4u2 - For you too - Roland Brunner
What is the 'Bund'?
Federation for Social Defence (often called the "Bund" by
English-speaking friends) is an independent non-governmental organisation
based in Germany. The Bund unites people and organisations of different
ideological, religious and political convictions and affiliations who consider
nonviolence the only answer against the threats and dangers human kind has to
face. Its subtitle "transform conflicts nonviolently - abolish military and
armament" expresses the two sides of its commitment.
Bund has been founded in 1989 in the follow-up of a big conference on social and
civilian-based defence, held in Minden in 1988 in order to have an
organisation to promote social defence and to work for total disarmament.
Bund organises campaigns (e.g. "Germany without an Army"), pursues
different long-term projects like nonviolent conflict resolution in schools,
develops forms of nonviolent intervention in wars like in former Yugoslavia,
organises conferences and meetings and has some standing working groups.
structural components are an annual General Assembly as the highest
decision-making body, an executive of seven members elected every two years, and
a standing committee of delegates of the supporting organizations meeting
between the general assemblies. The office is in the beautiful small town of
Minden in the north-western part of Germany, west of Hannover. In the moment it
is staffed by five part-time officers.
Bund publishes a quarterly newsletter, and a series of background papers. An
up-to-date list of the publications can be ordered at the office.
Resisting the Military
Since its foundation the Bund has been engaged in several campaigns and
activities directed against armament, broadening of the Nato mandate, military
interventions of Nato like in Iraq 1991 and Yugoslavia/Kosovo in 1999. It has
been one of the organisations starting the Campaign "Germany Without An
Army" in 1989. At the moment, it is preparing a new campaign against future
defence is nonviolent community resistance to armed aggressions. The concept of
social defence was developed as an alternative to military defence. It is based
on historical experiences like the Indian liberation struggle under Gandhi, the
resistance against the Kapp-Putsch in Germany in the 1920th or the invasion of
the Warsaw pact troops in Czechoslovakia 1968. The basic idea of social defence
is that it is possible to overcome an armed aggression if people refuse to
collaborate with the aggressor - be it a foreign intruder or a insurrector -
since both eventually need the support of the population to turn a military
victory into a permanent rulership. Methods of social defence are strikes or
"dynamic continuation of working without collaboration" (Theodor
Ebert), demonstrations, boycotts, civil disobedience, recruitment of
international support and the setting up of alternative institutions. The
Bund's strategy proposed in this concept is to work at the same time in the
social movements for the abolition of the military and the armament industry,
and convince the power-holders to provide adequate institutions to further the
reconstruction of society.
Empowerment and Training
Empowerment and training is one of the major fields of
work of the 'Bund'. Three different types of trainings have been developed:
1. Trainings with the goal to empower people against
the daily racism met at the job, on the street, in the train or in shops.
2. Trainings in constructive conflict resolution in
schools with children and teachers, with parents and with leaders of Youth
3. Training for Trainers in conflict transformation.
Civil Peace Service and Nonviolent Intervention in
The Bund has developed and promotes a concept to
organise a one-year Civilian Peace Service for women and men of all ages who
want to learn and practice nonviolent ways of intervention and conflict
transformation, either in Germany or abroad. The volunteers would undergo an
extensive education in nonviolent conflict resolution, and work in crisis areas,
be it neighbourhoods with high racist violence in Germany or conflict-ridden
areas in other parts of the world. After the completion of the one-year service
they would stand by for international peace-keeping efforts.
This objective has not yet reached. But there is a
program 'Civil Peace Service' at the federal Ministry for Development funding
training and deployment abroad, and since 1997 a four-month course to prepare 'peace
experts' for such work, organised by a coalition of five organisations.
The Bund has been involved in the international
coalition project 'Balkan Peace Team'. Since BPT stopped working at the
beginning of 2001, the Bund is now exploring possibilities for new activities in
the field of nonviolent intervention in conflicts.
Peace Research Institute
are hundreds of studies of past conflicts and movements. But with a few
exceptions they do not concentrate on nonviolent activities. This was the reason
for some members of the Bund to establish the "Institute for Peace Work and
Nonviolent Settlement of Conflicts". It has a dozen members coming from
different academic backgrounds who work as volunteers and mainly in their spare
time for the institute. The Institute concentrates on action and applied
research. Contact address: Dr. Barbara Müller, Hauptstr. 35, D-55491 Wahlenau,
Tel. +49/6543/980 096, BMuellerIFGK@aol.com
Campaign "Ways Out Of
Violence" (trainings in empowerment, development of projects )
"Defend the Social"
(new poverty, violence related to poverty. The working group will publish a
handbook on campaigning.)
Institute for Peace Work
and Nonviolent Settlement of Conflicts
Peace Tax (advocating a law
of conscientious objection for tax resisters)
Making nonviolence public (planning
a data base and documentation of nonviolent groups in Germany)
Friedenswoche e.V.Minden * DFG-VK * Evangelische Arbeitsgemeinschaft zur
Betreuung der Kriegsdienstverweigerer in der BRD * Friedensausschuß der Religiösen
Gesellschaft der Freunde (Quäker) * Friedenssteuerinitiative * Die Grünen/Bündnis
90 * Die Grünen- Kreisverband Minden-Lübbecke * Internationaler Versöhnungsbund
Deutscher Zweig * JungsozialistInnen * Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Christinnen
und Christen bei den Grünen NRW * Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Frieden Die Grünen
Niedersachsen * Ohne Rüstung Leben * Pax Christi * Gruppe für eine Schweiz
ohne Armee * Werkstatt für gewaltfreie Aktion Baden
Membership and Possibilities of Support
I would like to become member of the Federation for Social Defence and will pay
a membership fee of
O I would like to support the Bund by donations,
and commit myself to a monthly/quarterly/yearly payment of _____ EURO.
I would like to be added to your e-mail information exchange list, and receive
background articles, appeals etc that might be of interest to BSV supporters.
(These texts generally are in German language.)
Please, print this form out and send it to the address of the 'Bund für
The BSV is a registered charity in Germany. Donators
paying tax in Germany may deduce their donations from their tax.
4your questions and contacts: rbr(at)4u2.ch