List of actions per countries:
USA (29)1 April 2011, VERMONT-Montpelier
Paul Erlbaum and supporters
Distribution of military spending questionnaire.12 April 2011, OHIO- Columbus
Peace Action Columbus
“On April 12 we were at the Ohio Statehouse with visits to legislators comparing the cost to feed poor folk and the cost to feed the war fighting machine. We met with six freshman legislators, both Republican and Democrat.
“Our slogan is end wars, tax wealth, and expand public services.”12 April 2011, OREGON- Corvallis
Veterans for Peace / Leah Bolger
“In Corvallis, Oregon we passed out fliers [view here] in front of our public library which used to be open 7 days a week, but has already been cut to 6, and will most likely be cut to 5 soon. We also took pictures of people letting us know how they would rather have their tax dollars spent rather than on war.”
Lots of great photos from this one!12 April 2011, PENNSYLVANIA- Lehigh Valley / Allentown
LEPOCO Peace Center
“The LEPOCO Peace Center in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania in the U.S.A. held a walk through a community devastated by warped priorities that place the military budget over social spending. We visited several places that are suffering because of misused funds. The event was organized by the Nuclear Abolition Sisters, a working group of LEPOCO. We posted our photos from Tuesday’s “Stop Funding War! Fund Our Communities!” Walk for Peace to an album on Facebook. Included in the captions is the text we read at each stop.”12 April 2011, WASHINGTON, DC / White House / Lafayette Park
Institute for Policy Studies
IPS and its DC partners (including the Washington Peace Center, CodePink, and representatives from local peace and human needs groups) gathered at Lafayette Park. We shared “flash facts” demonstrating the trade-offs between military spending and human needs spending interspersed with poems from six local poets. We then gathered for a quick photo op outside the White House.
RT’s report on military spending and the SIPRI numbers includes footage of this event, starting at about 2:03:13 April 2011, FLORIDA- Vero Beach
American Friends Service Committee15 April 2011, CONNECTICUT- New Haven
Greater New Haven Peace Council
“On the traditional tax day, April 15, and to last minute tax filers on the 18th, we distributed fliers detailing the budget breakdown using information from the National Priorities Project. We also held an End the Wars vigil in front of the entrance to the Yale School of Medicine with medical students who are working on just medical care for children in Israel/Palestine.”15 April 2011, CONNECTICUT- New Haven
Greater New Haven Peace Council
“On the traditional tax day, April 15, and to last minute tax filers on the 18th, we distributed fliers detailing the budget breakdown using information from the National Priorities Project. We also held an End the Wars vigil in front of the entrance to the Yale School of Medicine with medical students who are working on just medical care for children in Israel/Palestine.”15 April 2011, NEW YORK- Brooklyn
Brooklyn for Peace
“Brooklyn for Peace reached over 3,000 folks with our ‘The Cost of War is Killing Brooklyn’ flier at a number of locations on Tax Day – April 15.”15 April 2011, OHIO- Cleveland
Peace Action Cleveland
Full event debrief available here.18 April 2011, OREGON- Eugene
Taxes for Peace Not War / Community Alliance of Lane County / Jobs with Justice / Eugene-Springfield Solidarity Network / Industrial Workers of the World
“Activists gathered at the Eugene downtown post offices on Tax Day, April 18th, to challenge militarism and corporate greed and to call for the re-ordering of federal spending priorities from supporting war to meeting human and environmental needs. Close to 100 people were provided the opportunity to voice how they would spend their tax dollars when they took part in the ‘Penny Poll’. Participants were handed 10 pennies, which they deposited in jars representing a 6-category breakdown of the federal budget. Eugene taxpayers have clearly had it with the Iraq/Afghanistan wars and want their elected officials to do more to bring these wars to an immediate end. If Eugene residents ran the Federal Government things would be significantly different — their tax dollars would be funding social and environmental programs and not endless war. War tax resisters, who object to over half of their federal taxes going to the military, redirected their ‘war’ taxes to local organizations, including Planned Parenthood, Whitebird and Shelter Care, who were on hand to receive their donations.”18 April 2011, PENNSYLVANIA- Bryn Mawr
Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition
“On Tax Day, April 18, in front of the Post Office at both morning rush and lunch hours, six members of the Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition (BMPC) held posters and distributed literature advocating the reduction of military spending and illustrating the distribution of income tax dollars. The morning crowd either accepted the material or neutrally declined, but the lunchtime crowd was generally very negative toward the cause. A welcome small minority eagerly accepted the handouts and thanked us for our efforts, but most folks walked by with surly looks on their faces and scowled when offered printed material. Many stated angrily that they knew how their income tax dollars were used and didn’t need us to tell them, or that they were ex-military or had family members actively serving in the armed forces; as though that automatically meant they supported current outrageous military expenditures. One man said we must be socialists or communists. A Post Office employee came outside to tell us they’d had several phone calls complaining that we were blocking access to the curbside mailboxes (which we were not) and asked us to move from the front of the building. What a sad awakening to the support this part of the world is giving to the current allocation of funds!”
