more info here
more info here
Saturday 1st May – 11.30 – 12.30
At Keighley Town Centre (outside the bus station)
Despite the universal acceptance that the pandemic and climate change are existential threats, we have seen a pay freeze for front line workers and a vast increase in the military budget. We must ask ourselves does this reflect our priorities in the kind of society we want.
Social distancing will be observed.
Please bring a placard and hand sanitisers.
Organised by Keighley Peace Justice and the Environment Network (KJPEN)
14 April 2021
More info here
28 APRIL 2021 @ 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Join CND for this webinar – with guest speakers TBC – to discuss the government’s warped spending priorities. How does it have the funds for more nuclear weapons, but not to pay nurses the wages they deserve?
More information and registration here
26 APRIL @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Monday 26th April falls on one of the Global Days of Action on Military Spending and also the anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, we must mark these events by holding our candidates to account and ensure that any vote for them will supporter a more peaceful Scotland.
More info here
April 26 #DefundTheMilitary Twitterstorm
17 April @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Our government is desperate for Britain to play a global military role. Despite the pandemic, economic crisis and crumbling services, they boosted defence spending in 2020 by the biggest margin in years. They are refusing to withdraw support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen war and are keen to be partner No. 1 in the US push for a new cold war on China.
To illustrate their ambitions the government is dispatching an aircraft carrier strike group with US fighter planes on board to the Pacific in May ‘to make global Britain a reality’.
Information and registration here
the release of SIPRI figures on Global Military Spending
Demonstration at Menwith Hill US spybase
On 30th April as a part of the GCOMS called International Day of Action against Foreign Military Bases, there will be a protest outside the US spy-base at Menwith Hill organised by Menwith Hill Accountability Campaign and Yorkshire CND. There are now over 1,000 bases foreign bases around the world, operating largely outside of the control of their host nations. In response to recent expansion of US/NATO military forces in bases across Asia and Africa, this day of action was called to show solidarity and opposition around the world.
Due to the ongoing health crisis this will be a socially distanced protest, with a couple of different options for walks around the base. We are not able to provide toilet facilities or refreshments on this occasion so we ask that everyone bears this in mind and brings what they will need for the afternoon.
Menwith Hill is the largest intelligence-gathering, interception and surveillance base outside the US. It has many roles which are generally for US interests only (diplomatic, military and economic) – being the hub of the ECHELON global surveillance system (Wikipedia). Menwith Hill featured heavily in Edward Snowden’s release of top secret documents which revealed the extent of the intelligence gathering and surveillance on us all by the NSA/CIA (with the help of GCHQ).
More info here
A Manifesto for Peace – Scottish Elections
A joint campaign between Campaign Against Arms Trade, Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Pax Christi Scotland
On Sunday 25th April: 7-8pm (British summer time)
More info here
Thursday, April 15, 2:30p Eastern/ 11:30a Pacific. Webinar as part of the Voices of Conscientious Objection series. This webinar will focus on the history of conscientious objection to military taxation. Three excellent speakers will explore a different facet of the topic: Robin Brookes, Mary Lou Leavitt and Monica Frisch. Registration is required. Register for the event here.
“Getting out onto the streets of Abingdon with a leaflet that we had ourselves produced was to have been our focus this month. And our theme was to have been the urgent need to divert the world’s military spending to resolving the climate and other environmental crises. But then came Covid-19. Now unsurprisingly the emphasis has changed. The IPB (International Peace Bureau) slogan is ‘Invest in Healthcare Instead of Militarization’. Of course there is no true conflict here. The peace movement has always stressed for example how many additional hospitals could be afforded by giving up a small number of Trident missiles; and indeed what we are arguing for is a diversion of human resources to satisfying genuine human needs”.
Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament join GDAMS on Social Media, sharing the Healthcare Not Warfare Infographic:
“With the latest @SIPRIorg report on global military expenditure being released today, we looked at the UK’s spending on Trident warheads as part of @DemilitarizeDay. #healthcarenotwarfare #ScrapTrident #nuclearban”
“Here is a fantastic infographic on global military spending by @DemilitarizeDay for #GDAMS on #HealthcareNotWarfare which puts into perspective the costs of war preparations in comparison with healthcare.”
