PRESS RELEASE: 30 August 2016 (Peter van den Dungen)
On 18 August 2016, the renowned peace scholar Peter van den Dungen signed the international “Manifesto against conscription and the military system”. His research interests include: historical peace research, peace movements, peace remembrance and heritage, peace museums and peace exhibitions, the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the General Coordinator of the International Network of Museums for Peace (INMP).
PRESS RELEASE: 20 May 2010 (Chumbawamba)
On May 15th 2010, Boff Whalley, Jude Abbott, Lou Watts, Phil Moody and Neil Ferguson (known as Chumbawamba) signed the international "Manifesto against conscription and the military system" on the occasion of their concert in Berlin.
Before the concert, one of Chumbawamba's founders, Boff Whalley, held a public reading of his autobiography "Footnote". According to his statement, the band as a whole as well as its individual members support unknown local bands and various emancipatory causes.
Chumbawamba are a British band who have, over a 27-year career, played music ranging from anarcho-punk, pop-influenced dance music, a cappella/choral music and world music to acoustic folk music. The band are best known for their song "Tubthumping" (also known as "I Get Knocked Down"), and also for "Wagner At The Opera", "Homophobia", "Torturing James Hetfield", "Waiting For The Bus", "Ratatatay", "Words Can Save Us", "Compliments Of Your Waitress", "Here's The Rest Of Your Life", "Walking Into Battle With The Lord", "Charlie" and their version of the "Diggers' Song" (also known as "Levellers and Diggers") taken from their LP "English Rebel Songs 1381–1984". They criticize authority, touching on issues such as domestic violence and other forms of violence, religious fanaticism, antisemitism, racism, fascism, torture, death penalty, war, homophobia, nuclear industry, resistance, civil rights, and consumerism.
PRESS RELEASE: 12 June 2009 (Professor Simon Critchley)
On June 5, 2009, Professor Simon Critchley signed the international “Manifesto against conscription and the military system”. He currently chairs the philosophy department at The New School for Social Research (NSSR)in New York City (U.S.A.). ”The New School for Social Research provides an education grounded in history and informed by a legacy of critical thought and civic engagement. The school’s dedication to academic freedom and intellectual inquiry reaches back to the university’s founding in 1919 as a home for progressive thinkers and the creation of the University in Exile in 1933 for scholars persecuted in Nazi Europe. The interdisciplinary education offered by The New School for Social Research today explores and promotes global peace and justice as more than theoretical ideals.”
Professor Critchley signed the Manifesto while visiting Germany on the occasion of a series of lectures at the Free University Berlin and at the avant-garde theatre Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin-Kreuzberg): on the critical function of humour in society and on ethics and politics, topics of his recent publications “Der Katechismus des Buergers” (2008) and “Infinitely Demanding. Ethics of Commitment. Politics of Resistance” (2007).
Info about Prof. Critchley on his webpage at The New School for Social Research
Am 5. Juni 2009 unterzeichnete Professor Simon Critchley das internationale “Manifest gegen die Wehrpflicht und das Militaersystem”. Er ist derzeit Vorsitzender des Fachbereichs Philosophie an der New School for Social Research (NSSR) in New York City (U.S.A.). „Die New School for Social Research vermittelt Bildung, die in historischem Bewusstsein gruendet sowie dem Erbe der Kritischen Theorie und dem zivilgesellschaftlichen Engagement verpflichtet ist. Seit ihrer Gruendung im Jahr 1919 steht diese Hochschule fuer akademische Freiheit und echte Geistesbildung. Sie wurde zur Heimat fuer kritische Denker; einmal mehr nach 1933, als sich die University in Exile gruendete für Wissenschaftler, die im Nazi-Europa verfolgt wurden. Die New School for Social Research foerdert globalen Frieden und Gerechtigkeit durch interdisziplinaere Bildung theoretisch wie praktisch.