Tough crowd in Southeastern PA… Keep up the struggle Bryn Mawr!4 April 2011, MAINE- Augusta
Veterans for Peace / Union of Maine Visual Artists / Raging Grannies
“It was a great day in Augusta. We had long planned our day to hold a rally calling on all elected officials in Maine to demand that we Bring Our War $$ Home. Due to bad weather last Friday we were asked by the Union of Maine Visual Artists to share our rally permit with them. Without hesitation we agreed and by the end of the day 400 people had turned out to take part in a protest double-header.
The Bring Our War $$ Home campaign led off the event with an hour of speakers and music. One stirring moment occurred when the fiery Mayor of Biddeford, Joanne Twomey, joined us and took the microphone to say that she is tired of cutting jobs and social programs in her city. She said that at the last city council meeting she brought up cutting war spending as an alternative to these cutbacks and then told the roaring crowd “I offer a challenge to every mayor in Maine to say we need to Bring Our War $$ Home.” Maine public radio aired some of her strong words in their evening news report from the capital.
The rally began with singing by the Raging Grannies and then Dud Hendrick, president of Maine Veterans for Peace, underscored the importance of the day as it was the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. who many believe was killed because he spoke out against the Vietnam War – calling it a war on “programs of social uplift” as well as morally bankrupt.
Following a quick change of signs the chanting crowd switched gears and gave their full attention to speakers lined by the Union of Maine Visual Artists who came to protest the controversial decision by our new governor to pull down a labor oriented mural from the walls inside the state Department of Labor. You can see some news coverage of the rally here
Today was a good example of group solidarity and connecting the dots between the issues. I was proud that the Bring Our War $$ Home rally showed how addiction to war is tied to our addiction to oil. Our speakers linked climate change, militarism, social spending cuts, attacks on labor and civil liberties, and the need to protect one another.
In my opening words I said the following: “We’re at a crucial time – No more going it alone – no more of the ‘business model of organizing’ where everyone/every group just looks out for themselves. Those days are over. They will pick us off one at a time if we continue to do that. We are all in this together now – it’s gotta be all for one and one for all…..or nothing. It’s time we showed the links between all the issues and put out an alternative sustainable vision for the future.”April 2011, CALIFORNIA- Oakland
New Priorities Campaign
The New Priorities Campaign held a rally in Oakland featuring speakers and poets demanding that the government move the money away from military expenditures.April 2011, CALIFORNIA- San Francisco
American Friends Service Committee
Some activists set up a visual display and passed out leaflets in the Glen Park neighborhood of San Francisco.April 2011, HAWAII- Oahu
Kyle Kajihiro and co-organizers
“In Hawai’i, we conducted what we call a ‘DeTour’ (demilitarization focused geopolitical reality tour) of military-occupied sites in Hawai’i, including Ke Awalau o Pu’uloa (the original name for Pearl Harbor). The tour presented an alternative narrative of how Hawai’i was invaded and occupied by the U.S. military to expand the American empire across the Pacific and recounted the costs and consequences of those developments.
“From outside the headquarters of the Pacific Command, the oldest and largest of the U.S. unified military commands, we discussed how the military presence in Hawai’i is like a monstrous octopus with tentacles that impact other peoples and nations in the Asia-Pacific region. We also discussed how Ke Awalau o Pu’uloa, once a rich fishery and source of food and peace for O’ahu island has become a symbol of war, tragedy and contamination, and ventured to discuss how it might once again be restored as a source of life. We ended the tour at a farm and learning center on the shores of Ke Awalau o Pu’uloa where we planted trees towards the creation of new ‘bases’ for peace, justice and sustainability. ”April 2011, INDIANA- Indianapolis
American Friends Service CommitteeApril 2011, MARYLAND- College Park
Students for Peace
“We had Jean Athey come speak about the costs of the militarization of America, and we also did a flag display showing the amount of additional money needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals vs. Military Spending for one year. Each flag represented a billion dollars, so we used close to 2 thousand flags! We gave out fliers with more info on the display, a graph on discretionary spending, and websites for War Resisters International and National Priorities Project. Many people stopped to talk. The majority of those people asked questions, thanked us for doing the display, and agreed with what we were doing. A few people stopped who were offended and felt that we were insulting the military and America. We engaged these passerby, gave them facts, and listened to their opinions. One woman who had stopped at the display asked one particularly angry guy if he had ever served in the military. He admitted that he had not. She revealed that she had served for 5 years and had seen first hand the waste and misdirection of funds. She spent the next 30 minutes calmly listening to the angry man, sympathizing with his feelings, but standing firmly in support of the display and message.”April 2011, MISSOURI- Kansas City
American Friends Service Committee
A group of citizens held a vigil in downtown Kansas City to highlight the harmfully high portion of government spending that goes towards the military budget.
