This year, the IPB Global Day(s) of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) includes the period from today, April 14, to May 3rd, under the slogan: “Reducing 10% of military assets will help saving our planet. Take action!”
This year’s Global Day/GDAMS take place in a particular context. We are increasingly immersed in a World that is based on a divisive rhetoric, hate speeches, and xenophobic thinking. The consequence is a dominant Worldview insisting on a separation between good and evil and supporting on-going military campaigns – and the increased budgets to support them. The world is becoming crazy. Military spending in 2016 amounted to $1.68 trillion. Many governments are planning increases in military budgets together with cuts in health, education and development cooperation. The news on military budget increase proposals in the U.S. is alarming: the Congress recently approved a $ 165 billion increase in military spending over a two year period. Meanwhile, many other states like Australia, New Zealand, France, UK, Germany, Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Spain, Italy and others are following U.S. guidelines without any discussion. Wars in Syria and Yemen are being fuelled by the arms trade while North Korea is being used to justify a new arms race. Japan’s Prime Minister Abe is attempting to amend the war-renouncing Article 9 of their constitution. The European Union will (for the first time in its history) invest money in the near future to develop new weapon systems. This may also trigger an arms race in regions like Africa and Middle East, where significant European exports are directed. We are witnessing massive increases in military spending (including on nuclear weapons, in spite of the Ban Treaty) by the great powers, increasing the danger of disastrous wars.
The world is over-armed and peace is under-funded. This claim is now more valid than ever. One of the most urgent tasks of all nations during the next years is to reduce military expenditure. Climate change and anthropogenic planet warming is a gigantic problem that will have devastating effects on a majority of the world’s population. Strategies that are spoiling the planet while seeking benefits for a very few can only be supported by violence, and violence is usually conducted through armies and enhanced by militarism and military spending. War business, powered by many Military-Industrial Complexes, is based on arms trade and power structures that lead to civilian deaths and devastating conflicts, preying on the planet and actively contributing to climate change.
Actions worldwide are welcomed! Plase send us any action you are planning to us (mailto:email@example.com), and we will be pleased to list it on the GCOMS webpages: http://demilitarize.org/gdams-2018/
This year we are glad to re-edit the Selfie Campaign with all of you. As you may already know, this 2018 Selfie Campaign new slogan is “Where would you move 10% of global Military Spending? Take Action!” using the hashtags #MoveTheMoneyTo and #SelfieCampaign2018 #GDAMS. The GDAMS 2018 poster for your selfie is already accessible at GCOMS official website, so we invite you to print it and get this started: http://demilitarize.org/gdams-selfie-campaign-2018/
We invite you to publish your selfie (we welcome your creativity!) on Twitter @Demilitarize, on Facebook @demilitarizeday, on Instagram @campaignonmilitaryspending with hashtags #MovetheMoney #SelfieCampaign2018 and any other ones you feel relevant for you, or send it to us directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember that you can also download and use the recent infographics that we already published a few weeks ago. You can find them here: http://demilitarize.org/new-infographics-global-military-spending/
You will also find on the GCOMS website a new infographics for the #YouAllOweUs campaign: http://demilitarize.org/materials-owe-us-gdams-campaign/
We need to involve even more citizens and organizations in an open and robust debate on the counter-productive results of military expenditure. More than ever, we urge you to reach out to new partners to work on the on-going Global Campaign on Military Spending, and to make the Global Days of Action on Military Spending a great success!