New Internationalist

Action

Issue 261

new internationalist
issue 261 - November 1994

ACTION
The final aim of challenging militarism and the arms trade is global peace and disarmament.
But it won’t happen overnight. This section focuses on what you can do to make a difference:

1     TRANSPARENCY
[image, unknown]      Demand that your government has a public register of arms transfers.
[image, unknown]      Demand that any hidden subsidies be made open to public scrutiny and debate.
[image, unknown]      Demand that your government complies with the UN Register for Conventional Weapons.

2    Code of conduct
[image, unknown]     Demand that your government halts arms exports to countries known to have poor human rights. These include: China, India, Pakistan, Burma, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey, Rwanda, Zaire, Egypt, Iran, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Guatemala, Peru, Kenya, Nigeria.
[image, unknown]     Demand that your government halts arms exports to areas where they will fuel conflict. This includes: Afghanistan, Rwanda, Somalia, former Yugoslavia, Turkey, Iraq, Indonesia, Sri Lanka.
[image, unknown]     Demand that your government halts arms exports to countries where such exports are sabotaging development. This includes most countries in the South. Those spending more than twice as much on defence as on education and health include Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq and Sri Lanka.

Thanks, really, but would it be possible to get an education instead? by CHRISTIAN 3    Conversion
[image, unknown]     Demand that the money saved from cuts in defence spending be directed toward demilitarization projects.
[image, unknown]     Demand that your government promotes and supports global demilitarization initiatives through the UN.
[image, unknown]     If your country is part of the European Union demand that they support the Konver conversion programme to promote new civil industries in areas hit by defence job losses.

LETTER POWER!
This is one way you can express your concern about your country’s arms trade policy – and influence those who make decisions on your behalf.

Write to your country’s leader or your political representative. Your letter could include the following questions:
[image, unknown]     What arms are the government exporting?
[image, unknown]     Which countries are they going to?
[image, unknown]     Does the government sell arms to any countries that abuse human rights?
[image, unknown]     Is taxpayers’ money being used to promote or subsidize arms sales?
[image, unknown]     What steps are being taken to protect jobs in the defence industry by supporting conversion from weapons manufacture?

IT'S YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW!
No-one involved in the arms trade wants to tell you much about it. However, it is possible to cut through the secrecy and get the inside story yourself. To join those who are doing so, contact the following groups and become part of the movement against the world’s bloodiest trade.

AOTEAROA/NEW ZEALAND
Peace Movement Aotearoa
PO Box 9314 Te Aro,Wellington
Tel/fax: (04) 382 8210
Web: http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/ Email: pma@apc.org.nz
Networks and co-ordinates campaigns between individuals and peace groups in Aotearoa/NZ and overseas, and with other groups working on conflict, exploitation and social justice. Provides a focal point for the dissemination of inform-ation, peace research and education. Particularly concerned about the growth of the Aotearoa/NZ defence industry and the Government’s role in its promotion.

New Zealand Nuclear-Free Peacemaking Association
PO Box 18541, Christchurch
Web: nuclearfree.lynx.co.nz/ Email: nuclearfreenz@lynx.co.nz
Campaigns to keep the country free of nuclear weapons and expand nuclear-weapon-free zones elsewhere with the objective of a nuclear-free world. Also campaigns against the arms trade and for peaceful, just solutions to wars. Provides resource papers.

World Court Project
c/o Kate Dewes, PO Box 8390 Christchurch
Tel/fax: (03) 3481-353. Web: www.disarmsecure.org Email: Katie@chch.planet.co.nz.

Comprises a coalition of international peace groups. Has succeeded in having the legality of the use of nuclear weapons placed on the agenda for discussion by the International Court of Justice at the Hague during 1995. More than 30 countries have put submissions to the Court – the majority arguing that the use is illegal under international law.

 

AUSTRALIA
Australian Campaign Against the Arms Trade (ACAAT)
PO Box 1017, Aitkenvale QLD 4814
Tel: (61)77 89 1664 Fax: (61) 77 251501

Monitors and campaigns against the arms trade with a special focus on the Pacific region and on arms sales to Burma.

Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific
122B Percival Rd, Stanmore, NSW 2048
Tel: (02) 550 9967 Fax: (02) 552 4583

Campaigns for self-determination and independence throughout the Pacific regions and against militarization and nuclearization. Also undertakes some regional monitoring of the arms trade.

