These last months have come with many new developments around campaigns against war profiteers. We have already announced some of them in previous issues of the WPN - for example that Reed Elsevier will not organise the DSEi arms fair any longer. Now this month comes with news from the UK and the closure of the Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO). Also we learnt that AXA who was our War Profiteer of the Month in April, has started to disinvest partly from landmines and cluster munitions.
From August 6th–9th a US national coalition marched, rallied, and held vigils, teach-ins, and non-violent direct action in over 70 cities in 27 states, commemorating the 61st anniversary of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki under the banner, “From Hiroshima to the Yucca Mountain to the Middle East: No Nukes! No Wars!
Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement that the Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO) is to be shut down. The news follows a high-profile campaign by CAAT and other groups for the closure of DESO, a Government unit whose purpose is to promote sales for private arms companies, despite being funded with taxpayers' money. CAAT hopes that with the closure of DESO, the undemocratic power of arms companies in the UK will be brought to an end.
In a press release AXA announes to pull out investments of companies that produce anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions. This is surprising good news from the Paris headquarters of this bank-insurance company. For last years AXA has shown heavy reluctance to adopt stricter weapon investment policies.
For more information: http://www.netwerkvlaanderen.be/en/
For the past ten years San Francisco Bay Area-based CorpWatch has been educating and mobilizing people through the CorpWatch.org website investigating multinationals that profit out of war, fraud, environmental and human rights abuse. It a very good resource on war profiteers, you can now read their annual report at: http://corpwatch.org/article.php?id=11314
This year long with their in-depth investigative reporting, CorpWatch supported three films on war profiteering and helped arrange whistleblower testimony to four Congressional hearings.
Tuesday, July 3 - Nine legal shareholders of Alliant Techsystems stock were denied entry to the annual shareholders meeting and arrested when they refused to leave. Images and report at: http://www.alliantaction.org
A new public opinion poll, has found that a majority of Iraqis oppose plans to open the country's oilfields to foreign investment. 63% of respondents said they would prefer Iraq's oil to be developed and produced by Iraqi public sector companies rather than foreign multinationals. The US government has been pressing Baghdad to pass an oil law by September but most Iraqis say they do not feel adequately informed about the law. Meanwhile UPI is reporting a top member of the Iraqi prime minister's party says the new oil law should be delayed until U.S. occupation forces leave Iraq.
Arms Fairs are the trade exhibitions for military industry which are an integral and important part of the international arms trade. They happen all over the world, from Paris to Jakarta and provide arms companies with a forum for marketing their goods and services, and an opportunity to discuss collaboration on military projects.
The annual WRI seminar and Council meeting will take place in Israel in 2007,from 23-26 August. The theme of the seminar will be on militarism and gender.
The Gender and Militarism Seminar will bring together activists and academics from all over the world to study the mutual connections between militarism and gender. The seminar is organised by War Resisters' International together with the Israeli feminist antimilitarist movement New Profile, and will be followed by the annual meeting of the WRI International Council.