List of actions per countries:
Turkey (1)12 April 2012, TURKEY- Istanbul
Coalition for Global Peace and Justice (Kuresel BAK)/Conscientious Objection for Peace/Feminist Magazine Uçan Süpürge/Women for Conscientious Objection/International Baran Tursun Foundation/DÖH/DurDe (Say Stop)/KEG
There was a street press declaration on 12th April at 12:30 pm in Galatasaray Square, Taksim, Istanbul.
The press release was prepared by Sevin Okyay who won a pride award in Istanbul movie festival. Also an activist from Conscientious Objection for Peace group made a speech, as did Colin Archer, director of the International Peace Bureau.
The main slogan was “Military spending is damage for humanity” (in Turkish: “Askeri harcamalar, İnsanlığa zarar!”).
The sub messages were: “Military spending is an interest for defense companies and it is a grave for humanity”, “No to arming, yes education”, “no to war, yes to peace; no to bomb yes to job”, “do NOT arm”, “Turkey is second in economic growth, 76th in democratic growth”, “the number of world military spending is 1.731 trillion dollars”, “no one is born as a soldier”.
USA (9)14 April 2012, Bristol- RI
East Bay Citizens for Peace/Quequechan Alliance/Occupy Providence
On Saturday, April 14th, East Bay Citizens for Peace with support from Quequechan Alliance* and Occupy Providence, held a Tax Day Vigil for Peace and Justice outside the Bristol, R.I. Post Office. This was part of a nation wide action spear headed by New Priorities Network and the 25% Campaign in order to draw attention to inequities in our system and the bloated military budget. In addition to distributing informational hand outs explaining how our tax dollars are spent and holding vigil signs we invited passers by to participate in a Penny Poll.
The Penny Poll that recapitulates similar polls held in many other cities and towns across the country asks participants to prioritize government spending using 10 pennies that represented the total discretionary budget. They were then asked to “spend” these pennies on ten federal budget categories. During the hour long action, 17 passersby chose to take part. Health and Education were the big winners!
The following are the results: 3c Government & International Affairs; 9c Housing & community; 9c Military; 10c; Transportation; 12c Science; 13c Food & Agriculture; 17c Veterans Benefits; 20c; Energy & Environment; 35c Health; 38c Education
Participants seemed to enjoy this action and many were surprised to learn that in the current budget, military spending gobbles up 6 of the 10 pennies leaving 4 for all other categories. They engaged in discussion about their priorities and took hand outs and wrote on pre addressed post cards to their Representatives.
*East Bay Citizens for Peace and Quequechan Alliance are part of a SENE 25% Solution Coalition and are members of the New Priorities Network – a nation wide movement to reduce military spending and fund communities instead.17 April 2012, Los Angeles- CA
Occupy activists held a march and a protest near a plant run by aerospace and defense contractor Boeing. The Occupiers were demonstrating against what they see as too much military spending by the U.S. government. ‘These private industries are the ones who profit for killings while the citizens of United States are barely living paycheck to paycheck,’ said Pete Styles. ‘It’s a sad state of affairs when people turn a blind eye to things because it’s not happening in their own backyards.’
Footage of Occupy Protest here:
And Code Pink speakers remarks here:17 April 2012, Montgomery County, MD
We held a street theater action demonstrating how government money is thrown at military contractors while the sick are denied assistance in covering healthcare costs, the elderly see social security dry up, and children are given a second-class education.17 April 2012, Tucson AZ
Early in the morning of April 17, 2012, as workers arrived at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona, members of the Raytheon Peacemakers gathered for a peace vigil outside the missile factory. Also Tax Day in the United States, some of their signs read, “Tax Dollars for Health Care, Not Missiles”, “No Profit From War” and “Will the World’s Children Survive Your Work?”.
Raytheon Missile Systems is the most profitable division of the war profiteer. With its headquarters and largest factory in Tucson, Raytheon Missile Systems employs about 12,000 people in southern Arizona.
For more than a decade, Raytheon has hailed Tucson as the Missile Technology Capital of the World – a center for lethal innovation and cutting-edge killing for profit. From Standard Missiles to Star Wars “kill vehicles”, Mavericks and AMRAAMs, microwave crowd control beams and pilotless drones, cluster bombs and cruise missiles – it’s all made here, some even sold to friends and foes of friends alike.