Waehrend seines Besuches zu Vortraegen in Deutschland an der Freien Universitaet Berlin und im Avantgarde-Theater Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin-Kreuzberg), unterzeichnete Professor Critchley das Manifest. Er referierte ueber die kritische Funktion von Humor in der Gesellschaft und ueber den Zusammenhang von Ethik und Politik, Themen seiner juengsten Veroeffentlichungen: Der Katechismus des Buergers.Von der Notwendigkeit religioeser Fiktionen im politischen Raum (2008), und: Infinitely Demanding. Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance („Unendlich fordernd. Ethik der Verpflichtung, Politik des Widerstands) (2007).
Informationen ueber Prof. Critchley auf der Internetseite der New School for Social Research
PRESS RELEASE: 20 July 2006 (Judith Malina - The Living Theatre)
Judith Malina and Hanon Reznikov from The Living Theatre, New York (USA) signed the international "Manifesto against conscription and the military system" on 19 and 20 June 2006 a fortnight after a memorable performance at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. "Founded in 1947 as an imaginative alternative to the commercial theater by Judith Malina, the German-born student of Erwin Piscator, and Julian Beck, an abstract expressionist painter of the New York School, The Living Theatre has staged nearly a hundred productions performed in eight languages in 28 countries on five continents - a unique body of work that has influenced theater the world over. During the 1950's and early 1960's in New York, The Living Theatre pioneered the unconventional staging of poetic drama - the plays of American writers like Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, Paul Goodman, Kenneth Rexroth and John Ashbery, as well as European writers rarely produced in America, including Cocteau, Lorca, Brecht and Pirandello. Best remembered among these productions, which marked the start of the Off-Broadway movement, were Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, Tonight We Improvise, Many Loves, The Connection and The Brig. The difficulty of operating a unique, experimental enterprise within a cultural establishment ill-equipped to accept it led to the closing by the authorities of all The Living Theatre's New York venues: the Cherry Lane Theater (closed by the Fire Department in 1953), The Living Theatre Studio on Broadway at 100th Street (closed by the Buildings Department in 1956), The Living Theatre on 14th Street (closed by the I.R.S. in 1963) and The Living Theatre on Third Street (closed by the Buildings Department in 1993). In the mid-1960's, the company began a new life as a nomadic touring ensemble. In Europe, they evolved into a collective, living and working together toward the creation of a new form of nonfictional acting based on the actor's political and physical commitment to using the theater as a medium for furthering social change. The landmark achievements of this period include Mysteries and Smaller Pieces, Antigone, Frankenstein and Paradise Now. In the 1970's, The Living Theatre began to create The Legacy of Cain, a cycle of plays for non-traditional venues. From the prisons of Brazil to the gates of the Pittsburgh steel mills, and from the slums of Palermo to the schools of New York City, the company offered these plays, which include Six Public Acts, The Money Tower, Seven Meditations on Political Sado-Masochism, Turning the Earth and the Strike Support Oratorium free of charge to the broadest of all possible audiences. The 1980's saw the group return to the theater, where they developed new participatory techniques that enable the audience to first rehearse with the company and then join them on stage as fellow performers. These plays include Prometheus at the Winter Palace, The Yellow Methuselah and The Archaeology of Sleep. Following the death of Julian Beck in 1985, cofounder Judith Malina and the company's new director, veteran Hanon Reznikov, who first encountered The Living Theatre while a student at Yale in 1968, opened a new performing space in Manhattan's Lower East Side, producing a steady stream of innovative works including The Tablets, I and I, The Body of God, Humanity, Rules of Civility, Waste, Echoes of Justice, and The Zero Method. After the closing of the Third Street space in 1993, the company went on to create Anarchia, Utopia and Capital Changes in other New York City venues. In 1999, with funds from the European Union, they renovated a 1650 Palazzo Spinola in Rocchetta Ligure, Italy and reopened it as the Centro Living Europa, a residence and working space for the company's European programs. There they created Resistenza, a dramatization of the local inhabitants' historical resistance to the German occupation of 1943-45. In recent years, the company has also been performing Resist Now!, a play for anti-globalization demonstrations both in Europe and the U.S. A month-long collaboration with local theater artists in Lebanon in 2001 resulted in the creation of a site-specific play about the abuse of political detainees in the notorious former prison at Khiam." (- History of The Living Theatre, see their website: http://www.livingtheatre.org -) Their recent performances Not In My Name! and Love and Politics are directed against the death penalty and military recruitment in the USA concluding with a sing-in of "Stop the War!" to the tune of "The Star Spangled Banner".
