War Resisters’ International

broken rifle

In the early 1970s I was heavily involved in “Folkereisning mot krig”, the Norwegian chapter of War Resisters’ International (WRI). From 1972 to 1975 I was a member of the executive committee of WRI.

General secretaries of WRI at that time were Devi Prasad and Joseph Gerson. In the executive committee and the council I had the honor of meeting Martin Niemöller,  Harold Bing, David McReynolds, Michael Randle, Myrtle Solomon, Hein van Wijk, Pietro Pinna, Jean van Lierde  and others.

One of my interests was nonviolent struggle and non-military defense.  I published several articles in Norwegian on those subjects.

In 1978 I was asked by  WRI to write an article in English for the May–June issue of the WRI newsletter. The article was a working paper for the 1978 triennial and was translated into French and German.

A Dutch translation:

An article in Norwegian:

A Danish version:

In 1971 I wrote an article in English on conscientious objection for the National Peace Council of Norway (Norges Fredsråd):

An article in German in Vorgänge. Zeitschrift für Bürgerrechte und Gesellschaftspolitik, 1, 1985:

In 1974–79 I was a member of a governmentally appointed commission (“Vernepliktsutvalget av 1974”), which reviewed the legislation on conscription and conscientious objection. My contribution to the report comprised more than 200  manuscript pages.

The history of War Resisters’ International from 1921 to 1975:
Devi Prasad: War is a Crime against Humanity. The Story of War Resisters’ International. London: WRI 2005. ISBN 0-903517-20-5

A history of peace movements after WWII:
April Carter: Peace Movements: International Protest and World Politics Since 1945. London and New York 1992. ISBN 978-0-582-02773-2

A history of conscientious objection in Norway: Nils Petter Gleditsch and Nils Ivar Agøy, ‘Norway: Toward full Freedom of Choice?’, in The New Conscientious Objection: From Sacred to Secular Resistance, ed. by Charles C. Moskos and John Whiteclay Chambers II (Oxford et al.: Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 114–26.

A couple of photographs from the WRI Council meeting in Vlotho, Germany, 1977:

© Jon Grepstad. To the right: Hein van Wijk

© Jon Grepstad. To the left: Myrtle Solomon