More news coverage of the event with photos here.April 2011, NEBRASKA- Lincoln
Nebraskans for Peace
Excellent rally featuring a well-known former state senator and dozens of activists:April 2011, NEW YORK- Albany
Upper Hudson Peace Action
“Upper Hudson Peace Action, based in Albany, New York, participated in the Global Day of Action on Military Spending by holding a noon time vigil in front of the New York State Capitol Building. Eight of us vigiled. We held signs saying “How is the War Economy Working for You?” We also handed out fliers that included facts such as “39 cents of each dollar paid in taxes to pay for current wars, war preparation and the debt on past wars. That works out to be $9,645 each year for each household in the U.S. How much are you paying for war? The United States maintains 820 military installations in 135 countries around the world. Does this make sense?”April 2011, NEW YORK- New York
United Nations Office of the Chaplain
35 representatives from 25 different religious NGOs working at the United Nations attended a luncheon workshop on the Global Day of Action on Military Spending entitled: “What is civil society’s role at the U.N., in the streets, and in the pew/temple/gurdwara/mosque regarding militarism, militarization and military expenditures?” Hosted by the Office of the Chaplain and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, presentations were made by three faith-based organizations who are already actively programming and strategizing around this theme. Speakers included Hiro Sakurai from Soka Gokkai International, Dennis Frado from the Lutheran World Federation and Allison Pytlak from Religions for Peace. The goal of the program was to reinvigorate the conversation and action around this vital topic in a community which, while very involved in multiple agendas and coalitions, do not necessarily have military expenditures as a focus of work. As an outcome, participants decided to meet again to further analyze and explore how we can better link vital actions in this arena and work across the silos.”April 2011, OHIO- Akron
OLE Peace Plus / AFSCApril 2011, PENNSYLVANIA- Glenside
Arcadia Amnesty International
“We took photographs with signs that explained what we do with $1.6 trillion dollars. We also hung up posters up at Arcadia,” including the one below.April 2011, SOUTH DAKOTA- Sioux Falls
Pax Christi Southeastern SDApril 2011, USA- Travis Air Force Base, Fairfield
“Base Actions” Campaign / Bay Area CodePink / San Francisco Veterans for Peace / Nevada County Peace Center / Military Families Speak Out / S.F. AFSC
“We held signs and banners and distributed fliers for a few hours during the morning and afternoon commutes at the entrance to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California. In spite of multiple interferences from civilian and military police, over 80 fliers were distributed educating military personnel about the obscene economic and social costs of excessive military spending. This was our third visit to Travis in a campaign to have a monthly presence at ‘a military base near you.’ We all have military bases not far from where we live. We’re all affected by our military and its actions. From contaminating thousands of acres of land all over the world to waging war on innocents for the sake of greed, global militarization is reprehensible. No one in good conscience can stand by as our government proceeds with death and destruction in our names. We’ve had enough!”April 2011, VERMONT- Burlington
Peace and Justice Center
“Anti-war protestors gathered in Burlington Tuesday to send a message about military spending.
“Tuesday is the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Protestors marched and rallied on Church Street to promote awareness on the amount of money the United States spends on the military. They say with the debate on government spending in Congress both Republicans and Democrats should look to reduce spending on war.”
