The “fight for peace” is highlighted on Prisoners for Peace Day, which is observed on December 1. On this day, people around the world are reminded of the fearless efforts people undergo to preserve peace and avoid war by all means. This day was created by War Resisters International (W.R.I.) to honor the efforts of those who have risked their freedom in the fight against war. This anti-war organization has gained the likes of many people from across the world and has reached affiliation in around 30 countries. This holiday seeks to encourage anti-war supporters to keep on fighting and aims to allow a safe place for people to voice their opinions on unfair imprisonment.
History of Prisoners for Peace Day
Today we are shedding light on those who have been wrongfully imprisoned simply for choosing peace instead of war. These are people who choose to fight against war and are not afraid to be imprisoned for it. Prisoners of peace are individuals who have been imprisoned either due to their objections to joining the military, or those who take action in disrupting possible war preparations. Across the world in countries like Israel, South Korea, and Eritrea, people are imprisoned simply because of their grounded stance against war.
Prisoners for Peace Day seeks to highlight the lives of these individuals and stir up a global uprising against this issue, and war at large. These individuals can also be known as ‘war resisters.’ The title ‘war resister’ has been in existence since World War I, with people coming together to fight against the war. The major organization that led this fight was the War Resisters International (W.R.I.). The W.R.I. is an international anti-war organization that is headquartered in London.
It was founded in Bilthoven, the Netherlands in 1921, and has grown in affiliation to over 30 countries. Many of its founders were strongly against World War I and founded the War Resisters’ League which became a section under the W.R.I. As part of their fight against war efforts, the W.R.I. publishes a list of people who have been imprisoned either as conscientious objectors of the military, like Hillel Garmi in Israel, or because they took nonviolent approaches to disrupt war. Prisoners for Peace Day is celebrated annually on December 1.
Prisoners for Peace Day timeline
War Resisters International is established under the name “Paco.”
The War Resisters League is adopted as a section under W.R.I.
The W.R.I. adopts a broken rifle symbol as a logo.
The Committee on South African War Resistance is formed.
Prisoners for Peace Day FAQs
Is Prisoners for Peace Day only celebrated in the U.K.?
Although War Resisters International has its headquarters in the U.K., they have affiliations with over 30 countries worldwide. This important event is not restricted to these countries and can be celebrated by other war resisters worldwide. However, it is not a public holiday.
What is the War Resisters International slogan?
War Resisters’ International (W.R.I.) remains steadfast to its founding declaration which states, “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.”
What programs do the W.R.I have?
The War Resisters International’s London office runs three integral programs. These programs are: “The Right to Refuse to Kill Program,” “the Nonviolence Program,” and “Countering the Militarisation of Youth.”
How to Observe Prisoners for Peace Day
Write a letter
War Resisters International encourages us to render our support to prisoners of peace in any way we can. One of the best ways we can do so is by penning a letter to uplift the souls of those imprisoned. The W.R.I publishes an updated list of Prisoners for Peace across the world, as well as how you can write to them. Take some time out today to write an encouraging letter or two to these brave individuals.
Send a card
Another great way to show your solidarity is by signing and sending cards to these prisoners. If you aren’t sure what to say in a thoughtful letter, the next best thing is to send a card and let them know their efforts are not in vain. The W.R.I. also has guidelines on how you can go about this.
The wrongful imprisonment of war resisters is still a thing to date, however, not a lot of people are aware of this fact. Another way to boost the efforts of this cause is by raising awareness in any way you can. Take to your socials to share stories of peaceful prisoners that resonate with you.
5 Crazy Facts About World War II You Probably Didn’t Know
A child in the U.S. Navy
Calvin Graham served in the U.S. Navy at 12 years old, making him the youngest person to ever do so.
There was a phony war first
Within the early months of the war, countries prepared for the war with blackouts and defenses.
Hitler’s nephew was on America’s side
William Hitler, Adolf Hitler’s nephew, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Tokyo was next
If the need for a third atom bomb had arisen, the next city targeted would have been Tokyo.
Majority of the casualties were civilians
Approximately 70 million people were lost in World War II with more than 50% of that number being civilians, the majority of which were women and children.
Why Prisoners for Peace Day is Important
It raises awareness
Prisoners for Peace Day (U.K.) raises awareness about the concept of resisting war, and also the incredibly adverse results of war itself. This day also educates the public on the existence of wrongful imprisonment of war resisters.
It encourages the fight against war
It's hard to fight for a cause when you feel alone in the fight. A day like this not only encourages current war resisters but also ignites the passions of people who are also interested in the fight for peace. It creates a global awakening in the fight against war.
It creates support for prisoners of peace
It is easy to lose hope when you have been imprisoned for simply wanting a more peaceful world. This is the discouragement a lot of prisoners of peace face daily. Prisoners for Peace Day allows us to offer them much-needed support to carry on the fight, while also shedding light on their situations, beckoning for a timely release.
Prisoners for Peace Day dates