Please have a look at the "Manifesto against conscription and the military system"
(with the updated complete list of signatories):
Please have a look at the Gandhi Information Center's websites:
PRESS RELEASE: 22 April 2006 (Tom Paxton)
Tom Paxton from Alexandria (Virginia, USA) signed the international "Manifesto against conscription and the military system" on 12 April 2006. As a famous performing artist he has been a great advocate for Civil Liberties, Social and Economic Justice and Peace since the days of the New York Greenwich Village folk music scene and the world famous music festivals in Newport during the beginning of the sixties when his song lyrics and tunes against war, nationalism, racism and social prejudices became popular ("The Willing Conscript", "Jimmy Newman", "Lyndon Johnson told the Nation", "Born on the Fourth of July"). Since the days of the Civil Rights' movement, Tom Paxton has composed song lyrics of social commitment and compassion for the victims of antisemitism, ethnocentrism and racism ("Train for Auschwitz", "Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney", "The Death of Stephen Biko", "On the Road from Srebrenica"), for the preservation of our ecology ("Whose Garden was This?"), for a future in peace for all children, without jingoism and militarism ("What Did you Learn in School Today?"): towards a society of active solidarity and nonviolence, in private and in public life.
In the tradition line of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and The Weavers, Tom Paxton has been the gentle voice of compassion and dissent, the committed song poet whose thoughtful lyrics and whose wit and irony against political corruption and crime will always contribute to the emancipation of the poor and the weak, the depressed and deprivileged, the forgotten and ignored, the invisible and marginalized citizens of our world - you find his website under: http://www.tompaxton.com
PRESS RELEASE: 26 March 2006 (Country Joe McDonald)
Country Joe McDonald from Berkeley (California, USA) signed the international ""Manifesto against conscription and the military system" on 26 March 2006. As a famous performing artist he has been an indispensable and unmistakable advocate for Peace and Justice since the days of the world famous music festival in Woodstock (1969) when his "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag" became the protest song against the US war in Vietnam. Since the days of the Civil Rights' movement, Country Joe McDonald had composed song lyrics of compassion for the victims of racism ("Epitaph for Three", 1964), against the military system ("An Untitled Protest", 1967), for animal rights and ecology ("Save the Whales", 1975) and against the war propaganda of military intervention ("Support the Troops", 2005) - choosing the distinct anti-war slogan: "Not in My Name".
In the tradition line of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, Country Joe McDonald has been the authentic and compassionate voice of dissent, a superb critic whose crystal-clear lyrics and sharp polemics against political crime and injustice will always challenge the widespread attitudes of resignation, ignorance and indifference - you find his informative and reflective, educating and recommending website under: http://www.countryjoe.com
PRESS RELEASE: 16 March 2006 (Peggy Seeger)
Peggy Seeger signed the international ""Manifesto against conscription and the military system" on 4 March 2006 - only yesterday we received her airmail letter with deep gratitude! Together with her late husband Ewan MacColl, her brother Mike Seeger and her half-brother Pete Seeger, Peggy Seeger was instrumental in reviving the Anglo-American folk song tradition, in the footsteps of her parents: the pioneer of ethnomusicology, Charles Louis Seeger, and his wife Ruth Crawford Seeger, the first woman to be awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship Award for Music. Peggy Seeger composed and performed traditional Anglo-American songs and ballads as well as contemporary songs about gender issues, nature, ecology, e.g. songs against the lethal danger of radioactivity and nuclear reactors ("Sellafield Child", "Plutonium Factor", "Wasteland Lullabye"), e.g. the anthem of the British women civil disobedience campaign against nuclear weapons and the plutonium industry ("Carry Greenham Home"), e.g. songs on women's and workers' rights ("I'm Gonna Be An Engineer", "The Ballad of Springhill") - you find her website information under: http://www.pegseeger.com - She has been an outspoken advocate of Peace, Ecology, Justice and Solidarity throughout her creative life as song poet (since 1959), performing artist and social activist through her songs and ballads in favour of the emancipation of the poor and the oppressed.
