Activists march in International Conscientious Objectors Day

Sheffield Creative Action for Peace (SCRAP) marched in the Peace Gardens to commemorate the International Conscientious Objectors Day.

Activists read songs of hope to pay respect to men and women who have refused to fight for armed forces.

“All over the world there are people who are fighting and struggling for the right to object to war, so we want to remember all those who took that brave and isolated step,” said Jill Angood.

“We also want to show solidarity with those who all around the world today are suffering imprisonment and stigma for refusing to perform military service where there is no right to register as a Conscientious Objector,” she said.

Before laying a white poppy wreath in the Sheffield Cenotaph, activist Jill Whitfield read a poem encouraging soldiers to refuse to bear arms. She has previously worked in the West Bank and Gaza as pacifist in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

SCRAP spoke of a Sheffield man executed for refusing to fight in World War One, in a time where it was impossible for people to claim the right to conscientious objection.

SCRAP is a “small informal” group of people from Sheffield and the Hope Valley that use creative actions to campaign against arms trade, nuclear weapons and the military use of drones. For more details about meetings and activities see their Sheffield Creative Action for Peace on Facebook.

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