Local news report available here.April 2011, WASHINGTON- Spokane
Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane
“The Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS) organized a GDAMS event to distribute literature and collect signatures for their Bring Our Billion$ Home campaign. Volunteers distributed information from the SIPRI report as well as on the costs of war and the trade-offs for Washington State’s 5th Congressional District. This information was given to 100 individuals with 60 of them following up with endorsements for our Bring Our Billion$ Home campaign, which calls for the US to end war, occupation, and military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq; reduce the Pentagon budget; and shift spending to job creation, education, health care, affordable housing, environmental protection, an effective social safety net, infrastructure, new technologies, defense of Social Security and Medicare from threatened cuts and other efforts that enhance the common good of our society.”April 2011, WASHINGTON, DC / American University
“At American University we held a teach-in with professors, a former Department of Defense contractor in Iraq, an Iraq war veteran, and other peace activists. The discussion ranged from the issue of propaganda to how citizens are affected to what needs to happens next in order to realign spending with civilian needs. Outside we had an interactive component where we showed students what percentage of the budget actually goes to military spending. We also set up hundreds of little flags to compare military spending to the Millennium Development Goals. The flag representation was very successful in grabbing the attention of students and fueling an interest to learn more about military spending. ”
India (3)11 April 2011, INDIA Dadabari Kota, Rajasthan
Rural Development & Youth Training Institute (RDYTI)
“On 11 and 12 April 2011, we organized two workshops, village rallies, and meetings in connection with the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS). We discussed in detail about our military expenditures in comparison with poverty alleviation activities (Millennium Development Goals) in our country.
“Two budget experts actively participated in our workshops and village rallies. News of our campaign and workshop were published in newspapers as well as broadcast on local TV and radio. A very good environment has emerged in our state, and discussion continues among educated people, youths, and activists.”12 April 2011, INDIA- Nagpur
Indian Institute for Peace, Disarmament & Environmental Protection
“We arranged a seminar for the Global Day of Action on Military Spending on April 12 2011. Prominent politicians, bureaucrats, policy makers, activists, and NGOs participated in the event.”April 2011, INDIA- New Delhi
Control Arms Foundation of India / Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network
“A vigil and drumming ceremony was organized at India Gate, where fliers were distributed to the public. We later submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Singh and also to members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence.
“Our battle is against starvation and deprivation, which cannot be fought with guns and missiles. In our memorandum, we call upon government of India to:
1. Cut military expenditures and deploy the saved funds towards combating poverty and providing social security.
2. Support the United Nations process for an international Arms Trade Treaty.
3. Call upon governments in South Asia to support the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
4. Take the lead in international humanitarian disarmament, which was the pillar of India’s Foreign Policy in 1950s and 1960s.
5. Include women in peace, security, and disarmament issues.”
Photo credit: Kausiki Sarma
Brazil (1)12 April 2011, BRAZIL- João Pessoa
Universidade Federal da Paraiba – Translation Studies
“Amidst the heavy rain that swept the city on April 12th, three people in our group were interviewed live on local TV (broadcast to the whole state) regarding GDAMS and our participation. We also held a video conference with Mr. Gustavo Vieira. The video of interview was broadcast on the TV news.”
Cameroon (1)12 April 2011, CAMEROON- Yaoundé
Nouveaux Droits de l’Homme
April 12. Nouveaux Droits de l’Homme (New Rights of Man) in Cameroon held a round table discussion and launched a campaign aimed at pressuring the parliament to cut military spending and fund the ever-rising costs of basic needs. The panel focused on the global campaign against militarization, as well as on the specific military apparatus of Cameroon and the most pressing needs of the population that severely lack the minimum public funding.
Italy (1)12 April 2011, ITALY- Florence
Nonviolence Forge / Italian Nonviolent Movement
“On April 12, we chose a persuasive and symbolic action to draw the attention of passers-by, raising their awareness by unexpectedly shaking the indifference of their daily routine.
“The action consisted of a slow, silent walk. The walkers had message-banners hanging around their necks, and were handing out informative leaflets as well. One of them, with a megaphone, repeatedly explained why we were in the street, so as to enable the people we met to understand the action, or to stop and ask further questions.
“Most of the participants were organized in small groups of about five people, one of which had the role of the ‘undertaker’ and the rest the role of the ‘dead.’ Three times, along the way, they scattered among the people on the road/square. The remaining few kept handing out the leaflets, explaining the rationale of the action with the megaphone, so disseminating information. Three more participants were to play the ‘heartbroken women.’ At their sudden cry, symbolizing the pain caused by weapons, the ‘dead’ suddenly fell to the ground, laying then still as if lifeless. Then the undertakers slowly covered the bodies on the ground with the rainbow flag of Peace. After a few minutes, at the scream of ‘Do Hope do not Shoot,’ the dead slowly raised and we started walking again.
“Covering the dead with the Peace flag, same gesture used to honor dead warriors, on the one hand we wanted to highlight the pain that war causes, on the other we wanted to propose an alternative and a hope: Nonviolence as a means and at the same time an end, for the sake of a world safer without weapons.”
