UPDATES on the #ObjectWarCampaign

Week of Action – Signature Campaigns – Material – New Website – Online Webinar - Fundraising campaign

(31.10.2023) Dear friends and colleagues,

The #ObjectWarCampaign is ongoing and is developing and spreading in many countries.

We thank you for your support.

Recently we have been able to engage in specific actions of support such as the #protection4olga for Olga Karatch from Belarus and #freepeacespeech for Yurii Sheliazhenko from Ukraine. We are following up on their cases and invite everyone to continue to join international solidarity actions for them.

Following the public events organized in several countries on the occasion of the International Conscientious Objection Day, last May 15th, we have been developing further ideas and actions regarding  the #ObjectWarCampaign in support of deserters and conscientious objectors from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

We invite all of you to continue supporting the #ObjectWarCampaign and spreading the word.

What are the #ObjectWarCampaign available materials?

  1. Online petition website in seven languages
  2. #ObjectWarCampaign leaflet. It is now eight pages DIN 6 long and includes updates, a list of organizations involved in the campaign, and a collage of pictures from the last two years. The leaflet (in German and English) can be ordered free of charge via our online store. You can download the EN version at (https://en.Connection-eV.org/pdfs/flyer-get-out2023-2-en.pdf). We can provide the template if you would like to use it to make a leaflet in your own language, adding local supporters of the campaign. Please contact via office@Connection-eV.org. We will gladly upload other language versions (the Italian version is coming up soon).
  3. A short information note about counselling services in five languages (https://de.connection-ev.org/pdfs/Flyermehrsprachig.pdf)
  4. Online updated country reports available at https://objectwarcampaign.org/en
  5. An information note about #ObjectWarCampaign in Russian (https://de.connection-ev.org/pdfs/RUS_Flyer.pdf)

* All these materials are available to be downloads and used for your purposes. We can send you templates for translation and printing purposes. Please contact us at office@Connection-eV.org.

What can you do?

1. Participate in the week of action December 4 to 10

After the success of our last #ObjectWarCampaign action week  in May 2023, we are now preparing another action week. It will occur on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, December 10th, on December 4-10, 2023.

We would like to invite you to participate in this action week and plan local actions.

For this action week we have already prepared some useful materials (see the first part of this communication) to be used and ideas:

Ideas of actions (https://objectwarcampaign.org/en/ideas-for-organizing-an-event-during-the-action-week-around-the-international-human-rights-day/).  

We have events already planned in Germany, Finland, Belgium, UK, Austria, Greece and some other countries. We would be happy if you could share your own activities with us to give more strength to the common campaign. We are going to create a list of actions and events at https://objectwarcampaign.org/en soon. Send in the details about your planned event for the action week to office@Connection-eV.org

On December 9th a main action will take place in Berlin at 11am in front of Brandenburger Tor with the participation of Nash Dom, Ukrainian Pacifist Movement and the Movement of Conscientious Objectors from Russia, December 9.

A more detailed communication regarding the new #ObjectWarCampaign action week will soon follow.

2. Sign in and promote the #ObjectWarCampaign Online petition

The online petition “Russia, Belarus, Ukraine: Protection and asylum for deserters and conscientious objectors to military service” is still running and has reached 50.000 signatures. We encourage you to promote it more and use it to raise awareness among the public opinion, media and during public events (for example you can show or print the QR CODE of the online petition to invite people to sign in).

3. Support ongoing specific solidarity actions/petitions

There are different signature initiatives running. You are encouraged to support and use them:

- An appeal to the European Commission and the European Parliament about necessary measures for the international protection of Russian conscientious objectors, deserters and those who surrendered or were captured initiated by Russian organizations and signed by more than 90 organisations. https://ebco-beoc.org/node/579

- The #freepeacespeach action campaign to drop all charges against Yurii Sheliazhenko, Executive Secretary of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, who is under partial house arrest since August 15th 2023.

- The #protection4olga action campaign: Protection and asylum for Olga Karatch, director of the Belarusian organisation "Our House" in Lithuania, whose application for political asylum was rejected by the Lithuanian authorities on August 18th 2023.

4. Promote and visit the new website of the #ObjectWarCampaign

To strengthen the #ObjectWarCampaign we created a dedicated website www.objectwarcampaign.org/en. There are compiled further information on the #ObjectWarCampaign in German, English and Russian. We regularly publish new information, background articles, a guide to actions, and information about the organizations involved in the campaign. Just have a look! We encourage everyone to send to office@Connection-eV.org updates about local activities to be published in the dedicated page.

5. Participate in the Online Webinar

On November 7th at 8-10pm CET, there will be the webinar “Think alternatives! Peace without weapons!”, initiated by critical Greens with the participation of Olga Karatch (Nash Dom), Yurii Sheliazhenko (Ukrainian Pacifist Movement) and Artyom Klyga (Movement of Conscientious Objection Russia) (…more)

6. Support the Fundraising campaign

We thank everyone for participating in the #ObjectWarCampaign fundraising campaign over the last one and a half years. So far, € 220,000 have been raised for this work. In the meantime, we have spent about € 180,000  mainly to support groups of the network, which are concretely committed to the refuseniks and can thus sustainably secure their work. We would also like to thank PRO ASYL for supporting the project.

As you can see the #ObjectWarCampaign is moving forward thanks also to your precious collaboration. This is a great success which is a vital and concrete support to those who refuse to engage in the war.

We thank you and encourage to share this communication among your networks and invite other organizations to join the campaign and its efforts.

Many thanks and best regards,

Zaira Zafarana, human rights expert (EBCO, MIR-Italian branch of IFOR), zaira.zafarana@proton.me, (English, Italian)

Rudi Friedrich, Connection e.V., +496982375534, office@Connection-eV.orgwww.Connection-eV.org (German, English)

Semih Sapmaz, War Resisters’ International (WRI), semih@wri-irg.orgwww.wri-irg.org (English, Turkish)

Christian Renoux, International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), christian.renoux@ifor.org (English, French)

Alexia Tsouni, European Bureau for Conscientious Objection, +32 477268893, ebco.brussels@skynet.bewww.ebco-beoc.org, (English, Greek)

Sam Biesemans, European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO), +32 477268893, ebco.brussels@skynet.bewww.ebco-beoc.org (French, Dutch, Italian, English)