April 15 Tax Day: Global Day of Action on Military Spending!

From the blog by Judith Le Blanc, Peace Action Field Director from the U.S.

“The International Peace Bureau’s Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) is April 15, US Tax Day. Peace Action is convening a cross section of peace and community, faith-based national groups who are supporting local actions across the country on Tax Day. Tax Day will be a day to shine a light on the Pentagon budget and how it drains the resources needed for our communities.

Not only does our government allocate a majority of the discretionary spending every year on the Pentagon at the expense of human needs and diplomacy, it also is one of the world’s biggest arms dealers.

The Tax Day actions are a call for changing national spending priorities, it is also a day of solidarity with all those who suffer from US wars past and present and the presence of over 1,000 bases around the world. The actions will call attention to the domestic impact of continuing to pour money into the Pentagon budget while community services are cut.

The recent Congressional budget deal delayed the next round of ”sequestration” or across the board budget cuts. Federal budget cuts were made but the Pentagon came out the big winner. In fact, the Overseas Contingency Operations account got bumped up while the war in Afghanistan is winding down creating a slush fund to blunt the impact of cuts!”

Read the full blog at this link.

Source: Peace Blog.

 

 

Reporting Trident War Crimes to Thames Valley Police

Watch the film made during the “Report Crime” event organized by Action AWE on February 8th, 2014.

From the Press Release:

Reading, Berkshire, 8 February 2014:-   A line of 50 people queued around the block at Reading Police Station as one by one they reported their concerns that the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) nuclear bomb factories in Aldermaston and Burghfield were engaged in manufacturing and transporting weapons of mass destruction and facilitating preparations to use nuclear weapons, contrary to International Humanitarian Law .   In conjunction with Action AWE (Atomic Weapons Eradication), they will call on the police to arrest government and AWE officials responsible for nuclear warhead production and deployment, which facilitate preparations to use nuclear weapons, contrary to International Humanitarian Law.

Read the full press release here.

From a blog:

“I want to report a crime: they’re building weapons of mass destruction just down the road”

The idea of going into a police station and saying "I want to report a crime and that crime is mass murder" seemed at first quite cringe-making - totally against my upbringing in the traditions of British reserve! But it also seemed a fascinating Alice-in-Wonderland thing to do. ( I have done a bit of street theatre before with the peace movement, with CAAT providing the props of toy bombs and bullets and cs gas canisters.) It was made much easier by the informal and friendly atmosphere of the demonstration, with lots of encouraging songs we were all singing together; by the helpfulness and professionalism of the police; and by there being so many of us doing it together, although we had to give the statements on our own - to truly stand up and be counted. I arranged to have a buddy. She stood next to me as I did my crime reporting and then I stood by her. Shoulder to shoulder - that made it easier too.

 

Check all the reports, news and information on Action AWE event page.

Banning nuclear weapons: point of no return

“The Nayarit conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons demonstrated beyond doubt that preventing nuclear catastrophe is the responsibility and right of all. As Austria picks up the baton, the challenge will be to move forward in a process that is open to all and blockable by none” says Rebecca Johnson, Executive Director of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy and Co-Chair of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

[…]

As the Nayarit Conference applauded the decision by Austria’s Foreign Minister to host the third Conference in Vienna later in the year, the spotlight now turns to Europe, which has the highest concentration of nuclear-dependent countries, including Britain, France, Russia and NATO, with US nuclear weapons still stationed in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Turkey.

Humanitarian perspectives are changing the way the world looks at nuclear weapons. Side by side in Nayarit were representatives from 146 states, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), many national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, the World Health Organisation (WHO), humanitarian response organisations, academics and civil society organisations from all around the world, who were coordinated through the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

Source: Open Democracy

To read the full article please click here.

For more information please check Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy and International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons websites.

 

 

 

Nuclear Weapons: Hope at Last

Jim Mc Cluskey, author of The Nuclear Threat, published today an article about the recent development in nuclear disarmament.

From the article:

“Citizens of the world have simultaneously become aware that the nuclear states do not intend to get rid of their nuclear weapons and that their existence imposes a permanent and intolerable threat to us all. The existence of nuclear weapons means they could be used by accident, by misunderstanding or by malicious intent. How can we ever be sure that some deranged psychopath will not gain power in one of the nuclear states and deceive him/herself into believing that it is in their best interests to make a first strike? How can we ever be sure that some terrorist organisations will not hack into the electronic control systems and carry out the launching themselves? […]

The only remedy is an enforced world ban on the existence of nuclear weapons. The other weapons of mass destruction have already been banned. It is the turn of the last and most destructive of them all.

And finally there is hope. The huge burgeoning of awareness in the citizens of the world is bearing fruit.”

Read the full article here.

For more information about the civil sociery efforts in banning nuclear weapons, please refer to the International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons ICAN.

European taxpayers are spending millions supporting unaccountable drones industry, report reveals

How far reaching is the EU’s financing and support for the emerging drone industry? With what intended purpose? And what will be the consequences for European citizens?

Eurodrones, Inc. tells the story of how European citizens are unknowingly subsidising through their taxes a controversial drone industry yet are systematically excluded from any debates about their use. Behind empty promises of consultation, EU officials have turned over much of drone policy development to the European defence and security corporations which seek to profit from it. The current trajectory points in the direction of an increasingly militarised and repressive use of drones that will have far-reaching implications for the privacy and human rights for citizens of Europe and beyond.

Source: Transnational Institute, Peace and Security publications.

To read the full executive summary please click here. Or download the full report at this link.