December 4-10, 2023
We Demand Protection and Asylum for Conscientious Objectors and Deserters from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine
Conventional Info Stand in City Centers
Many people in Germany do not even know that Russians and Belarusians who have evaded their draft or objected military service currently have hardly any chance to get protection in the EU. To spread information on the situation of refuseniks and conscientious objectors from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine is therefore important and a simple info stand – a table in the city center with information materials and people to talk to – is already enough for this purpose!
Info Stand in Front of Food Markets
Nowadays, there are Eastern European food markets in almost every major city. On this website (not only in German), you can find the stores of one of these supermarket chains. We have put together a leaflet in Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, English, and German with brief information on how to help all those objecting the war. The leaflet – which, like all the materials, is available here and here (in German) – is just perfect for handing out in front of food markets!
We especially call on the governments of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine to stop the repression against conscientious objectors and deserters. It would be great to organize protest actions in front of as many of these institutions as possible. A list of government representations can be found here (in German).
Order a matching banner from our online shops, here and here (in German). Distribute leaflets and please ensure to take pictures of the action and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. We will collect them and spread them via our websites and social media pages to reach even more people.
Of course, you can conduct similar, thoughtful actions in front of deserter memorials, if you have one in your city. This type of action is also possible in any city center.
If you want to spice up your action, you can order a large broken rifle here and hold it up during the action – this would make the protest photos even more impressive!
Graffiti Campaign: Asylum for Deserters
In the picture: Action in Berlin, 10.10.2023
On 10 October 2023, young human rights activists from Belarus and Germany offered members of the Bundestag an exciting way to take their lunch break today. They set up a graffiti wall directly in front of the Paul Löbe House. They sprayed “Rob dictators of their armies” on the wall made of transparent film. Another banner read: “Not our war! Asylum for Belarusian Conscientious objectors”. More (in German)
Another way to make the action in front of government institutions (and elsewhere) even more spectacular is to use empty chairs with signs on them. You can set up folding or stacking chairs in a semicircle and stick posters in A3 format on them. You can order posters with different motifs, names, countries, and birth dates here. To decorate the scene, you can hang a banner in the background. Here is a picture of how a setting like this could look like.
Audio installation with interview snippets
Various conscientious objectors and deserters can be presented with their own public statements. For that purpose, you can set up an audio installation or present them via posters and spoken contributions. Here you can find some interviews:
Andrii Anatoliiyovych Vyshnevetskyi, Ukraine: You shall not kill (German)
Mikheil Elizbarshvili, Georgia: Solidarity for conscientious objectors and deserters (German)
Ilya Ovcharenko, Ukraine: For me there is no compromise (English)
Maksim Gaidukov, Russia: My family supports me (English)
Mark Romankov, Russia: There is nothing to be proud of (English)
Vlad*, Belarus: The best solution is to escape from hell (German)
Nikita R., Russia: My friend was drafted and died in the war (German)
Photos – as far as available – are available for download.
Another, more interactive idea is to invite passers-by and interested persons to finish sentences with their own thoughts. All you need is an empty poster or old wallpaper that can be written on – and a bunch of pens. Possible sentences could be: “Peace for me means…“, “I support conscientious objectors because…”, “I demand from the European Union to give protection to deserters and conscientious objectors because...” and many more!
To accompany an info stand with a creative action, you can prepare stencils – e.g. with short statements or the symbol of the broken rifle – and have them spray-painted on textiles such as shirts, bags or banners. This is a nice action to attract families as well! Make sure to display information material, it can be ordered in our online shops here and here.
What about a large jigsaw puzzle made of paper boxes? Another impressive action is to build a large-scale puzzle out of paper boxes, which can be placed anywhere in a snap. You’ll need cardboard boxes, and a high-resolution image to print out ( we’d be happy to send you high-resolution campaign photos) – or you can simply paint the puzzle pieces yourself. This campaign is not only fun but can also be documented on video and distributed via social media channels. We have already done such a campaign, you can watch a video here.
Thousands of people are being forced to fight a war they do not approve of. Help us now to remind leaders in the European Union of their words that these people need protection and support.
Send emails to Ursula von der Leyen, to Roberta Metsola and Charles Michel. They are responsible to implement regulations on the level of the European Union so that conscientious objectors from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine get safe ways to be protected from persecution, imprisonment and recruitment for war.
We have already prepared an email for this purpose, which you can easily send using the form at https://en.connection-ev.org/eMailAction-form. Thanks a lot.
In September 2022, we launched the signature campaign “Russia, Belarus, Ukraine: Protection and Asylum for Deserters and Conscientious Objectors”, which has been signed by almost 50,000 people so far. On 15 May 2023, we handed over the signatures received by then to the European Commission. Furthermore, you can participate in the action: https://action.wemove.eu/sign/202209-russia_belarus_ukraine_protection_and_asylum_for_deserters_and_conscientious_objectors_to_military_service-petition-EN.
Compiled by Connection e.V. in August 2023.