Gruppe für eine Schweiz ohne Armee

What is the GSoA?

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Switzerland without an army, step by step working on a long way

Information and invitation

1989 Switzerland voted on abolishing its army. 35.6 percent of the voting population accepted this offer made in a referendum by the Group for a Switzerland without an Army GSoA.

Since 1989 a lot of things happened and changed. Europe is integrating as a political unity from above, with only few and weak attempts from below. Integration is done mainly by governments, ministeries and armies. Common troups, defence and security systems, Nato-Expansion East, „Partnership for Peace"... the attempts for a common policy of (in)security are obvious.

In the same time, the last few years, a lot of old good and sure believes got old and outdated. After the collaps of the east as a political and military unity, war became real again also in Europe. In the former Yugoslavia the thesis of the last of all the wars, the nuclear finish, was refuted. The armies and defence ministeries all over Europe and all over the world use this war nowadays to seek for new legitimation for national and international „defence", to coordinate and strengthen their militaristic course. Together with this process we obviously face a militarization of politics and policy also within parts of the peace movement.

To face this development GSoA started thinking, talking and working on new proposals for civil peace work by abolishing the swiss army and introducing a volunteer peace service. A first version of two popular referendums is drafted and a first version of an argumentarium was elaborated. On March 17, 1998, these two initiatives for constitutional amendments were launched. Within 18 months, GSoA collected the necessary 100'000 valid signatures (from Swiss Citizens with right to vote) for each of the two proposals. The vote was held in december 2001, a mere 3 months after 9-11, the desasterous attac on world trade center and other symbols of power in the USA. The discussion about our project was mainly dictated by the fear of the coming war against Afghanistan. The results where not as good as in the first votation.

In the years after, GSoA supported an ever growing anti-war movement and helped to organize some of the largest anti-war demonstrations Switzerland has ever seen. You can find information and pictures here: Peace Protests in Switzerland.

As the topic of militarisation is far more international than any campaign in Switzerland could be, we also involved peace organisations all over Europe. We invited everybody warmly to discuss around some questions like:

You can find a documentation on our international debate here: Europe without Armies. Invitation and documentation for an international debatte. There you also will find the text of the two constitutional amendments.

GSoA Switzerland, Postfach, 8031 Zürich Tel. ++41 44 273 01 00, Fax ++41 44 273 02 12,

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