MNF - Past and Present
Though the influence of the MNF (Militærnægterforeningen) of today as both as a body of pressure and as peace movement is somewhat limited, MNF has, however, succeded in achieving one of the primary goals of the founding of the organization, i.e. spreading the word about conscientious objection.
During its 30 years of existence the MNF has seen a large improvement of the rights of the COs, for instance in conditions of employment, wages, and period of service. The general level of knowledge about conscientious objection has also improved - a development for which the MNF is proud to share the responsibility, together with the res of the Danish peace movement as well as a few politicians with a profound sense of respect for democracy, politics of peace, and the human rights.
Still, the society to which the MNF wants to belong has not become any more demilitarised: during this period the military expenditures as a whole have indeed augmented, and since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Danish military commitment abroad has intensified. If we are to measure the aggravated militarization of society, one could see a point in arguing that the results of the work of the MNF have not been satisfactory.
The MNF is aware of the fact that it is our duty to fight against this development; we must fight against this militarization for the next 30 years as well. The objectives for the future are to abolish the military and spread the message of antimilitarism.
The MNF is to represent a non-violent alternative to the defense system of today without forgetting its raison d'être, i.e. information about conscientious objection.
Thus the MNF has two aims for the future: firstly, to continue to inform about conscientious objection and assist and guide people who want to become COs. This informative feature has been the spine of the MNF's obligations, since all work for peace begins with objecting the military - a messsage to carry into the next century. Secondly, the MNF is to work concurrently with spreading the programme of antimilitarist principles.