The Raytheon Peacemakers hold a peace vigil there each month to demonstrate against war and those who profit from it. The activists believe that survival demands better ideas, not better weapons.17 April 2012, Washington- D.C.
Institute for Policy Studies
April 17th protesters embarked on the Walk of Shame, where they visited the biggest tax-dodging war profiteers in the country (such as Halliburton, Navistar Defense, GE, and Bank of America), and their government enablers in the White House on Tax Day.April 2012, Boston-MA
Eastern Mass Coalition to Fund Our Communities
A dozen-plus members of the eastern Mass Coalition to Fund Our Communities – Cut Military Spending 25%, Mass Peace Action, MoveOn, and Dorchester People for Peace converged on the Boston offices of GE Capital to target GE as a tax dodger and tax misuser / military contractor. Props included a Tax Man puppet (Where Is GE? I’ve Come to Collect Its Taxes!), a missile, and a Pentagon pinata that when busted spilled out money, jobs and services. Short speeches described how GE’s turn to military manufacturing hurt its workers and others, and how we need to cut military spending so as to fund programs we need.
Our contingent then joined a 1000-person march targeting GE and other tax-dodging corporations. The overall protest included a speaker on military spending and it was organized by Right to the City-Boston, MassUniting, Jobs with Justice, and others. Thanks to MassUniting’s Nora Boedecker for filming and taping the action.April 2012, Honolulu-HI
Hawai’i Peace and Justice/Honolulu Friends Meeting/Progressive Democrats
At least 20+ protesters showed up to hold banners and signs in front of the Downtown Honolulu Post Office notifying taxpayers and passersby about the huge portion of their tax dollars that go to the military. Hawai’i Peace and Justice was joined by Honolulu Friends Meeting members and Progressive Democrats. Fliers were available, as well as jars labeled “Housing”, “Education”, “Farms”, “Health”, “Military” so that people dropping by could choose where they would rather spend their taxes. Instead of actual money, they could drop skittles in each jar. Lots of people saw the large bright twelve-foot banner, and slowed down to look, and some stopped by.April 2012, New York- NY
Granny Peace Brigades/War Resisters League/Veterans for Peace/New York State Peace Action/Code Pink/National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee/Raging Grannies/Rude Mechanical Orchestra
GDAMS in the USA coincided with Tax Day, the deadline for filing tax forms for the Federal, State and local governments. Together with various peace groups, the Granny Peace Brigade (GPB) met outside the Internal Revenue Office on 44th Street and then proceeded to the Main Post Office on 32nd Street.
Our action represented the work also of the War Resisters League, Veterans for Peace, New York State Peace Action, Code Pink, the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, and the Raging Grannies and supporters. Last but not least, we were accompanied by a marching band named the Rude Mechanical Orchestra…who are only rude to warmongers!
We distributed GDAMS flyers; the War Resisters’ “pie chart” flyers; and sang songs as we marched. Thanks to Occupy Wall Street many important issues are now raised in the US so some messages were about the 99 percent and the greed so prevalent in our society. There were messages, banners and signs galore as we handed out flyers!
We stand in solidarity with the work of GDAMS and are proud to be engaged in the efforts of the International Peace Bureau, the Institute for Policy Studies and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Onward!April 2012, Philadelphia- PA
Delaware Valley New Priorities Network
30 or so of us, mostly veterans of the labor and peace struggles, gathered during the noon hour at the East Portal of Philadelphia City Hall and listened, shared, and sang with hope that our governments might end their submission to militarism. We lifted up the resolution that Councilwoman Maria D. Quinones-Sanchez introduced, to our surprise, last Thursday, a resolution we sponsored entitled “Redirect Military Spending Fund Our Communities.” We urged people to contact their own councilperson to support the resolution when it comes for a vote. Because, also surprisingly, we learned that when she did introduce it last week, there actually was opposition to it, for all the reasons we’ve come to know are so wrong: it might endanger our soldiers; it might look bad for the President in an election year. The opposition came from Councilman-at-large Kinney.
Bangladesh (1)15 April 2012, BANGLADESH- Dhaka
ChangeMaker organized a round table discussion with a youth group. A dialogue has been started with the government on identifying priority sectors and due allocation in the sectors, with the intention of cutting down the military and other non-priority budgets.
