PACIFIC MOVEMENTS a historical perspective from the beginning of the 20th century till WWII
Introduction The twentieth century is claimed to be one of the most violent century in recorded history. This is attributed to the beginning of this siecle up to the end of World War 2. With two World Wars and hundred of lesser but still deadly wars, genocide lead by Hitler, Stalin, development and usage of atomic weapons of mass destruction, no other century comes even close in sheer killing power. The war researcher, Bill Eckhard, after reviewing all major studies on the subject, calculates over 98 million war-related deaths in the twentieth century, more than 80% of them happening in till the end of WW2. Except those violent acts that brought human race, for the first time, face to face with its own self-destructiveness, an evolution of awareness started. Worldwide multitrack movement toward an institutionalized peace culture began.
Although there have been great people refusing violence in the past like Budha, Socrate and Lao Tsu, there has never before the twentieth century existed a well structured, self-consciously dedicated to methods of nonviolence and peace global movement. And is was not only one but many were created. The ones that are going to be mentioned in this writing are going to be the ones that had the greatest impact such as: International League of Women for Peace and Freedom, Red Cross, Spartakus League, International Peace Bureau, International Antimilitarist Union, International Fellowship for reconciliation, International Alliance of Women. They will be shortly presented on this writing so we can understand the main aim of the movement, their objectives and the role they had in preventing world peace and the impact they had. Having an overview in those peace movements will help us to understand why violence is the only way out and there are great examples to prove that peace is the way.
Women International League for Peace and Freedom The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom was founded in 1915 during World War I, with Jane Addams as its first president. WILPF (Women International League for Peace and Freedom) works to achieve through peaceful means world disarmament, full rights for women, racial and economic justice, an end to all forms of violence, and to establish those political, social, and psychological conditions which can assure peace, freedom, and justice for all. WILPF works to create an environment of political, economic, social and psychological freedom for all members of the human community, so that true peace can be enjoyed by all. On April 28, 1915, a unique group of women met in an International Congress in The Hague 1, Netherlands to protest against World War I, then raging in Europe, to suggest ways to end it and to prevent war in the future. The organizers of the Congress were prominent women in the International Suffrage Alliance, who saw the connection between their struggle for equal rights and the struggle for peace. WILPF's foremothers rejected the theory that war was inevitable and 1
100 years of work for peace and freedom.
defied all obstacles to their plan to meet together in wartime. They assembled more than 1,000 women from warring and neutral nations to work out a plan to end WWI and lay the basis for a permanent peace. Out of this meeting the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom was born.
Vision2 of WILPF is : ●
the equality of all people in a world free of sexism, racism, classism, and homophobia,
the guarantee of fundamental human rights including the right to sustainable development,
an end to all forms of violence: rape, battering, exploitation, intervention and war,
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, vision and mission, officially site, 12 September 2018.
the transfer of world resources from military to human needs, leading to economic justice within and among nations,
world disarmament and peaceful resolution of international conflicts via the United Nations.
Red Cross Red Cross (1863)- is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 17 million volunteers3, members and staff worldwide which was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering.
"Take a Class". Red Cross. Retrieved 2016-08-18.
Until the middle of the 19th century, there were no organized and well-established army nursing systems for casualties and no safe and protected institutions to accommodate and treat those who were wounded on the battlefield. The Swiss businessman Jean-Henri Dunant, in June 1859, arrived in the small town of Solferino on the evening of 24 June after the Battle of Solferino, an engagement in the Austro-Sardinian War. In a single day, about 40,000 soldiers 4 on both sides died or were left wounded on the field. Jean-Henri Dunant was shocked by the terrible aftermath of the battle, the suffering of the wounded soldiers, and the near-total lack of medical attendance and basic care. He completely abandoned the original intent of his trip and for several days he devoted himself to helping with the treatment and care for the wounded. Today the IFRC vision5 is: To inspire, encourage, facilitate and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by National Societies, with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering, and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world. Red Cross during World War I
Volunteer of Red Cross.
The Red Cross was born in 1863 when Henry Dunant set up the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded, that later became the International Committee of the Red Cross. Its emblem was a red cross on a white background: the inverse of the Swiss flag. The following 4 5
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, history.12 September 2018. International Federation of Red Cross,11 September 2018.
