This is the last issue of 2008, which has been a year full of events related to war profiteering. We have reported on many successful actions, as again we do with this issue with the disarmament action in Sweden. The last part of the year has been dominated by the financial crisis in the world - a financial crisis in many ways due to the way the system favours big corporations whose priority it is to make their own shareholders richer and nothing else.
Sweden has historically been a big weapons producer and exporter. For decades the Swedish peace movement have been working to end the Swedish weapons export. In spite of this the weapons export has dramatically increased lately. Since 2001 it has tripled and today Sweden is the second biggest weapons exporter in world per capita. Swedish weapons go to countries at war like the US, to dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and human rights abusers like Bahrain.
The verdict will be slow in coming. There are several things to be optimistic, shall we say, “hopeful,” about when it comes to confronting the corruption, fraud, waste, and deceit of war profiteers – and, not surprisingly, there are many reasons to doubt that we’ll see any real change after all. I am genuinely torn as to what to expect. If Obama follows through on his positive programs, life will be much more difficult for military contractors.
Students at the New School in New York City, USA, have joined those fighting for justice around the world by occupying their campus. They are demanding the administration honour their rights as students to shape the University in their own interest. They are standing up to the corporate and military powers that are reshaping education across the country. From tuition hikes at CUNY to investing in war industries, it's time to take the schools back!
For more information: http://www.newschoolinexile.com/
On 15 November and as part of the "Decentralised Day of Action - War Starts from Europe", activists from KEM-MOC Bilbao blockaded ITP (Industria de Turbopropulsores), one of the leading Basque factories which produces engines and turbines for the military industry, mainly military planes and helicopters. The activists blocked the door with chains and used red paint symbolizing the blood and destruction that the ITP products cause around the world.
With tips and case studies on working with local media, setting up a group, online campaigning, challenging arms companies, effective lobbying and more, this is a useful tool for anyone who wants to make a real impact through local campaigning.
Download it from: http://www.caat.org.uk/getinvolved/local/LocalCampaignsGuide2008.pdf
Citigroup, operating as Citi, is a major financial services company based in New York City. Formed by the 1998 merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group, the company employs 332,000 people around the world and holds over 200 million customer accounts in more than 100 countries.
18 December 2008:
Day of action for the release of Israeli conscientious objectors
The Jewish-American group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) has announced
a solidarity campaign with the Shministim, a group of Israeli high
school students who refuse to serve in the Israeli military because of
the occupation of Palestinian Territories. Historian Howard Zinn, a
member of JVP’s Advisory Board, asked tens of thousands of JVP
supporters to help secure thousands of letters to the ISraeli Minister
of Defense on behalf of the Shministim.