AIDWatch
19 Eve St, Erskineville, NSW 2043
Phone: (61) 02 9557 8944 Fax: (61) 02 9557 9822
Web: http://www.aidwatch.org.au/ Email: aidwatch@aidwatch.org.au

While the main focus of AIDWatch is on ‘monitoring the development dollar’ it also monitors Australian defence spending and especially when this comprises Australian aid.

 

Bread not Bombs 'Campaign Against the Arms Trade.' CANADA
Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)
541 McLeod St., Ottawa Ontario Canada K1R 5R2
Tel.: 613-231-3076 Fax: 613-231-2614
Email: ad207@ncf.ca
Web site: http://www.ncf.ca/coat

A public education and lobbying organization representing a network of like-minded church, trade union, human rights, student and peace groups. Launched originally to oppose military trade shows, COAT’s main focus is now the conversion of arms industries into peaceful civilian production. Publishes Press for Conversion – a newsletter with international circulation – and has links with similar groups in 15 countries.

Project Ploughshares Institute of Conflict Studies
Conrad Grebel College, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G6
Tel: (519) 888 6541 Fax: (519) 885 0014

Web: http://www.ploughshares.ca/ Email: plough@ploughshares.ca

A long-established and respected national peace and justice organization focusing on the arms trade, disarmament and militarism. Network includes churches, development agencies and community groups as well as individuals. Main activities are lobbying, education and research. Also publishes Ploughshares Monitor.

 

UK
Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT)
11 Goodwin St, London N4 3HQ
Tel: (071) 281 0297 Fax: (071) 281 4369
Web: http://www.caat.org.uk/
Email: enquiries@caat.org.uk
Monitors the arms trade, produces authoritative reports and campaigns extensively. In 1995 it is going to step up its campaign against arms sales to Indonesia, aimed at stopping the delivery of British Hawk aircraft. Is publishing a report on the effect of the arms trade on employment and will continue to campaign against secrecy in the arms trade. In 1995 CAAT will organize a mass protest at the Royal Navy and British Arms Equipment Fair at Aldershot. Produces CAAT News.

Safer World
82 Colston St, Bristol BS1 5BB
Tel: (0272) 276435 Fax: (0272) 253305

Web: http://www.safer-world.org/ Email: info@saferworld.org
An independent foreign-affairs think tank and public-education group committed to alerting governments to the need for a new approach to tackling and preventing armed conflicts around the globe. A key aspect of its work is to raise the debate among European governments about controlling the arms trade and to build support for a Code of Conduct to regulate arms exports from Europe and stop them going to countries which abuse human rights or undermine development.

World Development Movement
25 Beehive Place, London SW9 7QR
Tel: (071) 737 6215 Fax: (071) 274 8232

Web: http://www.wdm.org.uk/ Email: wdm@wdm.org.uk
A pressure group that is fighting for political changes to benefit the world’s poor. Their anti-arms-trade campaign has mobilized thousands of people to write to the British Government and leading banks, calling on them to stop using the public’s money to finance arms sales to repressive regimes and areas of conflict. They have now taken the British Government to court, accusing it of using aid money to Malaysia as a sweetener for arms deals.

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
162 Holloway Rd, London N7 8DQ
Tel: (071) 700 2393 Fax: (071) 700 2357

Web: http://www.cnduk.org/ Email: enquiries@cnduk.org
Campaigns for a time-limited extension of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty when it runs out in April 1995 and for a new global treaty banning all nuclear weapons. CND has also been active in the campaign against establishing a plutonium-reprocessing plant at Thorp which threatens to flood the world with cheap nuclear material.

Peace Pledge Union
Dick Sheppard House, 6 Endsleigh Street, London WC1H 0DX
Tel: (071) 387 5501. Fax: (071) 383 7342

Has been compaigning for peace for the past 60 years. It has challenged government directly by organizing campaigns whereby individuals withhold paying tax unless it is used for peaceful purposes.

UNICEF (UK Committee)
55 Lincolns Inn Fields,
London WC2A 3NB
Tel: (071) 405 5592 Fax: (071) 405 2332

UNICEF is campaigning to ban the production, use, stockpiling, sales and export of landmines. The UK office is calling on supporters to represent the case against landmines to MPs in advance of the Review Conference of Inhumane Weapons Convention scheduled for September 1995. With the aim of protecting children from armed conflict, UNICEF is trying to establish a global consensus on the concept of ‘children as zones of peace’.

 

US
Arms Sales Monitoring Project Federation of American Scientists,
307 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Washington DC 20062
Tel: (202) 675 1018 Fax: (202) 675 1010

An offshoot of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), the Project aims to reduce the global production and trade in conventional arms. It attempts to expose the influence of the US arms industry and to lobby Washington to change US Government policy on arms sales. Publishes the bimonthly Arms Sales Monitor and works closely with other anti-arms trade groups.

