War Profiteers News

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Issue number
86

Dear friends,

We are publishing War Profiteers News a second time this month, to include an article covering a referendum in Switzerland, where the public were asked whether they approved of spending billions on new fighter jets. A WRI affiliated organisation, Gruppe für eine Schweiz ohne Armee (Group for Switzerland Without an Army) led the opposition campaign. The government and military won a very narrow victory, with 49.9% rejecting the plans. Read more about the result here: https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2020/swiss-public-narrowly-backs-spending-…

In late September, members of the public in Switzerland took part in a referendum in which they were asked whether the state should commit to spending CHF6bn (US$6.49bn) on a fleet of new fighter jets. The spending plan was passed by just 9,000 votes, or 50.1% of the three million voters who took part.

FN Herstal (“Fabrique National Herstal”) is a Belgian arms company that specialises In producing rifles and handguns. The company was founded in 1889 and is owned - via a holding company called Herstal Group – by the regional government of Wallonia.

After a huge fire engulfed Moria, a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, authorities attacked migrants protesting the construction of a new camp on the island.

An independent report into arms deals conducted by the government of Niger has revealed that the country may have lost at least $137m due to corruption and malpractice over an eight year period.

$1,917,000,000,000. Or $1.9 trillion. Any way you write it, that’s a lot of money. All of which has been spent on militarism: on weapons production and development, on soldiers, on wars, on bases, on command and support systems, on repression.

On Monday 17th August 2020, five activists from the US-based WRI affiliate War Resisters League (WRL) blockaded the entrance of Combined Systems Inc., a leading tear gas manufacturer, with giant tear gas cans and gas masks.

On Monday 14th September a number of peace and human rights organisations in Belgium launched a new procedure at the Council of State, pushing for the suspension of all permits allowing companies to export weapons to Saudi Arabia.

The US air force has tested a new non-exploding fragmentation bomb, which it claims may be used as a "less-hazardous alternative" to cluster bombs.