India (3)15 April 2012, INDIA- Kerala
50 members and 89 students attended a round table meeting in Kerala. Many students raised their objection on our government plan to raise defense funds in the future. During the discussion it was decided that:
1) We will conduct a campaign for memorandum submission before our govt in the future
2) we will raise our voice against defense budget
3) we will contact our MPs and MLAs in this regard
4) we will conduct some seminar in our area in the future
5) We have planned to conduct classes among students after reopening of our schools15 to 17 April 2012, INDIA- Dadabari, Kota, Rajasthan
Rural Development & Youth Training Institute
On 15th, 16th and 17th April 2012, we organized two workshop and five village rallies and village meetings in connection with the Global day of action on Military Spending (GDAMS) 2012.
We discussed in detail India’s military spending expenses on Huge Forces, Missiles, Aircraft, Guns etc. Meanwhile, our Poverty alleviation activities expenses (Millennium Development Goals etc.) are very low. And therefore, there is no need for heavy expenditure on Military Spending expenses in our country.
All our taxes are going to Military expenses, Weapons, Warfare preparation, instead of to solve the drinking water, Health and food problems, Literacy etc. So we are living in very bad condition and we should put the pressure to our Government through Member of Parliament – MP, MLA and elected leaders, that they must reduce the budget of Military Spending and this money should be used in Community Development activities – MDG activities. Energy Crises, Creating of new jobs for youths or tackling poverty and climate change problems and other social issues. Priorities must be fixing in connection of our National Agenda or Development agenda.
Two Budget experts had also actively participated in our workshop and village rallies in connection of GDAMS.
Our GDAMS Campaign and workshop have also published in News papers as well as broadcast in local TV and Radio and due to this efforts, a very good environment have become formed in our region and discussion is continuing among educated people, youths and activists.17 April 2012, INDIA- New Delhi
Control Arms Foundation of India/Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network
On 17 April 2012, members of our joint network organised an awareness programme at Dilli Hatt, INA market, where fliers were distributed to the public. The members and volunteers explained and distributed fliers to more than 200 people in Delhi Haat to join and support the cause (to cut military spending and fund more on human needs) for better peace and development in India and the world as a whole. Later 7 memorandum were submitted to to the Indian Prime Minister and his cabinet calling for cutting military spending and fund more on human needs.
Shri Manmohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
Shri Satpal Maharaj Chairman, Standing Committee on Defence
Shri S.M. Krishna, Ministry of External Affairs
Shri E. Ahamed, Ministry of State External Affairs
Smt. Preneet Kaur, Ministry of State External Affairs
Dr. M. Mangapati Pallam Raju, Ministry of State for Defence
Smt. Sushma Swaraj Member of Parliament, Leader of the Opposition, Lok Sabha
Japan (6)17 April 2012, JAPAN- Futenma, Ginowan City, Okinawa
Futenma Action was held on April 17, organized by Plaintiffs Group for Futenma US Airbase Noise Pollution Lawsuit. They displayed banners in front of Nodake Gate of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld called the “most dangerous U.S. base in the world.” During their action, two US helicopters with a thundering noise flew over their heads .
Okinawan people have been calling for theunconditional and immediate closure of MCAS Futenma, However, just recently, the US government has asked the Japanese government to pay 20 billion yen to repair the Futenma air base as the US government intended to use it for the foreseeable future. The banner which read “Futenma Repair Fee 20 Billion for Fukushima” showed Futenma people’s determination to fight the US request and call for a justified world.
Also noticeable were banners reading “No base on Okinawa and Jeju” in three languages, Japanese, Korean, and English. With these banners, Futenma people showed their solidarity with Jeju people.17 April 2012, JAPAN- Henoko, Nago City, Okinawa
In the afternoon of April 17, Henoko action was held in front of “Henoko Tent Village,” the site of an 8 year long sit-in protest against the construction of a new US military base, as well as in front of the “No-Base and Peace Gallery” or the fence that divides Henoko and Camp Schwab.
Henoko people displayed the big banner, which they had taken with them to Washington DC this January to deliver “Okinawa’s voices” against the presence of US bases in Okinawa. The other banners read “350 billion yen ($US 430 billion) for aiding disaster relief and rebuilding efforts in Tohoku, not for constructing a new US base in Henoko/Oura bay,” “Use money not for military forces but for our life and nature,” and “Sympathy Budget for Disaster Affected Areas and Protect the Dugong.”
