We don't want more war - We want peace, peace, peace!

    The main seminar at the Karlsøy Festival 2022 is a two-part peace seminar. In the first part, we look at perspectives on peace and international peace work from Russia, Iraq, Finland and Colombia. While in the second part we talk about how we can build a stronger Norwegian peace movement. 

    13.00 Welcome to the Karlsøy Festival

    13.15 "Rearmament in Europe - What now?" By Oda Nyborg, Norwegian Peace Council.

    Oda Nyborg is general manager of the Norwegian Peace Council. She gives us an update on what is happening with the disarmament agreements that were concluded after the Cold War. And the current status of rearmament and disarmament.

    Two years of pandemic have not stopped the world's military spending, and in 2021, for the seventh year in a row, the world spent more money than ever. The USA, China, India, Great Britain and Russia spent the most. Together they accounted for 62% of the world's total military expenditure. In February 2022, Russia went to war against Ukraine, and a further militarization of Europe has been announced.

    The world has never spent more money on the military, and at the same time is more dangerous than in a long time. 

    13.45 Resistance to the war in Russia from 24 February to today at Marina Shaminova

    Marina Shaminova is a non-binary Russian artist and peace activist who has used her artistic work to protest the war. After being arrested several times because of her artistic, political involvement, Marina has left Russia and currently lives in Vilnius, Lithuania. 

    Shaminova will talk about various examples of resistance to the war in Ukraine and Putin's regime. Shaminova will focus on artistic anti-war actions and queer feminist activist initiatives. We will also hear about political repression in today's Russia and how anti-war activists are persecuted.

    Shaminova is referred to as they/them.

    14.15 p.m. break

    14.30 Discussion about NATO in Finland told by a Finnish peace activist

    Ruby Van Der Wekken is a Finnish (originally from the Netherlands) activist. Among other things, she has been involved in the World Social Forum. After Russia attacked Ukraine, Finland abandoned its traditional and historical neutral position and applied for membership in NATO. Ruby talks about how the Finnish debate has degenerated from an activist peace perspective.

    14.45 Does Nato mean peace? Is there peace in Iraq? And what about the peace movement? (digital)

    While the West's spotlight is on the war in Ukraine, NATO ally Turkey is attacking the Kurdish civilian population in Syria and Iraq. In Nato, too, there are unclear lines of demarcation against military violations of international law.

    We get first-hand testimonies from the areas in Iraq that are under Turkish attack and hear about the work the civilian population is doing through the organization Community Peace Movement to create international attention about the attack and the campaign, Stop Cross-border bombings!

    At the same time, long-term work is also taking place in Iraqi civil society to build a stable democracy and lasting peace after many years of war. Ahmed Alaa tells about how Iraqi civil society activists and human rights defenders work with non-violence and peace work. 

    15.15 The peace process in Colombia

    In November 2016, a historic peace agreement was signed between the Colombian government and the guerrilla group FARC. The optimism that marked the signing of the agreement unfortunately waned rather quickly. Since the agreement was signed, 330 signatories of the agreement have been killed. A small group of former FARC-EP fighters have again taken up arms under the leadership of one of those who led the negotiations of the peace agreement.

    In June 2022, the left won an election in Colombia for the first time with former guerrilla member Gustavo Petro saying he wants to unite the divided country.

    Johan Mosquera gives us an update on the peace process in Colombia and what the latest election could mean for it.

    Mosquera is a former student activist from Colombia. He had to leave the country in 2007 because of his involvement. Since 2010, he has been active in the work with the peace process, including with a presence in Cuba and Norway. He is currently active in the Latin American groups in Norway.

    15.35 p.m. break

    15.45 New strategies for peace and a stronger peace movement

    In October 1945, after the end of the Second World War, Norwegian peace organizations came together to unite the Norwegian peace movement. This was the start of Norway's Peace Council and led to a strong peace movement with broad political support throughout the post-war period. 

    In the last 20 years, the peace movement has become weaker and more fragmented. And after the attack on Ukraine, contrary to international law, the Norwegian debate has been characterized by a consensus that the only solution to the conflict is military, and that the path to future peace is through NATO and increased militarization.

    We invite you to a conversation with Oda Nyborg from the Norwegian Peace Council, Inga Steen from board member of the Norwegian Peace Council and chairman of the Norwegian Peace Association, Joakim Møllersen from the Peace Initiative 2022 and Maren Irene Gåre Bakkevoll from AUF/AP.

    We ask the panel if there are no other ways to peace than militarisation, if it is possible to envisage a strong Norwegian peace movement again and what it will take to make this happen.