revolution, and came to the conclusion that the people and the military never “were one hand” - as people said so often during the revolution.

Local Democracy Dumped!

As government ends flawed consultation on nuclear power, anti-nuclear power activists step up resistance and blockade Sizewell nuclear power station in Suffolk, England.

Blockade of Sizewell nuclear power station, 22 February 2010

Against NATO: Continuing the struggle – until the summit in Portugal (and beyond)

From 15-18 October a series of meetings took place in Berlin, to discuss the continuation of work against NATO and the war in Afghanistan after Strasbourg. A special focus was on European and international co-operation.

After Strasbourg: On dealing with violence in one's own ranks

“The more violence, the less revolution,” Bart de Ligt wrote in The Conquest of Violence in 1936. If we accept this, then there was very little revolution in Strasbourg, despite all the romantic revolutionary rhetoric from certain groupings. I put this first in order to make it clear that this is a critique from a revolutionary perspective, and not a criticism of violence from a Green or Left-Party state-reformist point of view which accepts the state's monopoly on the use of force.

Shut down NATO

Nonviolent action against NATO

Nonviolent direct action – a critical reflection

“A group of eight activists blockaded the entrance to AWE Aldermaston this morning at 6.45am. Using steel lock-on tubes the group have completely blocked the road. Thus stopping all construction traffic entering or leaving the site. This has called a large tailback and the police turned all traffic away from the site.”

(Aldermaston shut down, Indymedia UK, 3 January 2007)

Against all militarism

Why an antimilitarist perspective is important for all social movements

The World Social Forum is now 6 years old. Since its beginning in Porto Alegre in 2001, it grew, it inspired regional processes, and it changed. With the success of the World Social Forum came interest from the traditional left, and from leftist governments. Brazil's president Lula spoke at the World Social Forum, and the Venezuelan government made use of the "polycentric" forum in Caracas to promote the "Bolivarian revolution". So is the WSF embracing old-fashioned traditional left politics, and does it abandon its own principles? Does the WSF fall into the old trap of opposing one side of the political spectrum - (US) imperialism - and turning a blind eye on human rights violations and militarism when they occur on the left side of the political spectrum, according to the simple principle "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"?

General panorama of Conscientious Objection in the World

Presentation at the "International Meeting of Solidarity for Conscientious Objection in Colombia", Bogota, 18-20 July 2006


It is difficult to give a panorama of the right to conscientious objection within the available time - the world is big, and situations are quite different. Conscientious objection in Western Europe for example means something very different from conscientious objection in Eritrea, or South Korea, or Israel, or Russia, or Latin America. And you all know that even within Latin America situations vary, and it is hard to compare Paraguay with its more than 100,000 conscientious objectors with the situation here in Colombia.

Solidarity with war resisters in Turkey

Presentation at the international seminar "Unarmed Resistance: the transnational factor", Coventry, 15 July 2006

Introduction I myself am involved in supporting the Turkish war resisters movement since about 1995. This presentation is based on my own experience and discussions I had in the last 10 years with Turkish activists. It is therefore very subjective, and all views expressed are mine, and not the ones of the Turkish war resisters.


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by Dr. Radut