New Zealand is a place often associated with its nuclear-free position, and it rates highly on the global peace index. In spite of a relatively bucolic lifestyle downunder, New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, plays host to an annual weapons conference in November where about 550 delegates representing 165 companies converge for an annual weapons conference.
Activists blockade the entrance to the weapons conference
RiotID (http://riotid.com) is a civic media project helping people identify, monitor and record the use of riot control agents against civilians. The project is collaboration between researchers from Bournemouth University, Birmingham University and Omega Research Foundation, with Minute Works graphic design.
As long as Switzerland is tolerating the arms trade, financial investments into arms manufacturers and military research at universities, it will continue to bear some of the responsibility for the wars and conflicts of the world.
Arms companies thrive on global instability and worldwide fearmongering since this enables them to sell more weapons and military goods and to make a profit. However, this logic can be reversed: it is the very existence and distribution of weapons and military goods that actually causes global insecurity.
It may seem to be stating the obvious to name three of the world's biggest arms companies as this month's 'War Profiteer of the Month', but it would be wrong to ignore the degree of profiteering taking place from the escalation in bombing of Syria...
Tear gas by remote control
A new report exploring the development of the use of remote control technology to deliver tear gas and other 'riot control agents' (RCAs) has been released by the Remote Control Project, the Omega Foundation and the Bradford Non-Lethal Weapons Research Project.
A PhD student studying applied matematics at a university in Britain reflects on the links between academia and the arms trade.
When I started my PhD in applied mathematics around one third of my proposed funding plan was to come from BAE systems. Knowing very little about BAE and the arms trade in general I did some research, and was horrified at what I found. It soon became clear that there was no way I wanted their money or any involvement with them, which fortunately did not involve me dropping out of my PhD, just taking a funding cut. This move was a knee-jerk reaction; one which I have been trying to justify ever since. I do not struggle to justify standing against weapons research, but mathematical research by nature can have many unpredictable outcomes; a new technology that might seem like a genuine asset to humankind is only a couple of modifications from the latest killing machine, so even non-military research cannot be truly considered safe.
Amnesty International press release, sourced from here.
Decades of poorly regulated arms flows into Iraq as well lax controls on the ground have provided the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) with a large and lethal arsenal that is being used to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity on a massive scale in Iraq and Syria, Amnesty International has said in a new report.