Ms. Suzuyo Takazato of Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence and Mr. Hiroshi Ashitomi of Committee against Heliport Construction, gave a spirited peace talk.17 April 2012, JAPAN- Kadena, Okinawa City, Okinawa
On April 17, at Okinawa City Hall, Masahide Ota, former Governor of Okinawa, gave a talk “San Francisco Peace Treaty and Japan and US Security Treaty” in the seminar organized by Plaintiffs Groups for Kadena US Airbase Noise Pollution Lawsuit. About 200 people participated in the seminar as part of their action for GDAMS.
In Apri, 2011, approximately 22,000 residents living around the U.S. Kadena Air Base filed a lawsuit, demanding a nighttime flight ban and a combined ¥44.6 billion compensation from the Japanese government, arguing their health has been affected by aircraft noise. The lawsuit is the largest ever in Japan in term of the number of plaintiffs.
The message from Kadena displayed here is “Money is for food, not for Forces, Free from Nukes, Free from Bases”April 2012, JAPAN- Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture
We held a rally at Sakae, the central area in Nagoya.We demanded: No base Okinawa, No military spending!April 2012, JAPAN- Takae, Higashi Village, Okinawa
Takae people have been protesting against the construction of six new US helipads in peaceful and creative ways. For their GDAMS action, they showed their solidarity with the people of Jeju Island South Korea, who are also struggling against the construction of a Navy base on their island, known as the “Island of World Peace.” They displayed a banner which Korean peace activists had given to them in support of Okinawan people’s protest against US bases. Takae’s message is “Weapons will fail where only peaceful song and dance can succeed – Takae & Jeju unite!”April 2012, JAPAN- Tokyo
The Religious Network for Peace-Making
The Religious Network for Peace-making has been holding monthly assemblies inside the Diet Members’ Building to oppose the dispatch overseas of the Self-Defense Force. The Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace is a member of the network. Led by its director, Fr Kazuyoshi Ohkura, they gladly linked up the network’s 10th year assembly for a GDAMS action.
Around 50 members of the Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace – Religious Network for Peace-making network, held a protest and prayer rally against the sending of Self-Defense Force overseas. The protesters called for the reduction in military spending and to channel the budget to the reconstruction of the Great East Japan Earthquake. It was the 100th rally that was held in front of the Prime Minister’s building.
Kenya (1)17 April 2012, KENYA- Nairobi
Bunge la Mwananchi/Wanjiku Revolution/Baraza la Taifa
We the people of Kenya under the banner of Bunge la Mwananchi, Wanjiku Revolution, Baraza la Taifa and CBOs from across the country congregated in the capital to present to the President, the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the National Assembly our petition regarding military expenditure. On 17th April every year the world marks the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Here in Kenya we have come together to mark the event. The event is critical for Kenya given the on going Operation Linda Nchi in which millions are being spent at the expense of the basic needs for Kenyans.
It is worth noting that Africa as a whole experienced a large increase in military expenditures last year. Although Kenya showed a modest decrease in 2010 it is expected to rise due to the Somalia Incursion. We also note with concern that in the budget estimates presented by the finance minister, an estimated 45 billion Kenya shillings is expected to be spent on operation Linda Nchi.
We therefore asked politicians to:
1) Immediately withdraw Kenyan forces in Somalia and embark on policing our borders as attacks have continued despite the KDF’s presence in Somalia pointing to a failed policy.
2) Drastically reduce the amount spent on military ware and related expenses and channel the funds to provision of basic needs.
3) Beef security to ordinary Kenyans who have constantly suffered should there be any attack.
4) Come out clean on how the tenders to supply material were awarded to allay our fears that the Somalia incursion is used to benefit some unscrupulous businesspeople.
See press coverage of the event, as well as more information about East African military spending here.
Malaysia (1)17 April 2012, Malaysia- Kuala Lumpur
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
On April 17, SUARAM led a hand over of memorandum at the Prime Miniser’s Office in Putrajaya. The memorandum, which was endorsed by local civil societies, urged the Prime Minister to slash Malaysia’s defense spending and to review its defense policy.
A forum, entitled “Defense Cuts: The Scorpene Scandal” was also organized in the evening by SUARAM in partnership with the Civil Right Committee (CRC) of KLSCAH. The panelists were:
– Tony Pua, member of Parliament
– Dr. Kua Kia Soong, Director of SUARAM
– Dr Ronald McCoy, Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility
– Alan Waldron, Transparency International
New Zealand (4)17 April 2012, NEW ZEALAND- Brisbane
Brisbane city square hosted a group of 50 to mark the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. With the Australian budget day looming we called for an end to spending plans for submarines fighter jets and allowing the United States to build permanent bases in Australia.