Peace Action Education Fund
1819 H Street NW, Ste. 660,
Washington DC 20006
Tel: (202) 862 0762

The largest grassroots peace organization in the US (formerly SANE/FREEZE) representing nearly 50 million Americans. National headquarters feeds information to local chapters in more than 30 states through Grassroots Network Against Arms Trade (GNAT). Helps co-ordinate local strategies into effective national strategies. Main concerns: conventional arms trade, nuclear disarmament and conversion to a peace economy. Also maintains links with groups outside the US campaigning against the arms trade.

Nuclear-Free Peacemaking Association
http://nuclearfree.lynx.co.nz/USElections.htm

RESEARCH AND RESOURCES

Bradford University Department of Peace Studies
Bradford BD7 1DP, UK.
Deals exclusively with peace and related issues and is the largest centre of its kind in the world. Produces an extensive range of peace research reports.

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
Pipers vag 28, s-170 73 Solna, Sweden.
Tel (46) 8/655 97 00.
Fax: (46) 8/655 97 33.

An independent international institute for research into peace and conflict, arms control and disarmament. Produces the authoritative 800-odd page SIPRI Year-book which compiles details of transfers during the year and analyzes global trends. The 1994 SIPRI Yearbook has just been published and is available from Oxford University Press.

BOOKS AND TEACHING MATERIALS
A World Divided – Militarism and Development After the Cold War edited by Geoff Tansey, Kath Tansey and Paul Rogers (Earthscan 1994) looks at how the Cold War legacy of militarism, the worsening economic polarization of North and South and environmental degradation are contributing to global insecurity. This book also proposes alternatives and action for change.

From ARMING THE WORLD teaching pack. Between the Guns – Children as Zones of Peace by Tarzie Vittachi (Hodder and Stoughton, 1993) is a hopeful account of how over 20 years aid workers from UNICEF challenged militarism and gained consent from warring factions to enter war zones in Uganda, Mozambique, El Salvador, Liberia and Iraq, to immunize children against the six vaccinable diseases that were claiming the lives of millions of children each year.

World Military and Social Priorities by Ruth Leger Sivard (World Priorities, 1994). This annual report details trends and makes pertinent comparisons between military and social spending.

Arming the World: the International Trade in Arms is a teaching pack produced by the Trust for Research and Education on the Arms Trade in collaboration with Oxford Development Education Centre (1993). Designed for use by teachers, youth workers or in adult study groups, the pack contains primary sources such as newspaper cuttings and arms advertisements. Different sections of the pack concentrate on the moral and economic aspects of the topic including an activity on arms conversion. It can be ordered from CAAT, 11 Goodwin St., London N4 3HQ, UK .

BAD COMPANY
Use your power as a consumer to avoid
the companies with defence connections.

Cars
[image, unknown] General Motors (USA) is the fourth largest defence manufacturer in the world. Ford, Fiat, Nissan, Volvo, Renault have military connections.

[image, unknown] Citroen, Peugeot, Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Talbot seem OK.

 

Audio, video and computer equipment
[image, unknown] Toshiba is one of Japan’s five biggest defence contractors. Hitachi has military connections. IBM and NEC are in the top 100 biggest arms producers in the world.

[image, unknown] JVC, National, Panasonic, Technics, Amstrad, Sharp and Sony seem OK.

 

Records and CDs
[image, unknown] EMI, HMV, Capitol are owned by Thorn EMI (UK) a leading defence manufacturer and exporter.

[image, unknown] Virgin and Warner seem OK.

 

Domestic appliances
[image, unknown] Hotpoint, Creda and Cannon are owned by General Electric Company (UK), UK’s second largest manufacturer of military equipment.

[image, unknown] Electrolux (Sweden) seems OK.

 

DIY, Gardening and cleaning products
[image, unknown] ICI which makes a wide range of paints, pesticides and fertilisers also makes explosives. Williams Holding also has military connections.

 

Clothes
[image, unknown] Coats Viyella make uniforms and protective clothing for the military.

 

Fuel
[image, unknown] All companies seem to have military contracts – Texaco is one of the worst.

Thanks to Paul Eavis at Safer World, for providing information for the Action section.

previous page choose a different magazine go to the contents page go to the NI home page next page


This first appeared in our award-winning magazine - to read more, subscribe from just £7

Comments on Action

Leave your comment