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August 14th, 2014

IPS Asia-Pacific editor and staff writer Kanya D’Almeida was invited to participate in a historic gathering in Cape Town, South Africa – the quadrennial meeting of the 93-year-old War Resister’s International (WRI) – from July 4 to 8.

IPS Asia-Pacific editor and staff writer Kanya D’Almeida participates in a theme group on climate change at the War Resisters International conference in Cape Town, July 4-8, 2014. Credit: Ecosocialist Horizons

IPS Asia-Pacific editor and staff writer Kanya D’Almeida participates in a theme group on climate change at the War Resisters International conference in Cape Town, July 4-8, 2014. Credit: Ecosocialist Horizons

The conference this year took place alongside meetings of the African Nonviolence and Peacebuilding Network, and the Women Peacemakers Program’s Gender and Militarism Consultation, in partnership with the anti-militarist Ceasefire Campaign and with the endorsement of Embrace Dignity, an organisation dedicated to fighting the exploitation of women, especially those forced into sex-trafficking.

Exploring everything from street violence, to the proliferation of small arms, to the ‘war on Mother Earth’, the conference, entitled ‘Small Actions, Big Movements: The Continuum of Nonviolence’, brought together some 120 participants from every continent to share stories, strategies and successes of non-violent campaigns.

Occurring against the backdrop of a rise in militarism worldwide, the conference coincided with the launch of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, an assault on Gaza that killed over 1,800 civilians in the Strip before an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire came into effect on Aug. 5. Conference participants, together with the Palestinian community in Cape Town, worked overnight to organise a demonstration of 200 people on July 10.

IPS’ coverage of the conference can be read here. For more information about WRI visit the organisation’s website.

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