Refuseniks of the world
Speech at the 4th Global
Women’s Strike, 8 March 2003
– an international network of men co-ordinating men support for the
Global Women’s Strike
want to thank the women organisers of the GWS for giving Payday this
opportunity to say why we oppose war and support this Women’s Strike.
days ago, a journalist was reporting that American soldiers in Kuwait
“were not happy with President’s Bush cowboy gung-ho attitude”!
of these soldiers, especially Black young people, go straight from high
school to the army because there is little other choice to earn a living.
They receive £10,000 when they join the infantry.
very little money considering the risks they face. Veterans of the
previous Gulf war know about that. One out of four is now disabled, and
that is not counting those who died. But casualties did not end with the
war. While only 24 British soldiers died during the war, nearly 600 have
died since they returned – 70%, yes 70%, committed suicide!
You can understand why so many mothers and sometimes fathers work
so hard to get their sons out of the military.
first Gulf war never really ended. We refuse to be collateral damage, we
refuse to be killed by friendly fire or enemy fire!
days ago, the press also reported hundreds of cases of rape and sexual
abuse at the American Air Force Academy. Machismo begins with the
things are changing. We know that a third of reservists in the UK are
refusing to serve. There are now in all armies refusniks, soldiers who
refuse to be soldiers, who refuse to kill: in Israel, in Spain, in Iraq,
civilians too are refusing: in Scotland and in Italy, train drivers,
dockers and peace protesters are preventing the transport of military
material. So there are also more and more refusniks outside the army.
fact, when bus drivers allowed school girls to travel for free to the
anti-war protest at Westminster last Wednesday or when police officers
refuse to arrests peace activists or when teachers encourage, rather than
discourage their students to oppose the war, or when the Gardia – the
Irish police – arrange toilets for protesters and their children at
Shannon airport in Ireland, they all contribute to the many refusals that
we need to win against the warmongers.
have more information on our website Refusing to kill at paydaynet.org. If
you are in the military or have a relative in the military, please get in
touch with us.
budgets make men killers. We can refuse, we must refuse, we do refuse.
Invest in caring not killing.