year, 12 governments adopted the first Geneva Convention; a milestone in the history of humanity, offering care for the wounded, and defining medical services as "neutral" on the battlefield. The concept of Red Cross societies was soon adopted by other countries, and in 1919, in the aftermath of World War I, five national societies: Britain, France, Italy, Japan and the United States, founded the International Federation. This number has grown over the years and there are now 181 recognized National Societies - one in almost every country in the world. Volunteering has been at the very heart of the Red Cross Red Crescent since its inception in 1863. Today, as much as ever, volunteers are the backbone of all Red Cross Red Crescent activities, helping National Societies run successful programs and assisting millions of vulnerable people in need. There are now around 97 million members and volunteers in the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement worldwide. With the outbreak of World War I, the ICRC(International Committee Red Cross) found itself confronted with enormous challenges that it could handle only by working closely with the national Red Cross societies. Red Cross nurses from around the world, including the United States and Japan, came to support the medical services of the armed forces of the European countries involved in the war. On 15 August 1914, immediately after the start of the war, the ICRC set up its International Prisoners-of-War (POW) Agency, which had about 1,200 mostly volunteer staff members by the end of 1914. During the entire war, the ICRC monitored warring partiesâ€™ compliance with the Geneva Conventions of the 1907 revision and forwarded complaints about violations to the respective country. When chemical weapons were used in this war for the first time in history, the ICRC vigorously protested against this new type of warfare. Even without having a mandate from the Geneva Conventions, the ICRC tried to ameliorate the suffering of civil populations. In territories that were officially designated as "occupied territories", the ICRC could assist the civilian population on the basis of the Hague Convention's "Laws and Customs of War on Land" of 1907. This convention was also the legal basis for the ICRC's work for prisoners of war. In addition to the work of the International Prisoner-of-War Agency as described above this included inspection visits to POW camps. A total of 524 camps throughout Europe were visited by 41 delegates from the ICRC until the end of the war. Between 1916 and 1918, the ICRC published a number of postcards with scenes from the POW
camps. The pictures showed the prisoners in day-to-day activities such as the distribution of letters from home. The intention of the ICRC was to provide the families of the prisoners with some hope and solace and to alleviate their uncertainties about the fate of their loved ones. A year before the end of the war, the ICRC received the 1917 Nobel Peace Prize for its outstanding wartime work. The events of World War I and the respective activities of the ICRC significantly increased the reputation and authority of the Committee among the international community and led to an extension of its competencies.
The Spartacus League The Spartacus League was a Marxist revolutionary socialist group. The league was active in Germany from autumn 1914 to the end of 1918. The Spartacists were led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. It was officially founded in 1916 by Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg, Clara Zetkin, and Franz Mehring. The Spartacists wanted Germany to be run by the working classes. They believed in the power of the equality in the field of authority and wealth. Rosa Luxemburg contributed in a significant way in the founding of the Social Democratic Party of the Kingdom of Poland. She was involved in publishing political articles in newspapers and trying to fight against the growing imperialist and militarist tendencies in Germany. She was afraid, these activities could cause the war. Karl Liebknecht did not want to involve Germany in the First World War and he was the only member of the Reichstag who voted against it. In his daily life, as a person who knows the law, he was defending his friends in terms of political activities.
The reason that these two people went to jail is their role in helping to organize public demonstrations in Berlin. During the demonstrations they were protesting against German involvement in the war. At the end of the war, the Spartacus League renamed itself the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands), and joined the Comintern (Communist International) in 1919.
International Peace Bureau International Peace Bureau (IPB) was founded in 1891 under the name Bureau international permanent de la paix (127 years ago). From 1912 has a name International Peace Bureau. It is the one of the world's oldest international peace federations. In 1910 IPB gained the Nobel Peace Prize. From this time were 13 people from IPB recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Vision of IPB is world without war. Organization is focus on disarmament for sustainable development. They believe that by reducing funding for the military sector, a considerable amount of money could be earmarked for social projects at home and abroad that could use for the real human needs and environmental protection (ipb.org, 2018).
Figure 1: Source- ipb.org
Figure 2: Source- ipb.org
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) was one of the biggest political and spiritual leaders from India. He was a leader of the Indian Independence Movement. Mahatma Gandhi promoted the philosophy of active but non-violent resistance (Gandhi, 2008). Gandhi studied law in England. He was sent to South Africa to defend his client and he spent
many years by fighting for the human’s rights of oppressed Indians. Gandhi opposed racial segregation, for which he was humiliated and imprisoned several times. Gandhi went back to India and succeeded in unleashing the free India movement. This movement was based on the rejection of any kind of violence.
Figure 3: Source- https://motivationmentalist.com All his live he emphasized that all religions (and people) are equal; therefore, intolerance is a great mistake. He said: “A long experience has convinced me that there is no God other than Truth… God can never get to know who does not have a pure heart … (Gándhí, 2018).
International Antimilitarist Union The organization is a fruit of an international anti-militarist Congress held in the Netherlands in 1904. Until the war the Association operated mainly in the Netherlands. The field they were interested in, was combining personal pacifism and economic criticism of class structures. Members were recruiting from workers’ organizations and all socialist trade unions. The Anti-Militarist Association met again in Congress in 1919. During the meetings they created
four central rules: 1) the rejection of personal constraints imposed by militarism 2) the rejection of all forms of violence 3) the rejection of the military acting as the ‘watch-dog of the state’ 4) the rejection of the capitalist state.