Malaysia (1)12 April 2011, MALAYSIA- Kuala Lumpur
Public rally (below) and memorandum to Malaysian Defense Minister.
Puerto Rico (1)12 April 2011, PUERTO RICO- San Juan
Citizen’s Coalition Against Militarism
“Citizens Coalition Against Militarism is a group of Puerto Rican organizations whose objective is to coordinate the efforts of all Puerto Rican organizations and individuals working on demilitarization in Puerto Rico to carry out a national campaign to end militarism in schools and other institutions in the country. On April 12, we hosted a forum titled ‘$1.6 Trillion: For Peace or for War?’ at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico School of Law. Speakers included: Jorge Colón of Puerto Rican Citizen’s Coalition Against Militarism; Theo Roncken of Acción Andina (via videoconference from Cochabamba, Bolivia); Ana Irma Rivera-Lassén, VicePresident of the Puerto Rican Bar Association; and Wanda Colón-Cortés, from the Caribbean Project for Justice and Peace. All the organizations will be part of our annual Opt-out efforts in August and September to convince high school students and their parents to not allow the school principals to give the students’ personal information to military recruiters.”
Sweden (1)12 April 2011, SWEDEN- Gothenburg
Cattis and Antimilitaristic Network Ofog
“On April 12 we handed out leaflets in central Gothenburg about Sweden’s military spending (43 billion Swedish Kronor, about 43 million Euro), and made this video asking people what they would do with that money instead, answers are about paying back the west/north’s debt to the global south, to put into health care, child care, etc.”
Swedish news clip available here.
Thailand (1)12 April 2011, THAILAND- Bangkok
Student Federation of Thailand
“We gathered on April 12 around 1:30PM in front of the Ministry of Defense. There were about 20 participants from the SFT, our friends and others and about a hundred policemen. We started to burn effigies of guns, tanks, money, etc., in a container that we had prepared earlier in the fashion of a Chinese funeral rite. After that, one of us read out our statement about military spending in Thailand and called for military reform.”
Uganda (1)12 April 2011, UGANDA Kampala
New Idea for Citizenship
“The Ugandan event planned by New Idea for Citizenship (NIfC) didn’t go all well. The country is locked up in several controversies, and the Police was reluctant to grant permission even to stage a 2 km walk, let alone public gatherings to talk about issues of military spending. The timing of the GDAMS is set amidst a heated debate on the Uganda government’s decision to buy six Russian-made Su-30 MK2 fighter jets for 1.7 trillion shillings ($740 million), which translates into about 4% of Uganda’s GDP at 40 trillion shillings. The 6 jets should cost only $35 million at their estimated actual price, meaning the Ugandan government’s allotted funds could purchase at least 20 jets. Critics say part of the money being spent on the said fighter jets could be a cover-up for for something else, after the precedent set in the late 1990s: then, the government purchased junk military choppers from Russia at four times the sale price, and it was later revealed that the deal benefited military officers with ties to the regime. Now, with soaring inflation and the long drought from December 2010 to March 2011, the cost of food and other essential items has hit an all time high, making it difficult for many households to get enough food. In a related development, the price of motor fuel escalated by over 40% in the last three months making transport within the country a costly undertaking. To this end, opposition politicians and NIfC partner, Activists for Change (A4C), called on a “walk to work campaign” 11th April that police described as illegal, resulting in the arrest and prosecution of several opposition politicians. Among them were presidential candidates from the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and the Democratic Party (DP) who ran against incumbent president Yoweri Museveni in the elections of February 18th 2011. They wanted to identify with the suffering masses by walking to work. Given the police crackdown on the walk, we instead held meetings in two separate events in an upcountry location.”