Speakers from the Medical Assn for Prevention of War, the Australian Greens Senator Larissa Waters, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, Just Peace, Believing Women for a Culture of Peace, Womens International League for Peace and Freedom and Friends of the Earth.
Music for the morning provided by folk singer Dermot Dorgan.
We had good media interest with ABC, SBS and television.
As part of the campaign we wrote to school P&Cs asking parents to take action calling for more funding for schools and less for preparing for war. We also had t-shirts printed for the day with messages to provide a focus on the day.
Just Peace was the principal organizing group with support from all above. This second year of working internationally on military spending has been very worthwhile, particularly in the context of campaigning for an Independent Peaceful and Just Australia, as we work to overturn the decision to host any foreign military forces on Australian soil.
Peace Movement Aotearoa organized different events in New Zealand. Pictures of the actions are available here.April 2012, NEW ZEALAND- Auckland
Peace Movement Aotearoa/ Pax Christi/ Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
Leafleting at Britomart.April 2012, NEW ZEALAND- Tauranga
Peace Movement Aotearoa
Leaflets for the GDAMS were distributed. People could also buy white poppies to support the White Poppy Peace Scholarships.April 2012, NEW ZEALAND- Wellington
Peace Movement Aotearoa
Peace activists handed out leaflets at Midland Park. A public forum on government spending priorities was organized, 3 issues were addressed:
– Children’s health and well-being by Dr. Anne Else
– Overseas development assistance by Tara D’Sousa
– Military expenditure by Edwina Hughes.
South Korea (1)17 April 2012, SOUTH KOREA- Seoul
Two actions with the slogan “Welfare, not warfare! Save Jeju Island!” were organized:
– 11.30am at the gate of the Ministry of Defense
– 1pm at Noleeteo park, near Hongik University (a popular place for young people)
Participants held a press conference with a performance comparing and contrasting two facts: on the one hand the 14 trillion won for weapon purchase, and on the other hand the human needs (tuition, free school meal, free childcare, welfare for soldiers who had to serve military service).
This press conference was followed by a singing and dancing campaign for “No Jeju naval base in Gangjeoing”.
It was great and exciting performance and experience since “ordinary people” as well as peace activists joined the event.
More information here.
Spain (5)17 April 2012, SPAIN
Mundo Sin Guerras, or World Without Wars, organized a number of events throughout Spain. Their report and informative press release can be seen here en Español.17 April 2012, SPAIN- Madrid
Mundo Sin Guerras/Asamblea Antimilitarista/Derecho a Rebelión
We collectively organized an event in the Puerta del Sol entitled, “Cutbacks, yes! To the Military!” There was a performance, as well as a number of discussion sessions on topics such as military spending in Spain, fiscal objections to military spending, paramilitarization in Colombia, military aid to the occupation of the Western Sahara, and the experience of “take the base” direct actions. See more info here.21 and 22 April 2012, SPAIN- Barcelona
Mundo Sin Guerras
We set up a stand at the Fira de la Terra (Earth Fair) on 21 and 22 April, and collected signatures on a petition to the European Parliament for reducing investment in arms, and military spending on the continent.April 2012, SPAIN- Coruña
Mundo Sin Guerras
We organized a campaign to raise awareness through the internet and social media, the local media and with posters around the city.April 2012, SPAIN- Vigo
Mundo Sin Guerras
We set up a public display and a mural demonstrating the costs of military spending, and the equivalents of those costs in social resources like hospitals, schools, etc.
Switzerland (5)17 April 2012, SWITZERLAND- Geneva
International Peace Bureau/Group for Switzerland Without an Army
1. Lunchtime seminar at the UN Diplomats and NGOs participated in this event. The panel was composed of:
• Mr. Kassym-Jomaert Tokayev, Director-General of UNOG, who highlighted the role of the civil society in drawing attention to military spending and its impact on human security.
• Ms. Theresa Hitchens, UNIDIR (chair) presented the current situation: vast amounts of money are spent to acquire military equipment while countries are struggling to reach the MDGs.
• Amb. Minelik Alemu Getahun, current President of the CD, Ethiopia – explained the dilemma faced by a poor country in a tough neighbourhood with many security challenges.