CND called to action on GDAMS through a piece by Kate Hudson (CND General Secretary): “A global struggle: healthcare not warfare”.
Hudson echoes here the words of Dave Webb, CND Chair and member of the GCOMS steering group: ““This year the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) are taking place from April 10th until May 9th. During this time peace and justice campaigners around the world will be highlighting the ridiculous and unsustainable levels of global military spending – over $1.82 trillion a year, equivalent to $239 per person every day. The UK 2020 defence budget is £55 billion, the 7th highest in the world and over 2% of our GDP – as requested by NATO. This represents a substantial increase over previous years. We had been warned of the possibility of a wide-spread pandemic for sometime – it was one of the first tier threats in the 2015 National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review – but were totally unprepared for it when it happened. Meanwhile, the government is prepared to continue with Trident Replacement at an eventual total cost of over £205 billion and with the purchase of 138 F-35 jet fighters, costing £85 million each. (…)
Military spending is costing the Earth and reallocating defence budgets would help finance an adequate response to both the coronavirus crisis and the challenge of climate change. It would assist the urgent transition toward more peaceful, just, and sustainable societies and economies.”
Read the full article here.
Peace Pledge Union published a joint letter about military spending and coronavirus.
Nineteen charities, NGOs and other organisations have signed this open letter, including Colin Archer, as a representative of the GCOMS UK Working Group.
Covid 19 is a deadly reminder that armed force cannot make us safe. People around the world have the same needs and face many of the same threats. We urgently need to stop accepting “defence” and “security” as euphemisms for war and militarism.
Military personnel have taken part in building the Nightingale Hospital in London and the Dragon’s Heart Hospital in Cardiff. The arms company Babcock is diverting some resources to produce ventilators. These initiatives, which involve just a small percentage of the armed forces and arms industry, should be the first step in reallocating “defence” resources to defending us from the most serious threats to our security.
While NHS staff struggle with insufficient protective equipment, nuclear submarines patrol at a cost of billions, powerless to defend us from a pandemic. While some armed forces personnel are helpfully delivering medical supplies, others are increasing military tension by participating in NATO exercises – scaled back but not cancelled despite coronavirus. UK troops train Saudi forces who have attacked civilians in Yemen.
The UK government’s security reviews in 2010, 2015 and 2018 identified pandemics as a serious security threat. Despite this, they chose to increase spending on armed force, maintaining the seventh highest military expenditure in the world. Recent wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya demonstrate that deep-seated problems cannot be solved with bombs. War makes the whole world less safe.
We need to re-orient the economy towards socially useful production and shift “defence” resources away from militaristic approaches and towards tackling serious threats to human security, including pandemics, poverty and climate change.
You can also consult this letter here.
IRIAD shared the GDAMS infographic and brought attention to this period of action.“Un altro po’ di dati dalla GCOMS su spese per gli armamenti e spese per la salute e la prevenzione dei rischi a livello globale. Sono in corso i #GDAMS Global Days of Action on Military Spending. Bisogna mantenere alta l’attenzione sul tema”.
Forces Watch a UK-based organisation that monitors British militarism shared our 2020 GDAMS statement on their social media:
“Major reductions in military expenditure would free up resources not only to provide universal healthcare, but also to tackle climate and humanitarian emergencies. Some more simple actions to take to say #DivestFromWar and #HealthcareNotWarfare”
Movement for the Abolition of War joined GDAMS by sharing its statement on Facebook
Huddersfield Quakers shared the message and infographic of GDAMS on their social networks:
“Truly shocking statistics and priorities. As Quakers we will continue to witness and take action to help create a more just, equal, sustainable, peaceful and loving world”.
Medact shared their online seminar “The arms industry in the era of COVID-19 – lessons for the future” with a reference to GDAMS.
“If you weren’t able to make our webinar last week on ‘The arms industry in the era of #COVID19 – lessons for the future’, you can now watch (& share) the talks by our brilliant speakers online #GDAMS #HealthcareNotWarfare
You can watch it here.
Pax Christi shared the GDAMS infographic on its social networks: “Such a good infographic on military spending vs healthcare, worth sharing again!”