UK (4)12 April 2011, UK- London
Movement for the Abolition of War (MAW)
“The Movement for the Abolition of War held a 2 hour public meeting entitled ‘Welfare or Warfare’ featuring five speakers: Husna Ahmed, Faith Regen Foundation; John Hilary, War on Want; Kate Hudson, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; Vijay Mehta, Uniting for Peace; and Stuart Parkinson, Scientists for Global Responsibility. Check out Stuart’s brilliant PowerPoint Presentation!”12 April 2011, UK- Manchester
Greater Manchester & District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament / Manchester Against Militarism
“GMDCND in collaboration with the newly formed group Manchester Against Militarism held a stall in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester on April 12 , with a focus on cutting Trident versus public service jobs. For two hours in a rather cold and windy city centre, activists from both groups handed out both Trident and GDAMS leaflets to the public. 3 photos were taken of the stall. On Sat. 16th, CND had another stall, this time at the Big Green Festival in Chorlton, South Manchester.”12 April 2011, UK- Yorkshire
Yorkshire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
“Yorkshire CND held a public meeting in Leeds on the 12th April entitled “The True Cost of War” as part of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. There was a lively and interesting debate which raised issues such as the psychology of fear that drives military spending, the £76 billion+ cost of the proposed Trident nuclear replacement system in the UK, and the real alternatives and possibilities of decommissioning. One suggestion to highlight the amount of money being invested in the military-industrial complex in the UK was the production of a video highlighting expenditure in real terms and contrasting this with the local public services that are currently being cut.”12 April 2011, UNITED KINGDOM- London
Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT)
“London CAAT took part in the Global Day of Action on Military Spending with a protest outside the Treasury. Placards contrasted the UK’s military expenditure in 2010 (£38.954bn) with the number of nurses that could fund (1.5 million) or the cuts the Ministry of Defence was facing (8%) compared to the cut of the school buildings budget (67%). A die in took place on the steps of the Treasury
and this gained the attention of a number of passersby. Inventive chants such as Welfare not Warfare, A&E not BAE (Systems, one of the world’s largest arms companies) and Sure Start not War Start also caught the attention of the public.”
Canada (3)13 April 2011, CANADA- Halifax
April 2011, CANADA- Ottawa
A protester against military spending on the F35 outside the national election debate in Ottawa:April 2011, CANADA- Toronto
Science for Peace
“We held a public forum at the University of Toronto. Speakers were Bill Robinson, who had recently published a report on Canada’s military spending, John Siebert, the president of Project Ploughshares, who also spoke on Canadian military spending, and Professor Sergei Plekhanov of York University, who gave a history of global military spending over the past fifty years or so. All the speakers presented power point graphs and engaged in a question-and-answer discussion with the audience.”
Germany (1)13 April 2011, GERMANY- Berlin
International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility
INES also held a short press conference, resulting in coverage here. Another press clipping is
Philippines (1)13 April 2011, PHILIPPINES- Manila
“Peace Boat’s voyage docked in Manila, the Philippines on April 13 where a series of events in connection to the GDAMS were held with local partners. Featured in this photo are 9 Hibakusha (survivors of the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki), travelling as part of the “Global Voyage for a Nuclear-Free World: Peace Boat Hibakusha Project.” In coordination with
Mindanao-based NGO Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), the Hibakusha visited the Office of the Presidential Advisor to the Peace Process (OPAPP). Members of all groups present highlighted the human cost of war, as seen by the ongoing armed conflicts in the Philippines and the experiences of the Hibakusha themselves. Under secretary Louie Montalbo of OPAPP acknowledged that conflict cannot be resolved through force, and the need to invest more in efforts for peace. This was echoed by Peace Boat’s appeal for the need for further investment in human security, ever so important considering the humanitarian crisis Japan is now facing following the triple disaster of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant accidents. During their stay in the Philippines coinciding with the day after the GDAMS, the Hibakusha also met with local students and organisers of other GDAMS events in Manila, confirming together the need for a reduction in military spending and an increase in joint efforts for peace. These events were organised in coordination with IID as part of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict – a network of civil society organisations working on peacebuilding and conflict prevention, whose secretariat in Northeast Asia is hosted by Peace Boat and Southeast Asia by IID.”
Greece (1)17 April 2011, GREECE- Athens
European Bureau for Conscientious Objection
“Our action took place on the Parliament Square in the heart of Athens where the central metro station is. We opened a big banner writing on its first half THE MONEY IS THERE (for military tank, airplane, submarine and bombs) and on its second half THE MONEY IS NOT THERE (for schools, hospitals, public transportation and peace). We also opened a banner with the IPB poster and a banner with the graph Military Spending vs. Millennium Development Goals (after translation in greek and calculation in Euros). We took textiles of different colours and we opened them in scale to show the proportional length of the costs. The coloured textiles are the MDGs and the black one is the military spending. On the military spending textile we put military helmets with the peace sign on them asking for social spending instead of military spending. We were reading our press release and we were asking people passing by to write on the black textile of the military spending where they would like this money to go instead (education, health, environment etc). People were very positive and we gave 800 press releases and some GDAMS follow-up fliers.” More info and photos available from http://exoplismoi.wordpress.com/.
Switzerland (1)18 April 2011, SWITZERLAND- Geneva
International Peace Bureau / Swiss-Burmese Association / GSSA
“Here you can see the two famous disarmament symbols in front of the UN: the twisted cannon and the ‘landmines’ chair with its broken leg. What better place for a public statement about disarmament? We [also] made up 160 boxes to symbolize the $1630 billion spent on the military last year – and just 30 to symbolize what is needed to attain the MDGs. All the media and passers-by were very impressed!”
