This issue of The Broken Rifle looks at actions against sites such as military bases, weapons production plants and state borders, and the role that they play in the preparation and implementation of war and militarism.
In 2016 the UK government will finalise the decision to build a new nuclear weapons system to replace the present Trident system (http://actionawe.org/the-trident-system/). The nuclear submarines that carry Trident are getting old, so the government has pledged to finalise contracts to replace them in 2016 in order to build a new generation of nuclear weapons at an estimated cost of £76–100 billion. This is more than the current planned public spending cuts of £81 billion. If the contracts go ahead, the warheads would be designed and manufactured at AWE (Atomic Weapons Establishment) Aldermaston and Burghfield, in Berkshire, about 50 miles west of London ( http://actionawe.org/awe-burghfield-maps-gates/ ).
Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture of Japan, consisting of some 160 islands with a population of approximately 1.4 million, is known as kichi no shima or military base islands. While Okinawa consists of only 0.6% of all the Japanese landmass, 74% of US military bases in Japan are concentrated in the prefecture. At present, further militarisation of Okinawa is taking place and Okinawan people are putting up a stern opposition to it. With a brief background of the militarisation of Okinawa, I would like to highlight two recent developments: the construction of a US military airport in the Henoko/Oura Bay area and the construction of six helipads at Takae in Yanbaru Forest.
The Island states of Africa often get forgotten. The word “the continent” somehow leaves them out. And this is a serious conceptual error when it comes to scrutinizing the US military presence in Africa.
On 9 August, an estimated 5,000 people marched to protest against a new United States satellite communications base under construction in Niscemi, Sicily. At the conclusion of the march, a lot of them invaded the base to free eleven peace activists who had climbed antennas inside the day before. This was the latest popular initiative against the US Navy’s project to deploy in Sicily one of the four ground stations for their Mobile User Objective System (MUOS).
The 'War against Drugs' erupted in Mexico at the end of 2006 when Felipe Calderón, just 10 days into his presidency, launched the joint operation 'Michoacán' to fight organised crime. It has resulted in at least 60,000 deaths from executions, confrontations between gangs of narcotrafficers and battles with federal forces.
Small Actions, Big Movements: The Continuum of Nonviolence, the WRI's International Conference co-hosted by the Ceasefire Campaign, will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, 4 - 8 July 2014. The other supporting organisations in South Africa are Embrace Dignity, working against the exploitation of prostitution and sex-trafficking, and the Action Support Centre, based in Soweto, which is the African regional hub of a global network of organisations and individuals committed to transforming conflict.
This year, WRI's Council meeting will be held as an electronic meeting. It will be held between Thuresday 20th and Monday 30th September. We'll use a mixture of formats including webinars, videos, conference calls, forums and online 'cafe' spaces, to make the meeting interesting and engaging! We hope that many members of WRI's sections and affiliates will take part. More information of how to join these conversations will follow.