During the last two weeks WRI has tested a new format of meeting by having our first Electronic Council meeting. Council meetings are where WRI reviews its work and plans for the future. During this e-Council one major topic was our work against war profiteering, where people from outside the WRI inner circle also joined in.
From May 12th to 14th, Brussels Expo hosted the ITEC exhibition (International Training and Education Conference) the annual top event for companies in the military training and simulation business. On the first day of the event, Vredesactie activists went in undercover and revealed controversial links. On May 13th, a delegation of politicians visited ITEC to make clear that an event like this is not welcome.
On the 27th of April twenty-two people were arrested at the Blackwater/Xe compound in Jo Daviess County Illinois as they carried out a nonviolent direct action against a company at the centre of some of the worst violence in Iraq. They were part of a larger group of about 75 people who marched on Blackwater to serve the company with a Notice of Foreclosure for Moral Bankruptcy.
On 9 April, 14 peace and social justice activists were arrested at Creech US Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada, in what is believed to be the first act of mass nonviolent civil disobedience against the military use of pilotless drones. “Predator” and “Reaper” drones have reportedly killed hundreds of civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In the first smashing and convincing victory of the global BDS movement in the field of corporate responsibility and ethical compliance, Veolia is reportedly abandoning the Jerusalem Light Rail project, an illegal project that aims at connecting Israeli colonies built on occupied Palestinian territory to the city of Jerusalem.
The Belgian-French financial group Dexia has announced it will no longer finance Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories through its Israeli branch Dexia Israel. This is the result of a months-long campaign in Belgium, supported by NGO’s, political parties, local authorities, trade unions and other organisations. Dexia’s management states that financing Israeli settlements is indeed against the bank’s code of ethics and it will stop giving loans due to this.
Since April, indigenous communities have been protesting new laws passed by President García allowing for extensive oil drilling, logging, and the construction of hydroelectric dams in the Amazonian region of Peru. Tension grew this past weekend as police opened fire on peaceful protestors.
The huge engineering and technological might of Japan may be poised for a new lease of life as the country prepares to ditch a self-imposed ban on arms exports that was introduced in the mid-1970s.
The controversial decision, which is likely to encounter bitter opposition from the country's mainly pacifist middle classes, could deliver significant economic benefits to Japan and lead to a realignment in the global defence industry.
Vedanta Resources plc is a global diversified and integrated metals and mining group headquartered in London, England. Headed by Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal, most of Vedanta's operations are located in India. Several of Vedanta's projects are mired in controversy and local unrest due to allegations that they will have a damaging impact on the environment, and on the livelihoods of local people.
The Nevada Desert Experience (NDE) was formed in 1984 to stop nuclear bomb tests at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). It developed out of the six-week “Lenten Desert Experience” first organized by a Franciscan community in 1982. Making the journey to the desert became a significant spiritual as well as political act. Prayerful, persistent civil disobedience coupled with open, respectful communication has remained a hallmark of NDE actions. Avoiding hostility and violence has allowed priests, women religious, parents, children and Western Shoshone elders to participate.
Defence Systems Equipment International (DSEi) – the world’s largest arms fair – takes place in East London between 8 and 11 September 2009. At DSEi 2007, there were 1352 exhibitors from 40 different countries with a total of 26,5000 visitors.
DISARM DSEi are calling for people to join together to unstick these institutions, expose the devastation they cause, and hold them to account for their actions.