In the time of the third Congress in 1921 the Association split. Four national non-violent antimilitarist organisations created their own international association. The declaration “War is a crime against humanity. I am therefore determined not to support any kind of war, and to strive for the removal of all causes of war and a broken rifle was adopted as the common symbol”. The name was changed to War Resisters International (WRI) in 1922. Anarcho-syndicalist antimilitarism declined after 1921, and the Anti-Militarist Association disappeared in 1940. WRI expanded rapidly during the peace waves of the 1920s and 1930s. The organization was represented in 24 countries in 1933. The main aim was to concentrate on conscientious objection to military service.
International Fellowship For Reconciliation The International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) is a non-governmental organization founded in 1914 in response to the horrors of war in Europe. Today IFOR counts 72 branches, groups and affiliates in 48 countries on all continents. The main goal of IFOR was to promote international peace through organizing workshops, training courses, conferences and worldwide campaigns.
The history of IFOR In August 1914, during the Christian pacifist conference in Konstanz, there was formed the fellowship called „Fellowship of Reconciliation“. As two founders of this fellowship are considered English Quaker, Henry Hodgking, and German Lutheran, Friedrich SiegmundSchultze. Then, in 1915, Hodgkin organized international conference in Cambridge, where „Fellowship of Reconciliation“ was officially formed. The idea of fellowship was spread to european countries as well as to the USA, but in the WWI, Hodgking focused his activities mostly to helping war prisoners in GB, who refused military service. After WWI the number of Fellowships of Reconciliation has increased and spread worldwide. That was an impulse to establish International Fellowship of Reconciliation by Christian pacifists in 1919. First IFOR´s secretary, Pierre Cérésole, came up with the idea of Civil Service,
called International Voluntary Service for Peace. In 1930´s, the role of IFOR was bigger and bigger. IFOR focused on building the peace in the whole world throughout their Ambassadors of Reconciliation, who traveled around the world and discuss with political world leaders about importance of peace and nonviolent. During WWII many members of IFOR suffered persecution for publicly preaching pacifism. However there were difficulties to work publicly, IFOR´s members worked in secret in order to help vulnerable groups of population, for instance André and Magda Trocmé, with the help of the villagers of le Chambon sur Lignon, saved the lives of thousands of Jews escaping the Holocaust. In Belgium, feminist Magda Yoors Peeters defends Jewish refugees and conscientious objectors. After WWII, the ideas of IFOR were spread worldwide and IFOR gained the new branches in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Middle East. Throughout nonviolence movements, IFOR helped to solve the 1 years long military dictatorship in Chile or dictatorship in Philippines in 1986. Nowadays, IFOR has 72 branches in 48 countries and its IFOR members still share a vision of a world where conflicts are resolved through nonviolent means, where systems that foster fear and hatred are dismantled, and where justice is sought as a basis for peace. While coming from diverse religious backgrounds, we have a common belief in the transforming power of nonviolence and reconciliation.6
International Alliance of Women IWSA (1904) organization was founded as International Woman Suffrage Alliance in 1904 in Berlin by feminists from around the world to campaign for women's suffrage. In 1926 in Paris the name was changed to International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship (IAW). Organization now is comprising of 41 member organizations involved in the promotion of women's human rights, of equality and of the empowerment of women. The IAW has general consultative status at the UN Economic and Social Council and is accredited to many specialized UN agencies, has participatory status with the Council of Europe and is represented at the Arab League, the African Union and other international organizations (womenalliance.org, 2018). 6
Figure 4: Source-https://womenalliance.org/
Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) â€“ was Polish prominent representative of the European Socialist and Communist movement of Jewish origin. She was philosopher, economist and anti-war activist. As a Marxist theorist and radical politician, she has a gradually emerged as the Social Democratic Party of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD), and the Communist Party of Germany (Starke, 2018).
Figure 5: Source- solidarita.socsol.cz
CONCLUSIONS In summary, the beginning of the twentieth century may be justifiably called The Age of Global Violence. But, equally well deserved to be called The Age of Awareness of Global Violence or The Age of Peace Awareness Revolution. As we already saw how selfdestructiveness affected people during the war, now is time to see how great is to practice society constructiveness by building world peace. _______________________________________________________________________________________ Sources: https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/guides/zh9p34j/revision/5 http://www.historyinanhour.com/2012/07/09/spartacist-uprising-summary/ http://www.ppu.org.uk/ppu/wri.html http://komunitaprolidskyrozvoj.weebly.com/mahaacutetma-gaacutendhiacute.html http://www.ipb.org/who-we-are/ https://www.britannica.com/biography/Rosa-Luxemburg https://womenalliance.org/what-is-iaw
_______________________________________________________________________________________ This newsletter was created in the framework of the project ‘Volunteer Vs Violence’