Building a Global Movement to End All War

I’ve been involved in starting enough activist campaigns and coalitions to know when one has more potential than any other I’ve seen.  When hundreds of people and organizations are signing up on the website before you’ve announced it anywhere, and nine months before you plan to officially launch, and when a large percentage of the people signing on ask how they can donate funding, and when people from other countries volunteer to translate your declaration into other languages, and when committees form of volunteer women and men to work on a dozen different aspects of the planning — and they actually get to work in a serious way, and when none of this is due to anything in the news or any statement from anyone in government or any contrast between one political party and another, then it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to help build as a movement.

In this case I’m talking about a movement to end, not this war or that war, but the institution of war as an acceptable enterprise for the human species. The declaration of peace that people and groups are signing reads, in its entirety:

“I understand that wars and militarism make us less safe rather than protect us, that they kill, injure and traumatize adults, children and infants, severely damage the natural environment, erode civil liberties, and drain our economies, siphoning resources from life-affirming activities. I commit to engage in and support nonviolent efforts to end all war and preparations for war and to create a sustainable and just peace.”

This can be signed at — and we fully expect a million people to sign it in short order. There’s a great weariness in resisting militarism piecemeal, in reforming or refining war, in banning a weapon or exposing a tactic. All of that is a necessary part of the work. This will be a campaign of numerous partial victories, and we’ll be directing our efforts toward various strategic weaknesses in the military-industrial complex. But there is enthusiasm right now for stopping not just missile strikes into Syria, not just deadly sanctions and threats to Iran, but stopping also — as part of these actions — the thinking that assumes war must always be with us, the casual discussions of how “the next war” will be fought.

So, we’ve set up an online center for addressing the concerns of the anyone who thinks we might need to keep war around or who thinks war will stay around regardless of what we do. We address a number of myths, including the myths that war is inevitable, and war is necessary, and war is beneficial.  Then we provide a number of reasons for ending war, including these:

War is immoral.

War endangers us.

War threatens our environment.

War erodes our liberties.

War impoverishes us.

We need $2 trillion/year for other things.

We’ve also provided an explanation of how nonviolent tools are more effective in resisting tyranny and oppression and resolving conflicts and achieving security than violence is, in other words how we can be more secure without war and without preparations for war.

This movement to abolish war, will be a movement to create a better world in which we are better able to address real crises, such as those in the earth’s natural environment, rather than manufactured crises, such as the urgent need to drop missiles on Syria — which vanishes the moment we block that proposal.

Our plan is to announce on the International Day of Peace, September 21, 2014, a broader, wider, more mainstream and more international movement for peace and nonviolence than we’ve seen in a while, and a coalition capable of better uniting those doing good work toward that end in various corners of the globe and of our societies.

But we’ve only just begun to work out our plans, and we’d like everyone’s input. If you go to and sign the declaration, it will ask you to indicate how you might like to be involved beyond that. You can check any of a number of ways or invent your own.  You can get involved in shaping our thinking and our plans and activities.  You can also enter a brief statement of your own.  Here are a few of the many entered already:

“I support this proposal and agree with this great and important initiative to abolish militarism and war.  I will continue to speak out for an end to the institution of militarism and war and for institutions built on international law and human rights and nonviolent conflict resolution.” — Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate

“As a 29 year veteran of the US Army/Army Reserves, retiring as a Colonel and having served as a U.S. diplomat for 16 years and resigning in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq war, I firmly believe war does not resolve political issues.  We must work diligently to force the governments of our nations to use diplomacy, not weapons.” —Ann Wright

“Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it.” — Noam Chomsky

“It is so inspiring to see a new group coming together not to focus on a particular war or weapons system, but on all war–everywhere. And it’s great to have such beautifully crafted arguments about why war is not inevitable and how war contributes to so many other global ills. This coalition is worthy of Martin Luther King’s call to end violence and instead put our energies and resources into ‘life-affirming activities.’ Bravo!” —Medea Benjamin

“We must work to end all war because: 1. In war there are no winners, only losers. 2. To thrive, humans need peace, which cannot be created by war. 3. We need all our ingenuity, creativity, technology and will to find a solution to runaway climate change. We cannot afford the military-industrial complex.” — Sally Reynolds, Abingdon Peace Group

“The abolition of war is an idea whose time has come. We are at a transformative moment in history. Our Mother Earth is under siege from destructive global warming and industrialization. It is essential that we mobilize to save our planet. War is a cruel and untenable distraction, draining trillions of dollars and incalculable losses of intellectual firepower away from the essential work that needs to be done to create a livable future for humanity.” — Alice Slater, Global Council of Abolition 2000