• Mr. Colin Archer, IPB, talked about the scarcity of resources as the likely root of future conflicts and as one main reason for high military spending.
• Ms. Helen Wilandh, SIPRI researcher, presented SIPRI’s new figures (2011) and trends in military spending.
• Mr. Jarmo Sareva, Deputy Director ODA, summed up the general outcomes of the discussion.
The seminar was felt to be a success. It created a good spirit that can be used to develop stronger connections with representatives during the summer and beyond.
2. Street action at the Place Neuve
It was organized by IPB and the Group for Switzerland without an Army (GSoA). The action attracted a lot of passers-by who then took part in a ‘role play’ in which they could tell how they would use public money (approx 60-80 persons).
a) Interactive activity
The main aim of the action was to raise awareness among the general public about the issue. Passers-by received information about military spending, but not only: they expressed their priorities on a board (cf. picture) and could then explain their reasons during short interviews (cf. video).
Many hand-outs were available on different topics: arms trade in Switzerland, the Rio Appeal, and the GDAMS brochure. People could also sign a petition to support the Rio Appeal which aims at promoting the idea that disarmament is an essential condition to ensure sustainable development (about 60 signatures).
b) 2 Visual installations
• Balloons to show the gap between global military spending (represented by 150 black balloons) and what is needed for the MDGs (30 coloured balloons).
• Map showing the top 15 spenders.
See video of the Street Action here.17 April 2012, SWITZERLAND- Genf
Group for Switzerland Without an Army (GSoA)
The GSoA organized an event in Place Neuve to increase public awareness on the outrageous military spending.17 April 2012, SWITZERLAND- Luzern
Group for Switzerland Without an Army (GSoA)
Peace activists organized a street action to shed light on the high military spending and to raise awareness among the public about this issue.17 April 2012, SWITZERLAND- Zurich
Group for Switzerland Without an Army (GSoA)
The action organized by GSoA aimed at highlighting high military expenditure. Activists were wrapped in national flags to symbolize states that are being squeezed by excessive military spending. Two fat soldiers illustrated the absurd “devouring” of tax money by the armies.April 2012, SWITZERLAND- Bern
Group for Switzerland Without an Army (GSoA)
The GSoA set up a stand in Bärenplatz in order to draw people’s attention to the high military expenditure.
UK (2)17 April 2012, UK- Hereford
Millichap Peace Fund/Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR)
To mark GDAMS 2.0, Dr. Stuart Parkinson gave a lecture on “High military spending: making a case for the alternatives”. Slides from the lecture are available here.April 2012, UK- London
Jubilee Debt Campaign/London Campaign Against Arms Trade
Jubilee Debt Campaign and London Campaign Against Arms Trade joined forces to organize a successful action for the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Muammar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein and Hosni Mubarak were seen meeting Vince Cable outside the department of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), the latter quite happily taking money from them in exchange for weapons. Inside BIS is the UK Export Finance department, which backs loans for countries and companies to buy British exports, including arms.
This allows arms dealers to do `risky’ deals, and is effectively a subsidy because backing from the UK government means a lower interest rate for the buyer.
The UK government is now demanding payment for debts that arose from the department backing loans for Egyptian dictator Mubarak to buy military equipment. And it’s not just Egypt; Iraq and Indonesia also owe millions for arms deals done with former dictators.
The turnout was healthy for such a cold and rainy day, and some brave souls carried out a die-in on the wet floor. A senior civil servant came to talk to us briefly and was challenged on government arms sales to Bahrain – his response was non-committal (he said he supported our right to protest).
Pakistan (4)18 April 2012, PAKISTAN
The Pakistan Peace Coalition staged a series of events in cities and towns all over Pakistan, earning lots of great press attention. They also sent along this poster they used to promote their events:18 April 2012, PAKISTAN- Islamabad
Pakistan Peace Coalition
A public protest was held in Islamabad on 18th April demanding drastic reductions in military spending and greater priority given to the hitherto neglected social sector, especially education and health. A peace activist Raja Jahangir Akhtar, 75 years in age, staged a week-long hunger strike in Islamabad in protest against bloated military spending in Pakistan, demanding diversion of resources towards public welfare. The hunger strike camp situated in a prominent public place was visited by a large number of people, which provided him an opportunity to discuss the issue with them. Colin Archer of International Peace Bureau contacted Mr. Akhtar and interviewed him.April 2012, PAKISTAN- Karachi
Pakistan Peace Coalition
Pakistan Peace Coalition staged a protest rally outside Karachi Press Club against excessive military spending in the country, and demanding diversion of resources to the human and material development of the society.April 2012, PAKISTAN- Lahore
Pakistan Peace Coalition
A seminar was organized in Lahore in the Press Club by the Pakistan Peace Coalition and South Asia Partnership Pakistan, where speakers highlighted the severe harm that has been caused to the nation by an excessive military spending over several decades. The seminar demanded turning the present security state into a welfare state. After the seminar, the participants staged a sit in outside the Press Club for a while. Pamphlets highlighting the importance of the issue were distributed.
