Global Day of Action on Military Spending: London 14 April
- See video of Stuart Parkinsons contribution here
- See more pictures of event here
- Read more about other events here
- Report from Columbans here
Pax Christi joined with other peace and environment groups today in Central London to symbolically redistribute the £38 billion military budget to government departments with greater needs. Today, the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) it was announced that world military expenditure totals $1.75 trillion – UK military expenditure is £38 billion. The UK has the 6th largest militry budget in the world.
The action in London, where speakers included Bruce Kent of Pax Christi, Kate Hudson of CND, John Hilary of War on Want and Stuart Parkinson of Scientists for Global Responsibility (via video link) was created to
hand over cheques for a share of that £38 billion military budget to overseas development, health, environment and climate change and international cooperation, to respective ministries. Letters were also presented inviting each Minsters of State to meet with the NGOS to see
how together a case could be made for reallocation of military spending towards projects investing in human needs and sustainable development, both nationally and internationally.
Pat Gaffney of Pax Christi urged those taking part to work all year around to make links between issues of conflict, poverty and the destruction of the environment. These are the real security threats that our world faces. Investing resources and research in these areas rather than in military models of security will make the world a more just and safer world for all. Similar actions took place in Oxford, Coventry, Leeds, Bristol and other cities and in Latin America, Asia, Africa, North America and throughout Europe.
Bruce Kent and Sir Malcolm Rifkind debate Trident renewal at launch of Scrap Trident Tour
A vigorous debate took place on 31 March, hosted by the Religious of the Assumption, Kensington, with Pax Christi and CND, about the morality, legality and costs of the renewal of the Trident nuclear programme. Sir Malcom Rifkind, former Secretary of State for Defence and Foreign Secretary spoke of the headway that had been made in disarmament – at one time the world had 63 thousand nuclear warheads it now has 20 thousand, but stressed that disarmament must be multilateral. He argued against unilateral disarmament saying that nuclear weapons can create a balance and a discipline between countries – they can in some way hold the peace.
Bruce Kent, vice president of CND and Pax Christi argued that nuclear weapons increase insecurity and uphold a willingness to commit mass murder. While we invest and depend on them we ignore the real threats to security today: climate change, flooding, civil unrest because the unjust economic systems we live with. He also reminded the audience that the British nuclear programme is not independent but tied to US satelite and other technology.
The meeting was chaired by Pat Gaffney of Pax Christi
A full report from Elena Curti of The Tablet can be found here
- An account of Bruce Kent’s presentation can be found here
- Report of event in Portswood, Southampton here
- Pax Christi’s new leaflet on the Catholic Church and Nuclear Weapons can be found here