Campaign: CHIME FOR CHANGE

BE A MAN, GO TO WAR

BY LYDIA ZIMMERMAN

The narrative serving wars and conflicts has largely been based on masculinity and the myth of patriarchy. Going to war was to be a man, and losing your life to save your flag was the honorable way out. As an anti-war activist, I took part in the 2009 demonstrations against NATO held in Strasbourg France. We were there as pacifists, yet we were threatened by a squad of policemen using tanks and tear gas. There, I met Matthis Chiroux, a soldier who, through his encounter with a young activist named Malalai Joya, decided to publically denounce the rhetoric of war.

This is the story of their encounter.

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