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Increasingly soldiers everywhere are refusing to serve in the military. Often mothers fight for their sons to get out of war and the military. And also civilians are refusing the work imposed on them by the military. Recently, train drivers in Scotland declined to deliver Iraq-bound military ordinance to a base near Glasgow. They are part of the rapidly growing worldwide movement against war, not only against the US and UK’s continuing war on Iraq, but against wars everywhere.
As the Global Women Strike* puts it: “For millions of us, military genocide has been the condition of our lives – from Rwanda to Sudan, Palestine to Colombia, Chechnya to Kashmir, Yugoslavia to Afghanistan.” Men and women who are refusing military work, the work of killers, are demanding that resources instead be used for caring, to reduce hunger, disease, and poverty that come with war and precede it, and that fall most heavily on women. Many of us can no longer bear the suffering and overwork inflicted on our wives, mothers, sisters, on our children and on ourselves.
In many countries, men are forced to join the military. Countries where the draft has been abolished may well re-introduce it at any time. In the US, the richest country on earth, the so-called “all volunteer” army is composed of those of us who have to “choose” between joining the army or no healthcare, no housing, or going back to prison. Men and women of colour make up 45% of the army’s rank-and-file – 15% more than the civilian population.
In almost all cases, armies dehumanise us: we are asked to risk our lives in order to discipline, maim and kill other human beings in wars for whose horrors nothing can possibly prepare us. If we are soldiers and don't obey orders, we can be punished, persecuted, imprisoned and killed.
Hundreds of thousands of us have been pulled away from our families and communities and sent to kill other families and communities for control of world oil resources. It is urgent we understand that these wars are not in our name and that there is a growing movement that will support us when we refuse it.
Too often this refusal to kill has remained hidden. We in Payday, an international network of men organizing in support of the Global Women’s Strike, think it is vital to publicise these acts of disobedience. They strengthen all of us, inside and outside the military, who demand “Invest in caring not killing” and oppose the daily holocaust caused by poverty, ecological devastation and wars.
Learn about the actions and views of men who have dodged the draft, silently or vocally refused orders, refused to serve, or used our knowledge of the military against the military by visiting http://www.refusingtokill.net/ . Please send us information that we can add to our website.
*The Global Women's Strike takes action in over 60 countries every March 8 since the year 2000, to demand that the military budget instead go to women, to pay for their caring work in communities all around the world, that the $900 million dollars spent on the military worldwide be invested in caring for the benefit of women, children and men, not for killing. Invest in Caring Not Killing! Website: http://www.globalwomenstrike.net/
Military budgets make men killers, Men say no war