Also see Colin Archer’s interview on Leman Bleu TV, which joins coverage of the Geneva event at around 11 minutes in.
Spain (3)5 April 2011, SPAIN- National
Fundació per la Pau
“As a first action, the 5th April, Fundació per la Pau launched an animated video comparing the figures of the MDG with the military expenditure…
“The 12th, the Day of Action, together with another NGO, we launched a Manifesto that had the support of 15 organizations and 50 personalities of the Catalan and Spanish civil society, peace movement, and cultural world.
“Together with the Manifesto we launched a cyber action to ask people to send a letter to the Spanish president, Mr. Zapatero, to ask him to reduce military expenditure.”April 2011, SPAIN- Algeciras, Andalucía
R.A.N.A. (Red Antimilitarista y Noviolenta Andalusian)April 2011, SPAIN- Canary Islands
Australia (3)April 12, AUSTRALIA- Sydney
Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition
The Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition launched this video on April 12:April 2011, AUSTRALIA- Brisbane
“We were small in numbers but all up the efforts were judged by all to be worthwhile… Just Peace sent 48 members of Parliament letters calling for cuts to military spending and preservation of funding (currently threatened in the upcoming budget) to health social and cultural recipients.”April 2011, Australia- Canberra
Peacebus.com / WILPF / Women in Black
“We were the valiant few occupying the forecourt of the Australian Department of Defence buildings in Russell, Canberra. Just a dozen of us with flags, banners and Peacebus.com PA booming to impassive architecture… And we were magnificent. The speeches were well informed and well spoken. Thanks to Dr Sue Wareham from Medical Association for the Prevention of War, Dr David Johnson, Quaker non violent activist, Margaret Bearlin,WILPF and Clair Hochstetler, Australian chapter of Christian Peacemaker Teams.”
Bangladesh (1)April 2011, BANGLADESH
“We held a peace rally in the capital city of Bangladesh and at Dhaka University Campus by CGS Bangladesh under the leadership of Prof. Ali Neyamat, Ambassador to IPB and Chief Adviser of CGS Bangladesh. We held a seminar and peace rally program with the Hon. Vice Chancellor of the University of Dhaka and Bangladesh Ambassador to Kenya M. Wahidur Rahman
Belgium (1)April 2011, BELGIUM- Brussels
Mouvement Chrétien pour la Paix
The SIPRI report was released on GDAMS at the European Parliament as activists and press asked questions.
Colombia (1)April 2011, COLOMBIA- Medellin
Antimilitarismo / Kontracultura / Accion directa
Leaflet of metro stations:
Statement available here.
Finland (1)April 2011, FINLAND- Helsinki
Committee of 100 in Finland / Peace Union of Finland / Finnish Reserve Officers’ Federatio
“To mark the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, we organized a discussion panel on the Finnish military budget with representatives of most major political parties present. In this way, the theme of the day was linked to the upcoming parliamentary elections. The event, open for all, took place at a central location in Helsinki and attracted some tens of people. The main themes discussed were: 1) Universal conscription in Finland 2) The national defense budget and 3) The issue of national defense vs. international missions. The party representatives were asked to present their views on a number of questions relating to these themes. As to whether Finland should abandon universal conscription for either selective military service or a professional army, most parties still stood behind universal conscription, with only one party representative in favor of a selective system. Regarding future cuts in the defense budget, most representatives acknowledged the need for reductions in national spending. Other issues, such as the contents of military training, women’s role in the army, new military threats and Finland’s role in international military/humanitarian operations were also brought to the fore. In addition, the audience was given the opportunity to present questions in writing to the representatives. During the coming years, changes in the Finnish military system are likely to occur due to a number of issues, e.g. budjet restrictions, population decline and a growing degree of impopularity of the armed service. It is clear that the new parliament will play an important part in these changes and their contents. The Committee of 100 continues to follow up on decisions and developments concerning the military sector in Finland, in line with it’s work for peace and demilitarization.
