I have never been a person who is attracted by technology so really I am not interested in the latest gadgets of the arms trade from a geeky point of view. I am, however, interested in drones as the latest expression of warfare, specially with unthinkable consequences in distancing the perpetrator from the victim, making battle feel more like a computer game than a war where people are dying because of your actions. Drones are being used more and more for surveillance and for military attacks, and it is scary to think how far this robotisation of war can go.
Work against war profiteering has emerged in South Korea in recent years. An important step in its development was the 2010 Peace and Disarmament Fair, which took place between the 2nd and 3rd of October, organised by the Peace and Disarmament Fair Preparatory Committee.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan arrived in Switzerland this year: a Swiss newspaper reported that Aegis Defence Service, one of the biggest private security companies, had opened a holding base in Basel. Aegis Defence Service, based primarily in London, employs 20,000 mercenaries in Iraq and Afghanistan who typically work on contract for the American defence ministry.
On the morning of 12 September, peace activists protested on the beach at Victoria, Cadiz, during the III (Military) Air Festival. Members of the R.A.N.A (Antimilitarist and Nonviolent Network of Andalucia) carried a huge banner announcing "these planes have been produced for war", while overhead various combat planes - Eurofighter, Harriers, etc - made a horrible noise.
A careers fair at the University of Edinburgh was closed down last week after the organisers’ decision to invite the world’s largest arms firm to the event triggered a nonviolent protest by students. The students laid down in front of the stall run by BAE Systems in a symbolic die-in.
Nine people, tried for disturbing public order in the action of boycotting Israel in the Price Circus, have been cleared.
The trial, in which nine activists were tried for an action carried out in June this year, lasted little over half an hour.
Despite the heavy police presence (local, national and secret forces) and security guards, on the 18th of October at 10.30 am around fifty people gathered to show support for those on trial, at the steps of the Plaza de Castilla Courts in Madrid, Spain.
Between October 2-9 the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space had another week of actions against the militariSation of space, under the slogan: “Keep Space For Peace”. There were number of actions during this week, focusing on the missile defence shield, drones and other forms of militarisation of space. For a full list of actions, go to: http://www.space4peace.org/actions/ksfpw10.htm.
Private security firm Blackwater violated US arms trafficking regulations when training Colombian military personnel in 2005, a State Department report indicates. The controversial firm, renamed Xe Services LLC in 2009, is to pay $42 million for violating US law, including the unauthorized military training of Colombian soldiers—evidently for private service in Iraq and Afghanistan—in April and May 2005.
The Drone Wars conference was held on 18th September in London, UK and was organised by Fellowship of Reconciliation (England). The conference brought together academics, peace campaigners, NGOs and concerned citizens to discuss the growing military use of UAVs (Unmanned Arial Vehicles), commonly known as drones.
The conference aimed to share information on a variety of aspects of the use of drones, to
During apartheid, the South African regime desperately needed arms to suppress resistance within the country and to destabilise neighbouring countries opposed to its rule. To curb the Pretoria desperados, the United Nations imposed an arms embargo in 1963. Pretoria’s response was the development of its own arms production industry (now Denel) coupled with a cloak-and-dagger sanctions-busting procurement agency (now Armscor).
For anyone with even just a passing interest in the military, it will have been hard to miss the recent rise of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) commonly known as drones. Over the past year, the Fellowship of Reconciliation England (FoR) and others have been working together to research and raise awareness of armed drones by the military, primarily the US, Israel and the UK.