PRESS RELEASE: 8 March 2006 (Sonny Ochs)
Sonny Ochs signed the “Manifesto against conscription and the military system” on 7 March 2006. For many years, Sonny Ochs has organized tribute concerts and song festivals to keep the memory of her brother Phil Ochs alive and encourage young US American folk song artists to dedicate their skills and energy for the causes of Peace, Righteousness and Justice. Throughout her life as a teacher, she has written reviews for journals and magazines, she has given lectures and radio shows for the progressive folk music audience.
“It's always the old to lead us to the war / It's always the young to fall / Now look at all we've won with the sabre and the gun / Tell me is it worth at all?” (“I Ain't Marching Anymore”):
Phil Ochs (9.12.1940 – 9.4.1976), born in El Paso, Texas, was a “singing journalist”, a protest singer who had studied journalism at Ohio, went to New York, wrote and sang topical songs for Civil Rights, for workers in their Labor Struggle and against the US Vietnam war, the US military interventions and the repressive and destructive system of the military, the monetary and the manipulation by mass media. - Phil Ochs, who followed the folk song tradition of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, had been one of the great young talents of the New York Greenwich Village artist scene during the Sixties. He contributed many of his songs for the famous Broadside Magazine, and his first three records “All the News That's Fit to Sing” (1964), “I Ain't Marching Anymore” (1965) and “Phil Ochs in Concert” (1966) created his reputation as one of the most energetic song poets of his time. He became worldwide famous for his great songs "There But For Fortune", "I Ain't Marching Anymore", "Draft Dodger Rag" and “Crucifixion" (with an outstanding orchestral version). During his extensive travels around the world, he was once strangled by those who attacked him. His voice was severely damaged, he suffered psychologically from depressions and ended his life - after more than 35 years - in 1976. - Phil Ochs's fire of protest had burnt brightly for many years, he had filled concert halls with solo concerts, he had publicly unmasked the war criminals, politicians, militarists and industrialists, and he had performed with dedication in order to strengthen the conscience, the courage, the dissent and the compassion of his young disobedient contemporaries. He supported the political opposition forces throughout America and bravely demonstrated freedom and independence of Thought, Speech and Song.
See the webpage with Phil Ochs' song lyrics: http://www.cs.pdx.edu/%7Etrent/ochs/lyrics.html
See the webpage of Sonny Ochs: http://www.sonnyochs.com
PRESS RELEASE: 6 March 2006 (Stephan Said aka Stephan Smith)
The US American singer, songwriter and activist Stephan Said aka Stephan Smith from New York (USA) signed the "Manifesto against conscription and the military system" on 5 March 2006. His anti-war song "The Bell" became famous, because he sang his protest song at a prophetic anti-war manifestation on 20 April 2002 in the US capital Washington and later recorded it together with folk legend Pete Seeger. Howard Zinn wrote about "The Bell": "Stephan Smith's song THE BELL concentrates a world of meaning into its few lines. At the center of it is a child, which is perfectly fitting, because it is the children who are always the most heartbreaking victims of war, and who will be the victims of America's next war. The wisdom of the child stands in contrast to the platitudes uttered by the warmaker, "the man at his desk". The child sees through the false claim that to go to war means to love your country. The child sees through the Orwellian deceptions, in which lies are presented as truth. It is the child who challenges the call to war. And it is the child in the end who shows no fear, and it is the warmaker who must be afraid, because the courage of the child has a greater power than guns and bombs." Stephan Smith wrote in his message: "May the world realize in our time at last what we all instinctively know: that a sustainable peace will only be achieved when we fulfill our primary obligation, and humanity's incessant aspiration: to live equally together." You find Stephan Smith's website under: http://www.stephansaid.com
PRESS RELEASE: 26 February 2006 (Anne Feeney)