France (6)April 2011, FRANCE- Calvados
Mouvement de la Paix
Volunteers distributed leaflets, showed a film, and hosted a small march.April 2011, FRANCE- Givors
Mouvement de la Paix
A small public gathering was held.April 2011, FRANCE- Paris
Mouvement de la Paix
Organizers distributed over 3000 leaflets at local markets and universities. In the evening, they held a “coffee debate” on military spending, complete with rich discussion and a slideshow.April 2011, FRANCE- Rennes
Mouvement de la Paix
At the town square, organizers polled passersby on which they would prefer — new investments in various military technologies, or new investments in social security, social programs, international diplomacy, or cultural affairs.April 2011, FRANCE- Seine-Saint-Denis
Mouvement de la Paix
Volunteers showed a short film and distributed leaflets about military spending, encouraging visitors to contact their members of parliament about the issue.April 2011, FRANCE- Vénissieux
Mouvement de la Paix
Organizers showed a short film, held a public discussion, and distributed leaflets.
Hungary (1)April 2011, HUNGARY- Budapest
African Hungarian Union
We had a great meeting and arranged a round table in African Hungarian Union’s office yesterday at 12:00. Some representatives of the African embassies and human rights organizations were our guests to discuss military spending. You can see it at the link in our newspaper: http://www.afriport.hu/hirek/6964-fegyverkezes-helyett-fejlesztes.html.”
Japan (2)April 2011, JAPAN- Henoko, Okinawa
Okinawa Network for the Global Day of Action on Military Spending
“We urge both Japanese and US governments to stop further militarizing Okinawa: the base construction in Henoko/Oura Bay and the helipad construction in Takae.”April 2011, JAPAN- Nagoya City, Aichi
Kenya (1)April 2011, KENYA- Nairobi
Umoja as One
New Zealand (1)April 2011, NEW ZEALAND- Wellington
Peace Movement Aetorea
Norway (1)April 2011, NORWAY- Oslo
Norwegian Fredsråd / Norwegian Peace Association / Changemaker
“On the occasion of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, we held a seminar on military spending. It was an evening with several interesting features. The program began with Anne Marte Skaland from ICAN Norway, part of the international campaign to ban nuclear weapons, who spoke about the cost of nuclear weapons. Alexander Harang then launched his report “Arms Race in the South.” The report is the result of collaboration between the Norwegian Peace Association, SLUG, LAG and the Norwegian Council for Africa. Last on the agenda was a debate about Norwegian military spending and purchases of U.S. combat aircraft. The panel was made up of Cecilie Schatvet of the International Commission, Eric Power from Tekna, independent defense analyst John Berg and Parliament Politician for SV Hall Geir H. Langeland. Chair Halvor F. Tretvoll from Dagsavisen wanted answers on whether we actually need fighter aircraft in Norway, and if so whether Lockheed Martin is a sensible partner and not least the consequences of such a purchase. All in all it was a great accomplishment and celebration of this day. Attendance was good, and the audience engaged.”
South Korea (2)April 2011, SOUTH KOREA- Daejeon
Daejeon Women’s Association for Peace and local partners
“We went out to the street to meet people with a remarkable, in a way little imaginary, question – ‘Where would you spend the eye-popping money swallowed up by global military spending (won 1,736000,000,000,000)?'”April 2011, SOUTH KOREA- Seoul
Peace activists and parliamentarians gather in South Korea to call for a halt to militarization. See their joint statement here.
Women Making Peace, Korean Women’s Association United, Korea Church Women United, Suwon Women’s Association, Korea Association of Christian Women for Women Minjung, Daejeon Women’s Association for Peace
“Six women’s organizations held a peace campaign on one of the busiest streets, Myungdong, in Seoul. On the day, participants were divided into two groups. One group with posters and signs walked around to meet and inform people of what GDAMS is all about, and the other conducted a survey to passers-by on alternative ways of using military spending.”
Turkey (1)April 2011, TURKEY- Istanbul
Global Peace and Justice Coalition
“We had a meeting in İstanbul’s Bilgi University with 50 people. Our speakers were the lecturers Murat Belge and Nurhan Yentürk, university student Nisan Ak, and our member Sengul Cifci.
“Murat Belge, talked about his coming book The Military in Germany, Turkey and Japan. He explained why we have such a strong military tradition in Turkey. He said that the military hegemony was not from the military but from whole society. So fighting against it should be civil society’s responsibility. He finished saying that change for military could from below, from people.
“Nurhan Yenturk explained her report on Turkish state military spending. She prepared a report of military and other sectors and compare them. She said that unfortunately our spending is still higher than even the European Union average. She suggested that our military expenditure should be used for poor people, if this happens there will be less poverty in Turkey. Her report in Turkish is available here and here.
“Nisan Ak talked about the military hegemony of Turkey and why students should do something against it. She explain their student association activities for non-violent protests.
“Sengul Cifci, talked about general situation of the world. That each day wars and military spending is growing.”