Welcome to the August issue of our newsletter. Which is a bit late because of festivities interruptions.
I would like to congratulate the EDO Decommissioners for their court victory. They show how at times taking bigger risks with our actions can bring important victories to our struggles. This risk though must be well planned if not it can backfire. I would like to thank Smash EDO for contributing to this issue.
On January 17th 2009 six people broke into EDO MBM/ITT in Brighton and caused £189,000 worth of damage to computers, servers, lathes and other equipment. The activists, calling themselves the ‘decommissioners’, took their action in response to the Israeli assault on Gaza which had claimed 1,400 lives by the 17th. EDO MBM/ITT manufactures the arming unit for the Israeli F16 bombrack.
After years of lobbying by NGO's, the United Nations decided to start negotiations for a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The objective of this treaty is to create a legal mechanism to prevent 'unethical' arms trade. Arms should not be exported when there is a serious risk that they might be used in human rights violations, in war crimes, organised crime or terrorism. They should also not be sold to unstable regions, poor countries or corrupt regimes. Reading this, one cannot conclude anything else than that that this treaty is meant to end all arms trade. However, as is well known, international treaties should not be taken too seriously, especially not when they aim at soft goals like respect for peace and human rights. In the first place, clever diplomatic phrasing will leave lots of useful loopholes for a treaty not to be effective. In the second place, if a state does not is not live up to the treaty, there will be no consequenses. Unless, of course, it is a paria state already.
Compared with countries in the Middle East, Europe and especially the United States, Latin American nations don't spend vast amounts in defence. Border disputes have been mostly settled; the potential for conflicts between states is minimal. But lately this seems to be changing with a number of countries increasing their arms purchase, and Brazil is leading this new arms trade wave in the region.
On the 28th of July a large group of activists campaigning against mining corporation Vedanta, gather outside their AGM to protest against the wrong doing of Vedanta, especially to demand the withdraw of Vedanta from the Nyamgiri mountain in Orissa, India. Mountain that is sacred for the Dongria Kondh tribe.
On June 21 Jerry Torres, whose company provides translators and armed security guards in Iraq, was invited to testify before the Commission on Wartime Contracting (CWC). The bi-partisan body was created by the U.S. Congress in early 2008 to investigate waste, fraud and abuse in military contracting services in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Formerly known as British Aerospace, BAE Systems has grown into one of the world’s largest aviation and weapons companies, with major operations not only in the United Kingdom but also in Australia, South Africa, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and the United States, where it is now one of the Pentagon’s largest contractors. BAE is one of the top producers of armored combat vehicles such as the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (widely used by the U.S.
This is a new campaign planned to start in autumn (north hemisphere) 2010. Organised by several German peace and human rights organisations, among them: the Armaments Information Office and the German Peace Society (DFG-VK) who is a member of WRI.
The German foreign and economic policy must be an authentic and credible policy of peace based on humanitarian values. This can only be achieved by respecting the dignity and life of all human beings – even or just the one of innocent and