Yorkshire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament joined GDAMS by sharing its infographic and IPB’s petition to the United Nations.
Call to Action at their newsletter.
“GDAMS 2020: HEALTHCARE NOT WARFARE
The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has shown the world where humanity’s priorities should lie. Such a crisis can only be addressed by supporting healthcare and other lifesustaining activities, not with military equipment and personnel prepared for war. Read the full GDAMS 2020 Statement and find lots of great resources for how to take action from home at: http://demilitarize.org/”
New data released today by SIPRI reveals a post-WW2 record in military spending in 2019. As the world faces the challenge of Covid-19, we can see more than ever that our security isn’t advanced by spending billions on nuclear weapons systems and aircraft carriers, but by building fairer societies that support the most vulnerable, and by investing in strong public services.
Out of this crisis we must build a truly safer world, where real human needs are prioritised.
Visit our website here.
While unable to vigil in Central London, Women in Black are everywhere, working against militarism and war.
Solidarity at a Distance. Week 6. Women in Black London focuses the week of April 20-26 on the Global Days of Action on Military Spending sharing its infographics and supporting IPB’s petition to invest in healthcare not warfare.
Joint letter started by the Peace Pledge Union about military spending and coronavirus.
Find the Peace Pledge Union website here
Vigils by Women in Black London at the Edith Cavell statue in St. Martin’s square, Charing Cross, at 6pm. WiB encouraged passersby to reflect on military spending and to think of alternatives to rechannel the $ 1’82 trillion allocated to global military spending last year with the help of banners and infographics. Besides informing people, participants were invited to wrote their own alternatives to allocate funds to instead of the military sector and to take a picture with it.
GDAMS stall 2-5pm. Both on Parliament Street in York.
Bruce Kent (Movement for the Abolition of War), Kate Hudson (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament), Theresa Alessandro (Pax Christi) and Ellis Brooks (Quaker Peace and Social Witness) did a protest and a letter hand-in to the Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson at the Ministry of Defence in London, in representation of the GDAMS UK Coalition.
See the full letter by clicking here
GDAMS/People’s Budget stall at the Yorkshire CND Day of Dance at Victoria Hall, Saltaire, Bradford.
During the Day of Dance, organised by Yorkshire CND and held in the Victoria Hall, Saltaire, we held a GDAMS stall. This consisted of a table giving a series of options as to how people would spend £200 billion. This is the amount the Tories are proposing to spend on the replacement of the Trident Nuclear Submarine fleet. The options were grouped as Health, Climate Change, Education, Other, i.e. housing, Arts etc and Nuclear Weapons. People were invited to place £50 billion chips on the categories of their choice for financial support., to a total of £200 billion. During the day we engaged with many people but only 11 actually placed the chips. A record was kept of their choices. The results were (from a total spend of £2200 billion): Health 33.3%, Education 25%, Climate Change 17.3%, Other 17.3%, Nuclear Weapons 0%. From these results one thing is abundantly clear – no one wanted to spend any money on Nuclear Weapons. This might not be surprising given that the event was organised by Yorkshire CND. However, this was a Day of Dance and people had come to dance. They had not come to be involved in a CND demonstration. People from all walks of life had come and of very different ages, but they came to dance. The conclusion that people do not want money spent on weapons of mass destruction holds true. This is a message that we must get to the Government – we do not want to spend £200 billion on Trident when Health, Climate change, Education, Housing and the Arts are needing money. The message was clear: Abandon Trident. Spend money on much needed Social Causes. Read the report of the events by Dave Webb and Dr. Chris Butler. See the photo here!
Huddersfield University: Second showing of the award-winning film Shadow World, based on the book by South African whistleblower Andrew Feinstein, followed by discussion with the author. Weds April 25 at Leeds Beckett city centre campus. Thurs April 26 at Huddersfield University. (venue TBC) – Contact: email@example.com – Read the Report by Colin Archer (WYCAAT) here!
Beckett city centre campus: West Yorks Campaign Against the Arms Trade (WYCAAT) is delighted to announce a showing of the award-winning film Shadow World, based on the book by South African whistleblower Andrew Feinstein, followed by discussion with the author. Weds April 25 at Leeds Beckett city centre campus. Room RB538 (Rose Bowl, 5th floor) from 7pm, more information here – Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org – Read the Report by Colin Archer (WYCAAT) here!
