For many who are involved in campaigning against war profiteers, spring in the northern hemisphere means it's time for shareholders actions! This is when most major companies hold their Annual Shareholders Meeting. Companies are obliged to announce the date of their shareholders' meetings and you can usually find this on their website. Annual General Meetings (AGMs) are good opportunities to bring up campaign issues to the owners and smaller shareholders of the company.
Today on Friday March 12th, whilst a protest took place on the other side of Palacio Euskalduna where the board meeting of shareholders the BBVA bank had begun, eight activists disguised as BBVA shareholders were able to fool the police cordon and throw red paint over themselves. As stated by one of them, the red paint represented the blood, which resulted from the investments made in the production and exportation of arms, the basic rights instilled/ inculcated of many people by destructive projects financed by the bank, which also finances the environmental destruction of climate change, and the economies of many countries which affects the well being of its citizens.
On his most recent visit to Venezuela, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin revealed that the value of arms bought by the government in Caracas amounted to over five billion US dollars.
According to statistics provided by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), in the past ten years, 77.6% of total arms imports to Latin American countries were from Russia. Amongst these acquisitions, Mi-17 and Mi-35 Sukhoi fighter planes , Kalashnikov assault rifles, and an agreement to install a factory which produces rifles and munitions, S-300 tanks, and anti-aircraft missiles.
Control Arms Foundation of India together with more than 20 partner organisations and think tanks from across India hosted the “Delhi Disarmament Events and United Nations Arms Trade Treaty Experts Conference and 2010” from 14 to 17 February 2010 in New Delhi. The events were held to coincide with India’s Defence Expo (http://www.defexpoindia.in/) where several hundred arms companies from around the world had gathered to display and sell their arms in New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan.
In the autumn of 2008, activists from the antimiltaristic network Ofog disarmed fourteen rocket propelled grenades at Saab Bofors Dynamics weapons factory in Eskilstuna. The two activists, Anna Andersson and Martin Smedjeback, were sentenced to four mounths imprisonment each in Eskilstuna district court. At the same trial Smedjeback was also sentenced to pay damages of 155 000 SEK (about 15 000 euros) for having climbed the fence at arms factory Aimpoint in Malmö. Both these cases where put on appeal and will now be tried again in Svea hovrätt (Court of Appeal) in Stockholm.
This spring has seen a flurry of divestment activity on campuses across the country. In late February the Student Senate at the University of Michigan - Dearborn passed a resolution calling for the university administration to appoint a committee to investigate the human rights implications of university investments. In March the Associated Students of the University of California, Berkeley voted 16-4 to divest their own funds from two occupation profiteers and to endorse divestment at the University of California level.
BAE Systems which has been embroiled in allegations of bribery and corruption, has topped a list of the world's 100 largest arms manufacturers, the first non-US company to do so, according to figures released today.
BAE produces a wide range of weapons systems, including Eurofighter-Typhoon jets and Trident nuclear missile submarines. It sold $32.4bn (about £21bn) of arms in 2008, says the Stockholm international peace research institute (Sipri).
According to SIPRI "the arms transfers in South America for the period between 2005 - 2009 were 150 percent higher than for the period of 200 -2004, reflecting the significant upswing in both military spending and arms acquisitions [...]Chile was the largest importer of conventional weapons in South America and the 13th largest in the world.
Over the last 150 years, what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo has been subject to vast and destabilising resource expropriation at the hands of European capitalism since Belgian King Leopold II’s conquest in 1885. This exploitation still continues to this day. The DRC is suffering from a war, often referred to as Africa's World War, that is almost certainly the worst in the world.
Over time, women’s rights advocates have named a host of contributing factors to violence against women. Perhaps none of these has been less explored than the proliferation and unregulated use of small arms and light weapons – until now. A new book, Sexed Pistols: The Gendered Impact of Small Arms and Light Weapons, explores how these weapons impact women and men differently.
CACI, founded in the early 1960s as California Analysis Center Inc., is almost entirely a Beltway Bandit—some 94 percent of its revenue is derived from contracts with the U.S. government. About two-thirds of that revenue comes from the Pentagon, but CACI also enjoys the patronage of the Departments of Homeland Security, State, Commerce, Justice and Transportation. At the end of its last fiscal year, CACI had a contract backlog worth some $6.4 billion.
The Transnational Awareness Group (TAG) collects and spreads information about the way companies contribute to armed conflicts. Initiated in Belgium by Vredesactie (Peace Action), this form of action - to track, expose and label war businesses - is now spreading internationally.