In Canberra, the Global Day of Action on Military Spending will be marked with a Speak Out outside the headquarters of the Department of Defence at Russell Hill
12.30 - 1.30 pm Tuesday 12 April 2011
Blamey Square, Russell, ACT
Elsewhere in the world, people from more than 30 countries will participate in this first ever Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Actions will also include a protest in front of the White House, actions at the United Nations in New York, a march in Kampala, a demo in Dhaka, a social forum in Seoul and much more.
The global action coincides with the annual release of the latest stats on global military expenditure by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
In 2010-11 Australian military spending will be $26.8 bill, a sum which, thanks to PM Rudd's 2009 Defence White Paper is committed to increase by 5.5% annually for the next 18 years.
In 2009 global╩military╩spending totaled 1.5 trillion $US. Even in the midst of a global economic crisis, military spending has increased, with the US responsible for nearly half of all expenditures.
"War brings neither peace nor climate justice. This spending is╩taxes╩wasted on a massive scale at a time when the world needs massive resources to deal with the collective crisis of climate change," said Canberra Speak Out organiser, Graeme Dunstan of Peacebus.com.
Other speakers will include Dr Sue Wareham OAM and Dr David Johnson.
Sue Wareham is a Canberra GP who has been very active in the Medical Association for Prevention of War, of which she is the immediate past president and currently ACT Coordinator. MAPW advocates for the abolition of all weapons of mass destruction and for the prevention of armed conflict.
"As the devastating costs of warfare - in human, environmental and economic terms - become ever more apparent, warfare becomes increasingly counter-productive in resolving the major threats we face," said Dr Wareham.
"We need an alternative approach to Australian security but meanwhile Australia's military spending rises, and the government is actively promoting militarism in our society and in many different ways."
David Johnson is a Quaker and nonviolence activist and he has seen the effects of war in many countries. He was a negotiator for the Campaign to Ban Landmines in several countries in SE Asia, and Co-Chair of the major land mine banning meeting in Kunming, China in 2004.
"War is spiritually wrong, pragmatically untenable, and financially irresponsible," said Dr Johnson. "Strategic nonviolent action has proved a much better way to achieve social change and democratic reforms."
"Nonviolent action has three major benefits: it minimises the loss of life, it causes minimal destruction of infrastructure, and it leads to a more stable community with much less revenge and bitterness."╩
"Now is time to stop spending vast money on advanced weaponry and move to a sustainable, nonviolent way of resolving issues."
Global Day of Action on Military Expenditure
Graeme Dunstan, Peacebus.com 0407 951 688
Dr Sue Wareham, MAPW
firstname.lastname@example.org, 0431 475 465
Dr David Johnson, Silver Wattle Quaker Centre,╩02 6238 0588