The US American singer, songwriter and Labor, Peace and Justice activist Anne Feeney from Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania, USA) signed the "Manifesto against conscription and the military system" on 26 February 2006. In the noble tradition of Malvina Reynolds and Peggy Seeger, her musical contributions and public performances have encouraged her audience to resist oppression and injustice. Her song "Have You Been to Jail for Justice?" is the Civil Disobedience song of today following the tradition line of Henry David Thoreau and commemorating the legacy of nonviolent resistance: "Was it Cesar Chavez? Maybe it was Dorothy Day / Some will say Dr. King or Gandhi set them on their way / No matter who your mentors are it's pretty plain to see / That, if you've been to jail for justice, you're in good company // Have you been to jail for justice? I want to shake your hand / Cause sitting in and lyin' down are ways to take a stand / Have you sung a song for freedom? or marched that picket line? / Have you been to jail for justice? Oh, you're a friend of mine! // You law abiding citizens, come listen to this song / Laws were made by people, and people can be wrong / Once unions were against the law, but slavery was fine / Women were denied the vote and children worked the mine / The more you study history the less you can deny it / A rotten law stays on the books til folks like us defy it // The law's supposed to serve us, and so are the police / And when the system fails, it's up to us to speak our peace / It takes eternal vigilance for justice to prevail / So get courage from your convictions / Let them haul you off to jail!" (copyright 1998 Anne Feeney, BMI) - This inspiring, fresh song was performed by the famous singer trio Peter, Paul and Mary during the Tribute Concert for late Harold Leventhal on Thanksgiving Day 2003 at Carnegie Hall, New York (you see in the 2004 music concert documentary "Isn't This a Time"). You find Anne Feeney's website under: http://www.annefeeney.com
PRESS RELEASE: 26 November 2005 (Mani Bhavan - Gandhi Museum)
In her airmail letter dated 14 November 2005, Dr. Usha Thakkar, Honorary Secretary of Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya (Museum), 19, Laburnum Road, Gamdevi, Mumbai - 400 007, India, signed the "Manifesto against conscription and the military system" on behalf of Mani Bhavan:
"Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya is the Mahatma Gandhi Museum in Mumbai, India. Our activities are, besides maintaining the museum and its vast library, we promote Gandhian values and philosophy through various activities; like maintaining Research Centre in Gandhian thoughts and rural development, publication of books and articles on Gandhi and related subjects, organizing seminars and meetings by inviting scholars and elocutions and painting competitions for school and college students. For the information on Mahatma Gandhi and related subjects, please visit our website:
Best wishes, Usha Thakkar (Hon. Secretary, Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya)."
PRESS RELEASE: 30 January 2005 (Ela Gandhi)
On 15 January 2005, Ms. Ela Gandhi, grand-daughter of Mahatma Gandhi, signed the "Manifesto against conscription and the military system". Ms. Ela Gandhi is Chairperson and Hon. Editor of the newspaper "Satyagraha - in pursuit of truth" (Satyagraha Editorial Comittee, P.O. Box 477, Hyper by the Sea, Durban North 4053, South Africa). This Manifesto has now already been signed by grand-children of Mohandas K. Gandhi (Ms. Ela Gandhi) and Leo N. Tolstoy (Count Serge Tolstoy). On 17 January 2005, Ms. Ela Gandhi (Hon. Editor of "Satyagraha - in pursuit of truth") wrote this letter:
" To Whom It May Concern :
Herewith please accept my signature in support of the Manifesto against conscription. I believe that conscription is a violation of a fundamental human right to be able to decide whether to engage in violent combat or not. For a state to impose this responsibility on any person against their will is a crime, and as such should be punishable.
We are daily witnessing the forceful recruitment of children in various countries, by rebels. The effect of such forced participation in warfare on these little children is devastating and leaves them scarred for life. We are also witnessing the horror of war and the after effects of it on the returning soldiers.
