The Danish Peace Academy

Taking Action for Peace

Some recently updated Peace Movement Website - A short briefing

Introduction

A lot of individuals talk about doing something about world peace, but are not so clear about what might be done, or what type of Organisations could use their help, or those that might become activly involved within.

There are a number of peace movemnt organistaions that could use volunteers, or which have an urgent need for funding. This is particualy true in the case of most of the organisations that I have included within this briefing.

N.B.
This webbriefing is not so much been put together to survey to the peace movemnt, but so that you might get an idea about what is the very best in terms of current issues.

The Websites

Peace Brigades International ( P.B.I. ).

http://www.igc.org/pbi/

' Peace Brigades International (PBI) is a grassroots non-governmental organization that explores and promotes nonviolent approaches to peacekeeping and support for human rights.

When invited, we send teams of volunteers who go into areas of political repression and conflict. The volunteers accompany human rights defenders, their organisations, and others who have been threatened by political violence. In most countries, those responsible for human rights abuses don't want the world to witness their actions. The presence of PBI volunteers backed by an Emergency Response Network helps deter violence. Volunteers also conduct peace education workshops and spread information about the conflict situation. In this way, we help local activists to work for social justice and human rights.'

This website gives details about the work of BPT, its various projects, & country groups.

There are BPT volunteers in:

Colombia | East Timor | Haiti | Mexico | North America There are also Joint projects with other organisations in Chiapas & the Balkans.

The website also contains Archives of closed projects in Guatemala | Sri Lanka

There is also a lot of other information about aspects of the work of BPT, & how people can get involved / support its various projects.

The website also has link to various other International humanitarian & peace movement organisations, together with a very useful list of organisations within Guatemala, & links to related websites in Haiti, Sri Lanka, North America, etc.


Balkan Peace Team ( B.P.T ).

http://www.balkanpeaceteam.org/

This is perhaps one of the most interesting & worthwhile of the various peace initiatives that is currently happening within ex-Yugoslavia.

'Balkan Peace Team (BPT) is a project that provides day-to-day support for the work of peace and human rights advocates in the states of the former Yugoslavia.' 'At the invitation of local non-governmental organisations, BPT has placed international teams of volunteers in Kosovo/a, Croatia and Serbia where their daily presence has helped to enable local activists to carry out their work more effectively.'

The website gives one both details of this work, and information about how to support the project.

BPT is a joint project of the following organisations, for which some links can be found upon the website:

  1. Brethren Service, Geneva, Switzerland
  2. Bund für Soziale Verteidigung, Minden, Germany
  3. Dutch Mennonite s working group ex-Yugoslavia
  4. Eirene International, Neuwied , Germany
  5. International Fellowship of Reconciliation
  6. Mouvement pour une alternative nonviolente, Paris, France
  7. Österreichische Friedensdienste, Vienna, Austria
  8. Peace Brigades International
  9. Quaker Peace and Service, London, England &
  10. War Resisters' International

Graswurzel

http://www.comlink.de/graswurzel/links.html

This is the webpage of the Radical German periodical, which I would highly recommend any German speaker to read.

The website also contains come very useful links upon it' They are organised to include the following types of organisations:

  1. Anarchist.
  2. Anti-nuke.
  3. Anti-militarist.
  4. Anti-racist.
  5. Anti-sexist.
  6. Group projects.
  7. Arts & culture.
  8. Ecology. &
  9. Peace movement periodicals

There are also links to Norbert's Bookmarks http://www.dfg-vk.de/links/bookmark.htm Which is a directory that all information workers should at least be aware about, as it gives information & links about many radical projects. What is particularly of note is that these links also include ones to those bodies that we are all opposed to - e.g. British Nukiller Fools, General Electric ( US ), IEAE, etc


SIPAZ

Servicio Internacional para la Paz / International Service for Peace http://www.sipaz.org/frme.htm ' SIPAZ is a coalition of organizations dedicated to Peacebuilding and non-violent conflict transformation. SIPAZ has a team of volunteers in Chiapas and many dedicated friends working outside of Chiapas. The SIPAZ international coordinating office is based in Santa Cruz, California, USA. '

This website is available in English, Spanish, French & Italian.

There are currently reports & information about the Chiapas.

Links upon this website include, for example:

  1. The Mexican Academy of Human Rights
  2. AME la PAZ
  3. Office of the Americas - Web links
  4. Peace Brigades International
  5. Eastern Mennonite University &
  6. Social Justice Committee of Montreal

Peace Movement Aotearoa / New Zealand

http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/chechnya.htm

'The national networking organisation for those concerned about peace and related issues in Aotearoa/New Zealand.'

A website for those who wish to really keep up to date with various peace movement/human rights concerns, not just within NZ, the Pacific, Asia, but from right across the globe.

This is a really informative website, and one which I have always found to be of great value.


Womens International League for Peace & Freedom ( WILPF )

www.reachingcriticalwill.org

This is a website that has a lot of good information about anti-nukiller weapon issues.

Unfortunately, I have had some problems in downloading this website, which always seems to freeze my screen with just 4 more items to download upon the homepage. Thus I have not been able to look at this webpage or review it here.


Global Connections

http://members.home.net/globalconxion/index.htm

This website describes itself as:

'An International Roster of Prominent Non-Government Organizations Advocating Abolition, Containment, or Clean up of Nuclear Weapons.' Here you will find a listing of organisations by Country, & in alphabetical order. While this website has some useful information upon it, there are a couple of points that should be made about it. Namely: a. That there are some inconstancies in presentation, e.g. of zip codes & phone numbers. b. That while there is background info on some organisations, for many there is only contact details. & c. That it is not a comprehensive listing, Unlike the Housmans Peace Directory.

In other words, this is a useful website, but not one that should be used in isolation.


Vietnam Veterans Against the War

http://www.prairienet.org/vvaw/index.html

To quote the website: 'Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc. (VVAW) is a national veterans' organisation that was founded in New York City in 1967 after six Vietnam vets marched together in a peace demonstration. It was organised to voice the growing opposition among returning servicemen and women to the still-raging war in Indochina, and grew rapidly to a membership of over 30,000 throughout the United States as well as active duty GIs stationed in Vietnam. Through ongoing actions and grassroots organisation, VVAW exposed the ugly truth about US involvement in Southeast Asia and our first-hand experiences helped many other Americans to see the unjust nature of that war.' 'We believe that service to our country and communities did not end when we were discharged. We remain committed to the struggle for peace and for social and economic justice for all people. We will continue to oppose senseless military adventures and to teach the real lessons of the Vietnam War. We will do all we can to prevent another generation from being put through a similar tragedy and we will continue to demand dignity and respect for veterans of all eras. '

The website has a lot of information about the organisation upon it, plus articles from its current & previous issues of its periodical 'The Veteran'. These go back to: "The 1st Casualty" - Volume 1, Number 1 - August 1971

The website also includes an account of how the 'Vietnam Veterans Against the War' Logo ( a nice anti-militarist design ), came to be designed.

This is a website for those who want to get hold of material that is written from experience.


While on the subject - the

Veterans for Peace

website

http://www.veteransforpeace.org/

is well worth taking a look at too.


Afterthoughts

It might also be noted that while the main peace movement organisations can become very stretched during a crisis ( e.g. Kosov@, Iraq, East Timor, Chechnya, etc ), there is still the more day to day work that has to be carried on at all times. So support is still important during these other times - Especially right now, as some of these organisations are suffering from MAJOR financial problems !

In the meanwhile it might be noted that

Monday May 15th is International Conscientious Objector's Day

Martyn Lowe

- May 2000


Please feel free to copy, publish, & copy this on.

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