By |11 May 2023 at 2:10 PM
International Conscientious Objectors Day 2023: Date, History, Facts about Anti-War Movement

Globally, International Conscientious Objectors Day is observed on May 15 annually. This day honours everyone who has and continues to resist conflict in a variety of ways, including refusal to join the military structure. The day was established by the Peace Pledge Union to honour and raise awareness of conscientious objectors. On this day, individuals and organisations from all over the world gather to honour conscientious objectors and their impact on the military annals of the world. From Colombia to Turkey, and from Serbia to the United States, International Conscientious Objectors Day is observed in virtually every corner of the globe.

The background of International Conscientious Objectors Day

An individual who has asserted the right to refuse military service is a conscientious objector. They do so for reasons such as conscience, religion, intellectual liberty, etc. In 295 A.D., the first record of a conscientious objector was made in Ancient Rome. A man named Maximilianus was conscripted into the Roman Army, but claimed that his religious beliefs prevented him from serving; he was consequently executed.

In 1575, William the Silent accorded the Dutch Mennonites an extremely early recognition. In exchange for money, they were permitted the right to refuse military service. However, this provision was not formal legislation. In 1757, following Quaker efforts to establish a British Militia as a national military reserve, this event occurred for the first time. The Militia Ballot Act exempted the previously mentioned Quakers from military service. Since its inception, the United States has permitted conscientious objectors, although it has been left to individual states to regulate the provision.

There is a philosophical connection between conscientious objectors and the anti-war movement. Throughout history, individuals have opposed conflict. The origins of the movement can be traced back to the American Revolutionary War, when British citizens protested against British war intervention in America, prompting the House of Commons to vote against further American wars in 1783. This ultimately resulted in the Peace of Paris.

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The anti-war movement began protesting the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War.

The movement against violence is also known as the peace movement.

Ali famously refused conscription and was subsequently banned from boxing for three years.

King Jr. was a prominent supporter of the movement.

Richard Nixon, the president of the United States, vowed to suppress the protests, claiming that the’silent’ majority supported the conflict.


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