The Doomsday Clock is historically for the first time 100 seconds to midnight. The Nobel prize winners “The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists” justify this aggravation with the dangers of the atomic war and the consequences of the climatic changes. The dangers of a great – all-destroying – war have increased in view of the rivalries of the great powers, as have the quantity and quality of regional conflicts and wars over resources and as consequences of climate change. Wars are inseparable components of the “new normal.”
Peace is not only the absence of war, it covers all dimensions of human existence and the existence of nature. Peace means global justice and always includes climate justice. But the struggle for peace the World Social Forum has waged since its very beginning, particularly in the forefront of the US interventions. It is also a struggle against military confrontations wherever they exist.
1) For these reasons we plan on the one hand several public online discussions on the ongoing military conflicts in West Asia (Yemen, Syria and Palestine) as well as on the involvement of NATO in Eastern European countries like Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
2) Anti-militarism today is rejection and overcoming of the biggest military alliance in the world: NATO and its about 1000 military bases.
3) On the other hand, we are going to deal with the militarization of internal political conflicts, especially in countries where the pandemic has led to an extreme polarization between authoritarian regimes and its peoples.
4) A special attention should be given to the economic and ecological reasons as well as the humanitarian consequences of the ongoing militarization processes with its repressions, human rights violations, and the migration of millions of people.
5) Central to militarism is the insane arms spending. 2 trillion dollars per year kill daily, are partly responsible for poverty and hunger. Disarmament is a central challenge for peace engagement and just shaping of the future.
6) Militaristic structures in individual countries and internationally also destroy democracy and participation; anti-militarism is therefore always also a struggle for democracy.
7) Small arms are the “weapons of mass destruction” of the 21st century. The daily killing and murdering demand peace-political social answers and an international ban.
In all these panel discussions the audience should be given the opportunity to deliberate about the strategies and mobilizations which not only engage the traditional peace movements, but also activists, experts, and opinion leaders from other thematic areas like global justice, cultural diversity and climate change.
The 24.01.2021 should reflect the diversity of these issues and the central challenge for peace and global justice.
Reiner Braun, International Peace Bureau; Leo Gabriel, Prague Spring 2, network against far-right extremism and populism; Kristine Karch, International network ‘No to war – No-to-NATO’.