War Starts Here – Let's stop it here

Marking, Blockading, Disrupting: European call for action against militarisation, war, and war infrastructure

Today we face the normalisation of war as an everyday political tool. But war dressed up as a democratic and humanitarian tool has not lost its deadly and destructive impact on people, societies, and livelihoods. For our governments, NATO, or the EU to fight their wars - which are fought in our name - our societies and our minds have to be conditioned for war and its silent acceptance.

We call on everyone to say no: All of us living in Europe are affected by war. Some of us by direct violence within the European countries and at the borders of Fortress Europe; all of us by being made silent accomplices to the atrocities at home and the fullscale wars far away. Both wars – those fought here and those fought far away - start here: they are being trained, supplied, recruited for, and propagated in our everyday lives. Weapons are being produced, infrastructure is militarised, the media and the education system normalise war and promote military values, ... Civil society serves the war effort through civil military cooperation: military tasks are increasingly outsourced to private companies while the Armed Forces are more often deployed at home.

But: If war starts here, we can stop it here. We call on everyone everywhere to take action by Marking, Blockading, Disrupting war and war infrastructure.

News on "War starts here"

21 Dec 2016
English

As we approach the end of 2016, we're looking back on what WRI has been up to this year - we thought we would share some of the highlights,as we look towards a 2017 of radical action against war and it's causes!

Bram, Luis and Javier, outside courtBram, Luis and Javier, outside courtEarly in the year, we were excited to hear the news that several members of WRI affiliates in Europe were found "not guilty!" in a trial that exposed the criminality of the DSEi arms fair. Javier, Bram and Luis travelled from Belgium to London in September 2015 to help blockade the entrances of the huge weapons fair alongside activists from the UK. At the end of the year, we were also relieved to hear that members of Spanish group AA-MOC had their charges dropped, following an action to disrupt a NATO training event in 2015.

In April, members of the WRI network travelled to Turkey to take part in a delegation, visiting Diyarbakir and towns effected by the curfews and armed conflict that has gripped the region. The delegation inspired a petition to the EU, and a speakers tour of European cities.

23 Nov 2016
English
Text originally sourced from the Corporate Watch website, with some adaptations for brevity. The original article was published under a Creative Commons 3.0 license.
 
The eviction of the Calais "jungle" migrant camp took place in early November 2016, and saw thousands of migrants who had gathered in the port town moved across France. The camp had become one of the best-known examples of how free movement in Europe is only an option for some, and shows us how a militarised border regime functions. New research by the Calais Research Network has found over 40 companies profiting from security guards, walls and fences, border technology, deportation and detention systems, police support, and police weaponry.

a research group formed in August 2016, and has compiled an expanded list of over 40 companies profiting from the border regime. These companies have an interest in building up A Combined Systems Penn Arms PGL-65 tear gas launcher, used by the CRS police in CalaisA Combined Systems Penn Arms PGL-65 tear gas launcher, used by the CRS police in Calais‘security’ in Calais and beyond, part of a flourishing industry surrounding everything from the privatization of lorry inspections to the manufacturing of tear gas canisters, and the constantly proliferating fences and walls along the highway.

23 Nov 2016
English

From 14th-20th November 2016, Auckland Peace Action – a grassroots group based in Auckland, New Zealand – disrupted a weapons expo and military conference held in their city with a 'Week of Peace', with activists blockading the entrances to the exhibition centre and meeting a visiting US warship with a peace flotilla. In 2015, the same expo was held in Wellington, where it faced similar resistance. The event links the arms industry with government agencies, and it's principle sponsor is Lockheed Martin.

On 16th and 17th November, over 500 arms dealers planned to meet for an annual gathering at the Viaduct Events Centre, and were met by a blockade of the entrances, with more than 100 people linking arms and disrupting several entrances to the building, despite violence from police and security. Aukland Peace Action estimated that only 130 delegates made it into the conference. The blockade included participants from a wide number of groups, including Pacific Panthers, No Pride in Prisons, Auckland Action Against Poverty, the Student Housing Action Group, Save Our Homes, Peace Action Wellington, the Quakers, Pax Christi, Racial Equity Aotearoa, Asians for Tino Rangatiratanga, the Health Sector Workers’ Network, Palestine Solidarity Network, West Papua Action Auckland, union members, climate activists, environmentalists, faith-based activists.

