Future without war

A Future Without War starts NOW. War Resisters in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus will tell us why war will not solve anything and why they have chosen to oppose it. They say „Not Our War“ and resist.

Speakers: Olga Karatch (Belarus),  Yurii Sheliazhenko (Ukraine, online from Kiev), Alex Belik (Movement of Conscientious Objectors of Russia) and Rudi Friedrich (Connection e.V., Germany, long time supporter of Conscientious Objectors and Deserters all over the world)
Additional speakers: Mark Akkerman (Stop Wapenhandel) and Christine Schweitzer (German Federation for Social Defence)
Music by Your local Pirates and poetry by Stephan Brües
Dinner entertainment: Nina Koevoets (Peace Power) presents a game and book about peace and nonviolence
Meet & Greet at the bar and the Grote Zaal with short films and Belarusian round dance and whatever else

On Saturday, 10.09, 16.-22.30 in the Kargadoor, Oudegracht 36 in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Tickets are 20 € for the whole program including dinner. For a reduced entry fee please contact us. We will inform Kargadoor that you are free to pay as much as you can at the Kassa of De Kargadoor.

Come and see, get informed, get engaged – and meet interesting people and have some fun, too. 

Background of the event

We know that there is a difference between being part of an aggressor’s army or of a defending one. The first ones disregard international law and commit war crimes. The second ones are defending their territory, but sometimes risk the lives of those citizens that they want to secure. And they are disregarding human rights, e.g. the right to free movement and the right to Conscientious Objection.

On these grounds we believe that nobody should be urged to participate in a war that (s)he do not want. For whatever reason.


Therefore with our event „Not Our War we want to give a forum to those who resist war in Ukraine, in Russia and in Belarus and to inspire you to support them – in the Netherlands and wherever else!

portrait of Olga Karatch of the organisation NashDom in Belarus, showing a middle-aged woman with short blonde hair and red lipstick.

Olga Karatch, director of the Belarus civil rights and peace movement „Nash Dom“ (Our house) lives in exile in Lithuania. She has launched the campaign „No means No“ to ask young conscripts not to go to the army and fight against Ukraine. 20.000 conscripts fled their country for not being urged to fight.

portrait of Yurii Sheliazhenko Kiev. A middle-aged chubby man with long hair and beard.

Yurii Sheliazhenko from the Pacifist Movement of Ukraine cannot legally leave his country. He will participate online from his home in Kiev.

portrait of Alex Belik from the Movement of Conscientious Objectors in Russia, showing a young man with blond hair at chin-length

Alex Belik from the Movement of Conscientious Objectors of Russia. Since April 2022 he lives in Talinn/Estland. He is working for the Finnish peace organization Aseistakieltäytyjäliitto AKL.

Additionally to these War Resisters we invited the following activists:

  • Rudi Friedrich, supporter of Conscientious Objectors and deserters globally in the German organization called Connection. He will talk about possibilities to support the War Resisters.
  • Mark Akkerman, activist from Stop Wapenhandel, will point to what countries like The Netherlands have to do with the war in Ukraine – and how arms trade has helped the countries to wage and lead the war.
  • Dr. Christine Schweitzer, a well-known peace scientist and peace activist from Germany, will present nonviolent alternatives to war.
  • Nina Koevoets, a trainer in nonviolence, will present a game and book on „Peace Power“ during dinner time.

Last, but not least, there will be present:


The organizing team of the event „Not Our War“ – Wilbert Helsloot, Frank Feiner, Reinoud Doeschot, Ben Lindemann, Mark Akkerman and Stephan Brües – were or are all linked with the global antimilitarist network War Resisters International (wri-irg.org) that was founded in 1921 in Bilthoven, near Utrecht. They form the working group “Future Without War” of Vredesbeweging Pais which also calls itself War Resisters International Netherlands.

Photo © Stephan Brües, London, Sept. 2017