“War is a crime against humanity. When 90% of the casualties of war are civilians including children, its time to End ALL WARS! The world badly needs the resources to meet human and environmental needs. Wars are not making us more secure, but creating more enemies. There are more effective means of achieving security than war and killing other people’s children. As former President Eisenhower said, ‘I like to believe that the people of the world will want peace so much that governments will have to get out of the way and let them have it.’ When the people of the world decide to end war, we can end it. At least 99% of the world’s people do not benefit at all from all the wars our governments are waging. The time is NOW. Please join us.” —David Hartsough

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  • berger friedrich-wolfgang

    ? – Looking at Your honorable Try , it comes to mind , that “War neutrally implies a bloody COMPETITION between two Sides”. But , “what We easily name War” , “was & is Not the bloody Competition between two equally strong Sides” . Every “WAR – called SLAUGHTER” ; “was & is started by an aggressive militarily – superior Might” , for the “Possession of Something for it Important” . — “War always is ‘annihilating AGGRESSION’ against a ‘weak ENTITY’ , which is forced ; to “fight for it’s SURVIVAL” : — Everybody will be ready , to pay “Lip – Service” for “No more Wars” ! , but WHO is able & willing , to “stop an AGGRESSOR ; armed to the teeth” ? — So , “HUMANITY” is & will be forced , to be prepared against “Willful AGGRESSION” ! – “War in this Perspective” , is the “Ultimate CRIME against HUMANITY” !

  • DM

    I like the concept, but what will prevent this movement being co-opted by corporate and other ideological powers to limit physical dissent when all other means are oppressed?

  • berger friedrich-wolfgang

    As long , as the MAJORITY of US – Americans , in their mechanical /technical kind of thinking , adhere to the ideological Phrase of “SHMUELS MERCANTILISM , “Good (for me) is , what is useful & profitable (for me) ! , – and confuse this Non – moralic “Principle” , which constitutes “LOBBYISM” , with the true “PRINCIPLE of MORALITY” , “Good is , what is good for ALL” ! (or as the Chinese put it : “Good is the WIN – WIN SITUATION for ALL” !) , there always will be – “Anyhow – reasoned Military AGGRESSION” for the ” 1 – Percenters – GREED” !!!

  • Matt

    War is indeed inevitable. It is inevitable as a forest fire. Can you stop a forest fire? You can try, but then the whole damn place will eventually burn down. If you try to stop wars then you will get a war so big that large portions of the planet will be wiped out – the big fire.

    Can you stop snow avalanches? What about sand pile collapses? What about earthquakes? What about recessions? What about stock market collapses?

    Indeed, wars, forest fires, snow avalanches, sand pile collapses, earthquakes, recessions and stock market collapses all have one thing in common – the same process is at work in each of these. The future is heavily dependent on the past – the positive feedback loop. And positive feedback loop systems always crash unless negative feedback is introduced. The only way to prevent big crashes is by allowing little crashes (negative feedback.)

    Your “World Beyond War” is a catastrophe in the making as you get the West to disarm. Ultimately, the only thing you will prevent is the small war and guarantee that we get the big war instead.

  • berger friedrich-wolfgang

    People with a strong “Believe” in the so-called “science of NATURE” , or “INTELLECTUALISTS” , seemingly are “unable” to grasp the “LAWS of THINKING” ! — “The simple “PERSONAL NO to WAR” , is in One , the “AFFIRMATIVE YES to PEACE” ! — WHAT else could be necessary , to enable a “certain kind of EXCEPTIONALISTS” , to recognize the “TRUTH” of this “LAW of MORALITY” ??? !

  • Johnny Rocker

    It all started with watching the Brady Bunch. My friend’s dad had these cool weapons in his house. The US Gov’mints killing fields in Southeast Asia were ablaze and what started with Kennedy’s napalm and advisors, came alive as a spectacularly dramatic failed colonial war. The war criminals and the country would quickly continue world wide violent, sometimes clandestine assaults, repeating the same horror again and again. It was then that I decided buying a home that would help under write an Imperialist victory, which was another tragic lie, but at least the machine didn’t leave us bloodied, terrorized in a road side ditch.

    • berger friedrich-wolfgang

      * The strongest “WEAPON” , Mankind got , – to express it’s “Free WILL” , is he “Simple Word – “NO”! — The simple “NO” to “SLAVERY” , is the thundering “YEAH” to “FREEDOM”!!! — It seems , “those Scientists , responsible for AMERICAN Education” , “forgot , to teach YOU – this “Secret SWORD” of Handling “Contradictory THOUGHTS” ; “worldwide Known” as “DIALECTIC”!!!

  • charles

    A noble goal, for sure, but,
    what do you do with the one guy who thinks conquest is his
    and no one will stop him ?

    • berger friedrich-wolfgang

      Imagine , 99% say just “NO” to the “profit – gay War-mongers” ! Can you believe , that the governing Billionairs would be willing , to risk their own Life ???