19 Aug 2016
English

Originally published in Le Sentier de la Paix, No 73, June 2016: http://agirpourlapaix.be/wp-content/uploads/SDLP73_V2.pdf

Translated by Lewis Sinkala

Eurosatory, the largest international war and repression trade show (also called the largest international land and airland defence and security trade show) took place in Paris from 13th to 17th June. Before the start of the exhibition, Agir pour la paix (a movement against violent conflicts) prepared several protests with the peace movements in France so as to denounce these crimes and inhumane gigantic profits that the armament sector generates. Whilst dozens of international delegates were doing their war and repression related shopping, several protests took place in Paris…

Eurosatory (or perhaps Euro-slaughter-y is more fitting?), the largest armament trade show in Europe, took place for a second time in Paris on 13th June 2016. After the DSEI (Defence & Security Equipment International) exhibition in London, it was indeed Paris’ turn to welcome the big guns of the weapons industry. A group of French activists called The Disobedients (les Désobéissants) organised and carried out non-violent protests both inside and outside of the exhibition. Notable moments included a symbolic blockage at the entrance where there were several other activists from the collective “no armament exhibition in Paris” who formed a die-in and a large group of French activists and a volunteer from Agir pour la paix climbing onto a tank which had been covered in fake blood whilst chanting “you have blood on your hands”!

28 Jun 2016
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War Profiteers News is a bi-monthly round up of news and activism against war profiteering. The June edition featured nonviolent activism from around the world against the arms trade, exploitation of natural resources, and profiting from occupied territories. You can read the articles here: http://www.wri-irg.org/en/publications/war_profiteers and sign up to recieve the email newsletter in your inbox here: http://lists.wri-irg.org/sympa/subscribe/warprofiteersnews

28 Jun 2016
English

Peace banners in EurosatoryPeace banners in EurosatoryThe Eurosatory arms fair took place in Paris this month. The 'Defence and Security' fair, one of the largest in the world, takes place every two years. For many years, opposition to Eurosatory took the form of one woman, Yvonna Kressman, faithfully standing outside on her own, over decades. Gradually the word has spread, and this year campaigners from Germany, England, Belgium and the Netherlands joined French antimilitarists and others to make sure it wasn't “business as usual” for the arms trade. There was significantly more disruption, protest and awareness-raising than ever before.

Read more...

16 Jun 2016
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This week the Eurosatory arms fair is taking place in Paris. The 'Defence and Security' fair, one of the largest in the world, takes place every two years. For many years, opposition to Eurosatory took the form of one woman, Yvonna Kressman, faithfully standing outside on her own, over decades. Gradually the word has spread, and this year campaigners from Germany, England, Belgium and the Netherlands joined French antimilitarists and others to make sure it wasn't “business as usual” for the arms trade.

08 Jun 2016
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Today we're into the third day of a blockade of the Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire, Britain.

The construction gate is hosting an impromptu pop-up peace camp! Here's Tristi from France explaining why she's travelled here - joining WRI members from Trident Ploughshares, DFG-VK (Germany), AKL (Finland) and Agir Pour La Paix (Belgium).

08 Jun 2016
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During her time working as an intern at War Resisters' International, Taya Govreen-Segal, a consceintious objector, delivered a talk to the “Britain and Palestine: Past History and Future Role” conference, held at Sarum College, Salisbury, UK, on 13th February. Below is a transcript, providing detailed analysis of the role of the arms trade in the ongoing occupation of Palestine.

I am going to assume that you already know about the violation of human rights in the West Bank and Gaza, that you've heard about the occupation, the military rule and siedge, and focus on one of the forces profiting from this situation and maintaining it: the arms trade.

Gaza, summer 2014, source: activestills.orgGaza, summer 2014, source: activestills.org