2 October, the birthday of Gandhi, is the International Day of Nonviolence. Here are some stories of inspiring actions and people…
Remembering Catholic Conscientious Objectors of the FWW : Valerie Flessati writes: Tom Allen was one of three Roman Catholic brothers from Nelson in Lancashire who made a stand against conscription by becoming Conscientious Objectors. Tom was the eldest son of the Allen family and had two younger brothers – Peter and James, and two sisters, Margaret and Mary Jane. The family had a history of anti-war activism and Tom’s father had been involved in organised opposition to the Boer war. Peter and Tom were unusual conscientious objectors as they did not go before a local tribunal. Instead,correctly predicting that conscription was on its way, they moved to Ireland to set up a business as shoemakers, hoping to evade the entire process. Unfortunately for them, while conscription was never introduced in Ireland, they were arrested and brought back to England regardless!
Revisiting resistance to Vietnam War : Richard Zipfel writes … I was surprised on 25 September 1968, when I opened the local paper in Milwaukee to see that a group of 14 men (including priests and religious) had broken into the Social Service Administration Offices, stolen thousands of draft files and burned them in a nearby green space. The protesters stood around singing and waiting to be arrested. The press had been alerted and were soon on the scene along with the police. All fourteen were arrested and charged with being party to burglary, theft and arson. The fourteen had prepared a statement explaining why they had taken the action. The Statement was given to the press and later distributed widely