“Online vote to show what it would take to make the world safer”: Between 16 – 22 April help a create a Twitter storm by tweeting what you would spend £48 billion on to @hmtreasury with #GCOMS #RethinkSecurity e.g. @hmtreasury “If I had £48 billion a year I would prefer to spend it on #NHS. I prefer. #GCOMS #RethinkSecurity”
“They got money for wars but they can’t feed the poor”: Street protest in Leeds against war and Syria bombing.
NHS not Trident Block on Leeds March for the NHS.
Our mock-Trident trailer pushed through the streets of Leeds again as part of
the NHS not Trident block of the regional ‘March for the NHS’. On April 14 at
11:30am in Victoria Gardens, outside Leeds Art Gallery. The horror of the
conflict in Syria is clear to us all, but the choice is not, as presented in
some sections of the media, between bombing and inaction. The civilian
casualties in Syria which now number in the hundreds of thousands stem from the
flow of thousands of tonnes of arms into the region. The UK shares it’s
proportion of the blame, alongside Russia, the US, Iran, Israel and others.
It’s also important to remember that the UK is already involved in active
bombing in Syria and has been since 2015 and any invasion would be counter to
international law. The UK Government should press for an immediate ceasefire;
support the investigations of Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons (OPCW); and provide aid for the civilian population as well as refugee
for those fleeing the crisis. As Dave Webb wrote in the Yorkshire Post,
“Further military action will only increase the likelihood of this terrible conflict
growing into a wider Middle East conflict, and potentially a direct conflict
between major nuclear-armed states. CND works for ‘the prevention and cessation
of wars in which nuclear weapons may be used’ and this is a clear example of
such a situation.” – Look at the photo of the March!
More info: https://yorkshirecnd.org.uk/wp-content/plugins/civicrm/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=822&qid=34637
New postcard campaign: The postcard is ready for you to download. Just copy, and share the message: It’s time to shift priorities!
22th of April 2017
Hereford Peace Council are organising an event in High Town, in the centre of Hereford. Contact person is Jenny Maxwell on 01547 540 748 or 07711 788 506
20th April 2017
At St Joseph’s School and site of Pax Christi office in Hendon London, staff and pupils of the school came along to cast their vote for a safer world. As well as showing curiosity about what was going on, 94 people took part in the vote and you can see the results in the photograph.
Morevover, GDAMS Supporter Conscience have a new date for their Taxes for Peace Bill: it was rescheduled for the 24th of March 2017! In preparation, they had a public meeting at Friends House, Euston Road on 27 February 7 – 9 pm.
19th April, 2017
8:00am – 1:00pm
Calling for an End to Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia, Edinburgh
Scottish Parliament Edinburgh, Edinburgh
19th of April 2017
6:00pm – 7:30pm
Women in Black GDAMs vigil, London
Edith Cavell Statue, London
And, on 26th April, From 6 to 7 pm next to Edith Cavell statue – Women in Black asked citizens where they would move the military money.
18th April 2017
Demonstration at Menwith Hill Main Gates on Tuesday 18th April 2017 at 6pm.
Focus on the true costs of military spending.
Yorkshire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
If you’d like to do something locally, please contact Yorkshire CND.
The Campaign Against Arms Trade campaigners in Basildon have called on the government to invest in public services rather than spend on the military. The South Essex Campaign Against the Arms Trade held a people’s ballot, asking the public to vote on how they wanted public money spent. During two hours in Basildon Town Square, people used colored balls to choose, with the NHS emerging as the most popular option. They landed in the news.
The Abingdon Peace Group decided to do a ‘People’s Ballot: NHS Not TRIDENT’ poll as a choice of how the Trident money could be otherwise spent – 5 marbles to distribute between 5 containers – Health, Education,Nuclear Weapons, Renewable Energy, Housing and Other. They thought that was a more meaningful way of engaging with passers- by. They also had the Trident Quiz and various handouts as additions/alternative ways of engaging. More details on this action.
