Throughout three days of virtual panels, training, and discussion sessions, #NoWar2023 will make the case for the efficacy of nonviolent resistance as a tool for conflict resolution, highlighting case studies from around the world of unarmed civilian based defense against invasions, occupations, and dictatorships.
Day 1 on September 22 begins with a welcome address, featuring WBW’s Executive Director David Swanson and WBW Board President Kathy Kelly, plus short messages from WBW chapters around the world. Peace researcher Jørgen Johansen will present the keynote address “The Potential of Nonviolent Resistance to Occupation and Militarism,” discussing lessons to be learned from the last one hundred years, from the successful German ending of the French Occupation of Ruhr 1923 to struggles in Ukraine 2023. After setting this context, we will hear a panel sharing examples of unarmed civilian protection and accompaniment around the world, featuring Jhony Arango of Community Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Colombia and Marna Anderson, Director of Nonviolent Peaceforce USA, moderated by Randy Janzen. We’ll conclude day 1 with a virtual peace concert by Dame Pa’ Matala, a group that presents a social message and an idea of conscience with the firm intention of strengthening grassroots work, against war and for peace, mixing avant-garde trends and rhythms with Latin American folkloric principles.
- Friday, September 22, 2023 at 4:00 PM ET
- End: Sunday, September 24, 2023 at 7:30 PM ET
Day 2 on September 23 begins with a panel on nonviolent resistance to overthrow dictatorships & occupations, moderated by Ivan Marovic, Executive Director of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. This panel will share the courageous stories of activists who have used nonviolent resistance in the face of militarized violence, including Liberian activist Vaiba Flomo, who was instrumental in bringing an end to Liberia’s 14-year civil war through advocacy, protests, and political organizing; and Karen Spring, Co-Coordinator for the Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN), who has lived and worked in Honduras since the U.S. and Canada-backed 2009 military coup. Following the panel, we will have a training on “Halting War With Nonviolent Struggle” with author/activist Rivera Sun, the Program Coordinator for Campaign Nonviolence. In this session you will learn how anti-war and peace activists can be more strategic and effective in our work, and understand how to craft strategy in broad and tangible ways. We will then conclude day 2 with a panel on the current war in Ukraine, sharing examples of active nonviolent resistance to the ongoing conflict. This panel will include a discussion of the Zaporizhzhya Protection Proposal by WBW board member John Reuwer and other speakers to be announced!
Day 3 on September 24 begins with a panel on community & land-based nonviolent resistance against colonial occupation & state-sanctioned violence, moderated by WBW Canada Organizer Rachel Small, and featuring Juan Gómez Ruiz, a member of the Civil Society Organization of the Las Abejas de Acteal in México; and Carlos Zorrilla, a leader in the successful effort to defend the cloud forests of the Intag Valley in Ecuador. Building off of the conference sessions, we will then hear a debate on the current war in Ukraine, moderated by WBW board member Koohan Paik-Mander, in which 3 perspectives will be argued: 1) Russia had no choice but to invade Ukraine, argued by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, 2) Ukraine had no choice but to fight Russia, argued by journalist James Brooke who works as the Ukraine/Russia columnist for The New York Sun, and 3) Russia and Ukraine both had options better than war, argued by WBW Executive Director David Swanson. Come with your difficult questions for our debaters on the use of nonviolence as a tool for conflict resolution and whether war can ever be justified. We will then conclude the #NoWar2023 Conference with breakout rooms to reflect on the conference sessions, and strategize about ways to take action for peace and ending war.
Throughout the 3-day online event, we will also make space for networking and virtual expo booths, to facilitate peer-to-peer interaction between attendees, speakers, and our conference sponsors. #NoWar2023 creates a much-needed space for global community building, reflection, learning, and skills sharing.