I believe that conscription should be immediately discontinued by all countries and therefore would like my signature and my name to be attached to the manifesto against conscription."
PRESS RELEASE: 12 January 2005 (Martin Sheen)
On 5 January 2005, famous US film actor and producer Martin Sheen (born 1940) signed the "Manifesto against conscription and the military system". He played characters in the classical anti-war movies "Catch-22" (1970), "Apocalypse Now" (1979), "Gandhi" (1982), "In the King of Prussia" (1982) and "Nightbreaker" (1989). For many decades, he has been committed to the cause of Peace and Justice. He has frequently been engaged in peace protests, e.g. several acts of nonviolent civil disobedience during the last decades, most of all against the nuclear industry and nuclear weapons.
You find a comprehensive website on Martin Sheen (with filmography):
PRESS RELEASE: 10 January 2005 (Boubacar Traore, dit Kar Kar)
On 30 December 2004, one of the foremost contemporary Blues singers and guitar players, famous Boubacar Traore (dit Kar Kar) (born 1942) from Bamako, Mail (Africa), signed the "Manifesto against conscription and the military system". He counts among the most well-known, authentic and inspiring African musicians of our age.
He worked as a tailor, a salesman and an agricultural agent while at the same time training orchestras in the evenings and singing for his close friends. Boubacar Traore (dit Kar Kar) is a musician who reflects the history of his country as well as the hopes and the despairs of his people.
You find a comprehensive website on Boubacar Traore (dit Kar Kar) here:
PRESS RELEASE: 22 November 2004 (Prof. Zygmunt Bauman)
On 17 November 2004, Professor Zygmunt Bauman (born at Poznan on 19 November 1925) signed the "Manifesto against conscription and the military system". He was Head of Department of Sociology at University Leeds from 1972 until his retirement in 1990 and is now Emeritus Professor of Sociology.
He is known throughout the world for his works such as "Legislators and Interpreters: On Modernity, Postmodernity and Intellectuals" (1987), "Modernity and the Holocaust" (1989), "Modernity and Ambivalence" (1991), "Postmodern Ethics" (1993), "Globalization: The Human Consequences" (1998) and "In Search of Politics" (1999). As one of the twentieth century's great social theorists, he is the foremost sociologist of postmodernity.
You find two websites on Professor Zygmunt Bauman:
PRESS RELEASE: 1 September 2004 (Gerhard Schoene)
On 23 August 2004, the German singer, song writer, guitar player, lyricist and composer Gerhard Schoene ("Soldat", "Zerbrechlich") signed the "Manifesto against conscription and the military system". Due to his numerous encouraging songs for children and adults in East and West Germany, Gerhard Schoene has actively promoted peace, justice and international understanding to overcome racial prejudices and the military system.
For decades, he has actively participated in anti-war activities to demilitarize our societies, as e.g. war tax resistance.
You find his German language website with some of his lyrics under: http://www.gerhardschoene.de
PRESS RELEASE: 5 May 2004 (Konstantin Wecker)
On 3 May 2004, the German song poet, piano player, lyricist and composer Konstantin Wecker ("Die weisse Rose", "Wenn unsre Brueder kommen", "Sage Nein!") signed the "Manifesto against conscription and the military system".
Due to his social and political activities, Konstantin Wecker has become renowned for his political concern in his public statements against social injustice and the military system.
For decades, he has actively participated in many international anti-war rallies and anti-nuke conferences, e.g. the forthcoming IPPNW conference in Berlin (7 to 9 May 2004).
You find his German language website with all his lyrics under: http://www.wecker.de
PRESS RELEASE: 6 April 2004 (Bernardo Bertolucci)
On 22 March 2004, the Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci ("Last Tango in Paris", "1900", "The Last Emperor", "Little Buddha") signed the "Manifesto against conscription and the military system".
PRESS RELEASE: 28 February 2004 (Jewish Peace Fellowship)
The Jewish Peace Fellowship (Nyack, NY, USA) resp. Dr. Murray Polner (co-chair) signed the "Manifesto against conscription and the military system" on 26 February 2004.