Edwin Cluer’s striking handpainted poster board caught the eye of passers-by. Alison Williams of the United Nations Association and Joanna Bazley join him in campaigning for GDAMS. Organizer : Wimbledon Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Organizer : Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
The Scrap Trident Coalition‘s ‘Bairns Not Bombs’ followed an anti-nuclear blockade of the Faslane Naval Base on the Clyde. The demonstrators aimed to shut down the base and they succeeded. Faslane is home to the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system. More from BBC News and the Scrap Trident Coalition’s video channel.
Pax Christi UK and the Quakers ran a ‘Give peace a budget’ ballot where people were requested to vote for their spending ‘priorities’ to make the world a safer place. Here are the results: Health & education (115); tackling climate change (81); international cooperation and development (61); and military spending (14) as the least important.
Prior to GDAMS, they also conducted an online survey and asked the same questions. One of the respondents said that: “Security is a fundamental part of Government responsibility. However, I think we will achieve a more secure and safe world by working with other countries to help them develop, tackle climate change and generally reduce the tensions that grow out of huge disparities in wealth between countries.”
Women in Black London organized their Wednesday Vigil in central London. The vigil was an anti-Trident/nuclear weapons vigil, and they made a GCOMS banner for each side of the Edith Cavell statue where they stand. The vigil was well received, and they gave out about 250 of their Trident leaflets, and about 40 of the GCOMS Call to Action to those people who stopped or appeared particularly interested.
In Leeds, the Yorkshire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament activists held up banners outside the office of Jacobs UK, the engineering firm that is involved in production and maintenance of British nuclear weapons. Read about Jacobs and their waste of British tax dollars.
More than two dozen people linked arms in the centre of Penzance on
Monday to show solidarity for the blockade of the Faslane Nuclear
Weapons base in Scotland. Organising the event were members of the West
Cornwall branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
who were joined by local politicians – including parliamentary
candidates, Tim Andrewes (Greens) and Cornelius Olivier (Labour), and
members of the public in the campaign to end the Trident nuclear weapon
Anne Dodd reports on Global Day of Military Action in Oxford
A small group of Pax Christi members and the Fellowship of Reconciliation were, together, a visually colourful presence on Bonn Square, Oxford on Monday, 14th April. A big home-made banner clearly showed passersby the reason we were there; some took up the invitation to take part in the survey we did with the Budget Game. Using buttons and jars, people were invited to reallocate some or all of the £40 billion annual UK Defence Budget. Education and Healthcare proved the most popular choices for “reallocated” military funding. A children`s see-saw, with an army helmet on one end and a medical cap on the other was part of the effort to “shift priorities” in the thinking on Global and National spending. The “shifting priorities” postcards, produced by Pax Christi, were used to distribute to passersby. It was good to know that the Oxford event was one of many, nationally and globally. Shifting priorities will be a long haul but the Global Day of Action on Military Spending is a valuable opportunity in this.
They also handed out hundreds of leaflet’s, postcards and flyers, and had lots of good conversations with a broad range of people. It felt clear that people wanted to engage in the issue, and interestingly, some people were worried about the recent crisis in Russia, and felt that Trident was keeping the UK safe by acting as a deterrent; it was a strong reminder that that the narrative of nuclear deterrence is still strong.
Paul McGowan reports on GDAMS vigil/event in Coventry
Pax Christi and Stop the War Campaigners against the use of Council Tax money to invest in arms companies such as Lockheed Martin attempted to present a lunchtime letter of protest to the firm’s offices in Coventry University’s Technology Park. We were prevented from entering the site by security guards who had been posted there since 7am, in anticipation of any such activity. Eventually, it was agreed that the security guards would deliver the letter, which calls on Lockheed Martin to explain whether they continue to be involved in the manufacture of cluster bombs. Later in the day, campaigners distributed leaflets in the city centre, explaining the Council’s complicity in the funding of arms companies out of Council Tax money. Postcards illustrating alternatives to military spending, a petition to scarp Trident, and a People’s Budget to allow citizens to declare their own spending priorities were used to publicise the Global Day Against Military Spending. No member of the public thought that money should be spent on renewing Trident. Arms companies involved in the Trident programme include Lockheed Martin, Rolls Royce, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics, all of whom have links to Coventry (the ‘City of Peace and Reconciliation’, as it likes to be known), and receive public funding through investments of Council Tax money in the West Midlands Pension Fund.
