What could we do with 1.75 Trillion US dollars? This is the question we are asking ourselves in the run up to the 2014 Global Day of Action on Military Spending, which this year falls on 14 April. Global military spending in 2012 was 1.75 Trillion US dollars. It is almost impossible to think how much you could do with that amount of money as the figure is very difficult to grasp. David Schwartz has a useful way to help us see the magnitude of this figure: "My favorite way to think of it is in terms of seconds...
The International Peace Bureau is happy to announce that the 4th edition of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending will be held on Monday, 14 April 2014. The GDAMS initiative was co-founded in 2011 by the International Peace Bureau and the Institute for Policy Studies.
This year’s day of action coincides, once again, with the release by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) of their annual statistics on global military spending. In the USA, Tax Day actions will be held on 15 April and some groups will combine the GDAMS actions with those. Peace Action through Judith Le Blanc, is the U.S./North America Coordinator. In other places, activists may prefer to do an action on the weekend, i.e 12-13 April. This could be followed by an extra activity on the Monday, and/ or the release of an action-report to the media on that day, together with the latest SIPRI figures. So there are a number of options available in terms of timing. Whatever works for you!
The Colombian armed forces, with 281,400 military personnel, are the second largest army in all of Latin America, surpassed only by Brazil. Added to that are the 159,000 members of the National Police, a militarised police force that reports to the Ministry of Defence. In Colombia there are 6.2 soldiers per one thousand inhabitants, a ratio almost four times that of Brazil.
The surge in extractive mining and energy activities in Colombia over the last few years has come accompanied by the massive militarisation of the zones where the mining and energy sectors operate. The Colombian government has in recent years created what are known as Energy, Mining and Transport Battalions. Their growth has accompanied the policy of attracting foreign investment in the sector from multinational corporations for the implementation of the neoliberal extractive policy: the so-called 'mining and energy drive'. At the beginning of 2011 there were 11 mining and energy battalions, but by 2014 there were already 21.
One is familiar with the “criminal underworld” of thieves, gangs, drug lords, the Italian Mafia, and other manifestations of organised crime.
More serious is the “criminal overworld” of corrupt politicians, corrupt bankers, corrupt lawyers -- in other words the world’s elites. Historically, this is not a new phenomenon. In recent years however, it has become more pervasive and blatant in which privileged members of society fleece the public, evade taxation and lobby vigorously for even greater benefits.
Patrick Kane of War on Want and Sarah Shoraka of Platform report from the Niger Delta on the Ogoni people’s struggle against Shell and the wider mobilisation in Nigeria towards 2015 as a ‘year of change’.
Hewlett-Packard Company or HP is an American multinationalinformation technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States. It provides hardware, software and services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health and education sectors. In the United States, HP is one of the top 25 defense contractors with the Pentagon/U.S. Department of Defense. HP also provides products and services to the Department of Homeland Security for enhanced immigration status checks