In active solidarity with the Gandhi Information Center (Berlin) resp. Christian Bartolf (chair), the Jewish Peace Fellowship joins hundreds of famous signatories in opposing conscription and the war system.
Please have a look at the website of the Jewish Peace Fellowship:
PRESS RELEASE: 1 October 2003 (Kurt Singer)
The first biographer of Nobel Peace Laureate Carl von Ossietzky (1936, posthumously for 1935), Mr. Kurt Singer (born in Vienna on 10 August 1911, residing at Goleta, California, USA) signed the "Manifesto against conscription and the military system" on 7 September 2003. He was instrumental in promoting the international Nobel Peace Prize campaign in favor of Hitler's prisoner in concentration camp, the journalist Carl von Ossietzky (Biography: Burger, Felix (d.i. Kurt Grossmann), Singer, Kurt (d.i. Kurt Deutsch): Carl von Ossietzky, Zurich 1937).
PRESS RELEASE: 20 April 2003 (Pete Seeger)
Folk legend Pete Seeger (born 1919) signed the "Manifesto against conscription and the military system" on 25 March 2003. Throughout his life, folk singer, song writer and environmentalist Pete Seeger composed famous anti-war-songs like e.g. "Where have all the flowers gone?" (which Marlene Dietrich and Joan Baez performed) and "Last Train to Nuremberg" (recollecting the Nuremberg Principles). During the last decade Pete Seeger was awarded the Harvard Arts Medal, the National Medal of Arts and Kennedy Center Honors for his life-long commitment for peace, civil rights, ecology, labor and music education.
For the lyrics of Pete Seeger's songs:
Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, adopted by the International Law Commission, July 29, 1950:
"Principle I. Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor and liable to punishment.
Principle II. The fact that internal law does not impose a penalty for an act which constitutes a crime under international law does not relieve the person who committed the act from responsibility under international law.
Principle III. The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible Government official does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.
Principle IV. The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.
Principle V. Any person charged with a crime under international law has the right to a fair trial on the facts and law.
Principle VI. The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
(b) War crimes:
Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave-labour or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war, of persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
(c) Crimes against humanity:
Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhuman acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.
Principle VII. Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law."
PRESS RELEASE: 9 September 2002 (Studs Terkel)
On September 9, 2002, ninety-year-old Pulitzer prize-winning author and radio broadcasting personality Studs Terkel (Chicago, USA) has signed the "Manifesto against Conscription and the Military System" succesfully spread and distributed by the Gandhi Information Center (Berlin, Germany) and signed by numerous celebrities as e.g. Isabel Allende, Daniel Berrigan, Luciano Pavarotti and Ravi Shankar.
Before lecturing about his most recent book "Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Reflections on Death, Rebirth, and Hunger for a Faith", he publicly signed the Manifesto in front of one of Berlin's most famous modern theatres, the "Schaubuehne am Lehniner Platz".
In 1997, Studs Terkel received the National Medal of Humanities, in 1999 the Presidential National Humanities Medal. He is currently Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Chicago Historical Society.
Manifesto against Conscription and the Military System
Since the end of the year 1993 the "Gandhi Information Center", a Berlin society for education with international membership, has collected 1.000 signatures of people of integrity, many of them famous, from many countries of all continents, who support the new "Manifesto against Conscription and the Military System ".
In addition, the "Gandhi Information Center", after years of archive research, succeeded in documenting four yet almost unknown history texts of manifestoes which had been signed by famous humanists in the tradition line of Leo Tolstoy and Mahatma Gandhi, among them Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Mahatma Gandhi, Heinrich Mann, Thomas Mann, Romain Rolland, Bertrand Russell, Rabindranath Tagore, Ernst Toller, Arnold Zweig and Stefan Zweig:
1.) "Declaration of Independence of the Spirit" (1919)
2.) "Anti-Conscription Manifesto" (1926)
3.) "Against Conscription and the Military Training of Youth" (1930)
4.) "Nobel Prize Laureates' Manifesto Appeal" (1981)