France (1)21 April 2012, FRANCE- Nancy
Mouvement pour une Alternative Non-violente (MAN)/Oxfam/Amnesty International
On April 21, MAN, Oxfam and Amnesty international organized an event to raise awareness on military spending. In this respect passers-by could sign two petitions: the first urging France to initiate unilateral nuclear disarmament, and the second demanding that governments regulate the sales of arms.
Belgium (1)April 2012, BELGIUM- Brussels
Action pour la paix/Bureau européen de l’objection de conscience/Coordination Nationale d’Action pour la Paix et la Démocratie/Comité de surveillance OTAN/Mouvement Chrétien pour la Paix/Mouvement international de la Réconciliation-Internationale des Résistantes/Pax Christi Wallonie Bruxelles
Belgian peace activists demonstrated in front of the famous Manneken Pis to mark GDAMS 2.0 (slogan: “Better naked than nuked”).
Distribution of flyers to raise awareness on world and Belgian military spending and to ask for a reduction in defense budget.
Greece (1)April 2012, GREECE- Athens
European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (ECBO)/Greek Association of Conscientious Objectors/World Without Wars and Violence/World Women March/Antinationalistic-Antimilitaristic Initiative/Antigone Information and Documentation Centre on Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non Violence/Ecologists Greens Party/ Youth of Synaspismos Left Party and Iliosporoi Network
The participants condemn the excessive level of military spending and call for a reallocation of resources to fulfill basic human needs. They were holding the five posters of the international campaign, sharing leaflets to the people and speaking to passer-by, journalists, and photo reporters.
Italy (1)April 2012, ITALY- Rome
U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice – Rome/Rete NoWar
Twelve activists, both Italians and Americans, are shown holding a sit-in outside the Colosseum with posters and flyers. Enclosed is also a copy of the flyer in English, distributed to tourists visiting the Colosseum, and a picture of the signs (in English and in Italian) calling on governments to redirect arms spending to social needs.
The event was organized by U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice – Rome (firstname.lastname@example.org, www.peaceandjustice.it) together with the Rete NoWar – Roma (www.peacelink.it).
Norway (1)April 2012, NORWAY-Oslo
Norwegian Peace Council
GDAMS in Norway was organized for the second time by Norwegian Peace Council together with other organizations from the Peace House in Oslo. The Norwegian Peace Association, Grandmothers for Peace, No to Nuclear Weapon, Changemaker, Peace Brigades International, Conscience and Peace Tax Norway put all their efforts to organize a meaningful and important day. The event was consisted of two integral parts: an action in the city and a panel debate with experts. The action took place in front of parliament in Oslo which is the most visible venue in the city. Each organization had a stand where it could present its issues in relation to GDAMS. This year GDAMS was dedicated to one of the most important issues in Norwegian military policy – buying of the fighter plane F-35. We wanted to pay attention of the citizens to the problem of how our tax money is spent. Passersby have received a symbolic note of Norwegian currency Krone and they could decide how to spend their money; military spending or social needs? The voice of Norwegian citizens was strongly against military spending. People were indicating the need of important social issues: education, health service or investment in the public transport. The panel debate was an occasion to resolve potential doubts. The discussion was led by Hedda Langemyr, director of Norwegian Peace Council. Our main expert was John Berg – defense analyst who presented his last book “Kampflyene som bomber forsvarsevnen”. Alexander Harang from the Norwegian Peace Association presented report on military spending, what gave an overview about current situation. The audience actively took part in discussion afterwards.
Sweden (1)April 2012, SWEDEN- Gothenburg
Fredsnätverket MP Göterborg/OFOG
Peace organizations distributed flyers to raise awareness among the general public about world military spending. The event took place in Brunnsparken.