On Monday 14th April, as part of GDAMS – the Global Day of Action on Military Spending – Action AWE ran a ‘People’s Budget’ game, asking members of the public how they would move the money being wasted on Trident, and handed out leaflets. People were very much split on whether education, the NHS, jobs in green energy or housing were their top priorities – but crucially, no one who played the game wanted to see £100 billion wasted on Trident!
Events like this proved really useful for getting the word out about Aldermaston and Burghfield, too; most people were against replacing Trident, but very few connected this up with the billions being spent every year at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, even though it is just a few miles down the road.
The Huddersfield action (using part of the pink scarf) was organized by Wool against Weapons group with 10 persons taking part. They met in the center of the town at St George’s Square by the statue of former Huddersfield resident and Prime Minister, Harold Wilson and made him the focal point of the action. ‘A Welfare not Warfare’ banner was hung from his neck along and then the pink peace scarf was wrapped round his neck and the people. Photos were taken which were tweeted and also published in the local paper, the Huddersfield Examiner.
Bradford Action Leeds Action
Pax Christi – Global Day of Military Action in London
Pax Christi joined with other peace and environment groups today in Central London to symbolically redistribute the £38 billion military budget to government departments with greater needs. Today, the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) it was announced that world military expenditure totals $1.75 trillion – UK military expenditure is £38 billion. The UK has the 6th largest militry budget in the world.
The action in London, where speakers included Bruce Kent of Pax Christi, Kate Hudson of CND, John Hilary of War on Want and Stuart Parkinson of Scientists for Global Responsibility (via video link) was created to hand over cheques for a share of that £38 billion military budget to overseas development, health, environment and climate change and international cooperation, to respective ministries.
Letters were also presented inviting each Minsters of State to meet with the NGOS to see how together a case could be made for reallocation of military spending towards projects investing in human needs and sustainable development, both nationally and internationally.
Pat Gaffney of Pax Christi urged those taking part to work all year around to make links between issues of conflict, poverty and the destruction of the environment. These are the real security threats that our world faces. Investing resources and research in these areas rather than in military models of security will make the world a more just and safer world for all. Similar actions took place in Oxford, Coventry, Leeds, Bristol and other cities and in Latin America, Asia, Africa, North America and throughout Europe.
Half a dozen members and supporters of Wrexham Peace & Justice Forum were out on the streets on April 15. They offered suggestions for how the huge sums of money currently spent on warfare might be better used for social purposes.
See the photos here.
Activists from several campaign groups and political parties peacefully blocked entrances to the Faslane nuclear base.
Anti-Trident campaigners blockade naval base (The Guardian)
Protesters vow to keep fighting spend on Trident by Matty Sutton (EveningTimes)
Activists plan blockade as part of global protest (Evening Times)
Peace campaigners blockade Trident base by Brian Larkin (Independent Catholic News)
Arrests made at Faslane anti-Trident protest (Scotsman)
50 held at anti-Trident blockade (Hawick News)
“The UK spends £39 billion a year on the
military and arms, while vital services in health, education, welfare
and renewable energy are cut or under threat”. This concern was raised
at a meeting in the Houses of Parliament on Monday 15 April by 39 peace
and development groups.
Press article: Calls in Parliament for military spending to be directed to meet human needs (The Independent Catholic News)
Members of Pax Christi, Campaign Against the Arms Trade and Movement for the Abolition of War took part in street-theatre and protest outside Parliament.
Press article: London: Global Day of Action Against Military Spending (The Independent Catholic News)
A protest against weapons was held at a the military manufacturer General Dynamics.
Read press article: Company silent on weapons protest by Matthew Bates (The Coventry Observer)
Workers at EDO in Brighton arrived to work on April 15 to find the front gates drenched with red paint, symbolising the blood of the victims of the weapons manufacturer. Read the article here.
See reports, photos and videos of UK actions for the Global Day of Action on Military Spending up on the UK GDAMS website.
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.
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).
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.”
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.”
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!”
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.”