With this issue we celebrate the first year of the War Profiteers' News - an effort by War Resisters' International to provide resources for and about campaigns against war profiteering. We hope you find it a valuable resource.
One of the main sections of the newsletter is the “War Profiteer of the Month”. In this past year we have profiled:
- a company providing services to the military - Sodexho;
- big arms manufacturers - Lockheed Martin and Alliant Techsystems;
- a corporation profiteering from the Colombian conflict - Monsanto, fumigators;
- mining corporations with dirty hands in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – the Forrest Group; and
- a financial institution investing in arms production- AXA.
In this issue we focus on the a rapidly growing business - private military contractors who provides “professional” killers.
Through all these profiteers we can show how far-reaching and diverse are the activities of corporations that depend on war profits.
With our section “The Campaign of the Month” we have shown the different strategies used by the resistance to these corporations. The campaigns so far presented use various strategies. Some focus on boycotts, but that only works with corporations who produce goods for civilian consumption. Other organise direct action trying to disrupt the functioning of the corporations. Others present public reports to get media attention, to make the public aware and damage the corporations images. A successful campaign will benefit from a combination of these, plus tactics we have not yet covered. We hope that we can learn from each others work.
In the last two issues we have provided tools for the development of campaigns against war profiteers, with resources on how to carry on research on the companies you are or want to campaign against, and also looking at how to develop campaign strategies.
We have also had an issue focusing on war profiteering in the DR Congo, and have brought reports from conferences and meetings of the network where we meet to work against war profiteers. The newsletter with its section “Upcoming Events” has promoted these different events organised by the network - for that we need you constantly to keep us informed about what you are doing for us to include it, so please write to us.
We hope this coming year will be full of good news to report of successful campaigns, like those we report in this issue - that Reed Elsevier will stop organising the DSEi arms fair.
Finally let me mention our response to the AXA statement. After we sent AXA the May newsletter, they asked for the right to reply and for us to publish their statement. This we are doing, together with our response to the statement. Their statement comes as an attachment: I encourage you to read it and judge for yourself.