ACTION ALERT: April 26 — A Day to Confront the Waste of Military Spending

April 26th, 2021 - by Global Days of Action on Military Spending & Women's International League for Peace and Freedom & International Peace Bureau

26 APRIL: Global Day of Action on Military Spending

Cherrill Spencer / Disarm: End Wars @ Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

 (April 25, 2021) — Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) has jointed with the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) to issue a Call for Peace Campaign  promoting an on-going, world-wide effort to reduce military spending. For details, you can read this (scroll down to near the end).

Monday 26th April is the most important day of this year’s Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS), with several events taking place all across the world.

April 26, GDAMS will host press conferences in at least five cities. (in Seoul, Berlin, Rome, Barcelona and Bogotá, and press releases will go out in New Zealand, the Philippines, Finland and the UK.)

GDAMS will analyze the new data on military spending released that day by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and get our message into the media: We are demanding major reductions on defense budgets around the world and a refunneling of those funds to people and the environment.

Cherrill hopes we will see articles in the major media on 27th April so be on the look-out for them.

Here Are Some Simple Actions to Take on April 26

(1) Do Online Campaigning: join our social media storm on April 26; use your social media to help spread our message by sharing news, materials and actions; You can find instructions and materials here and on our Shared Folder (download some images from here).

On Monday, use your social media (Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram) to spread the word and draw attention to current staggering levels of military expenditures.

Here are some sample tweets you can copy and tweet from your account, or post on your FACEBOOK page:

•  The world spent $1.92 trillion on the military in 2019, a 3.6% increase over the previous year. We join with others around the world to demand major reductions of military spending at a crucial moment when we need to rethink where our priorities lie. #GDAMS

•  The military budget in 2020 was 272 times greater than the federal budget for energy efficiency and renewable energy. It’s time for us to reset our national budget priorities and address the climate crisis. #movethemoney #gdams

•  We will be using these HASHTAGS wherever in social media: #GDAMS  #DefundTheMilitary  #HealthcareNotWarfare  #EarthCareNotWarfare  #MoveTheMoney

(2)  Participate in the online events of the campaign, as the webinars organized by the International Peace Bureau (IPB), the Asian European People’s Forum (AEPF), or Pax Cristi Vlanderen

Here is a recording of a 20-minute explanation of why we MUST reduce our military spending by our National Priorities friends, on 15 April.  Succinct and full of good information for you to use in your letters to your congressperson.

(3)  Put pressure on your representatives and demand they make reductions of military expenditures. There are sample letters in our Call for Peace Resource guide #12 (see WILPF news article above to find a copy of guide #12). Or, you can do it here

So please take some action on Monday April 26th and remember: letters to your congressional reps are good to send over the next six weeks, while congressional committees are discussing the Pentagon appropriations budget.

GDAMS 2020, April 10 – May 9 – Healthcare Not Warfare

International Peace Bureau  

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has shown the world where humanity’s priorities should lie. This major attack on people’s security across the world shames and discredits global military expenditures and prove them an outrageous waste and loss of opportunities.

What the world needs now is to focus all means on vital security threats: healthy living conditions for everyone, which necessarily entails more just, green, peaceful societies.

The Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) 2020 bring attention to the vast opportunity costs of the current levels of military spending, 1’82 trillion US$ a year, almost $5 billion per day, $239 per person. When a minority of the global population decides to finance war preparations, we all lose the opportunity to fund policies that tackle our real security threats. 

The military could not and will not stop this pandemic. Such a crisis can only be addressed by supporting healthcare and other life-sustaining activities, not with military equipment and personnel prepared for war. The fact that military assets are being deployed during this crisis can be profoundly misleading: it doesn’t justify their bloated budgets, nor does it mean that they are solving this crisis. It shows quite the opposite: We need fewer soldiers, jets, tanks and aircraft carriers and more doctors, ambulances and hospitals.

For decades we have been wrong about our priorities, it’s time to (re)consider how military spending has taken a huge amount of public resources to provide a false notion of security that has nothing to do with people’s needs and rights to healthcare, education, and housing, among other essential social services.

It’s time to move the military budget to human needs. Major reductions in military expenditure would free up resources not only to provide universal healthcare, but also to tackle climate and humanitarian emergencies, which also take thousands of lives every year, especially in countries of the Global South, which are suffering the worst consequences of an economic model that has been imposed upon them.

Transferring resources to fund healthcare for all and climate and humanitarian relief would help prevent this from happening again and bail out the most affected communities. These resources could definitively come from the military budget, which has been given preference by decision-makers for decades.

We must ensure that such a major health crisis does not happen again. To do so, we must rethink international politics, reconsider the real threats to our security and provide public civil protection services with the funding they need to properly work. We also have to ensure that this crisis won’t be paid for by the most vulnerable, as has happened many times before. Reallocating defense budgets would help finance a much-needed transition toward more peaceful, just, and sustainable societies and economies.

During GDAMS 2020 (April 10 to May 9), we are rising up together, from Seoul to Toronto and from Sydney to Buenos Aires, to demand major reductions of military spending in order to fund urgent measures to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide human security for everyone.

Take Action to Move the Money from the Military to Health, Join GDAMS 2020!

•  Join our online campaign!

•  Use and share our statements and infographics

•  Sign and share IPB’s petition: Invest in Healthcare Instead of Militarization

•  Organize a webinar or a national press conference on April 27. So far we have confirmed Seoul, Sydney, Berlin, Barcelona, Washington DC, Buenos Aires, Rosario, Montevideo and Cucutá.

•  Contact online your local/national representatives/congresspeople and ask them to position themselves and support demilitarization and major reductions of military spending. ·

•  Use your social networks, stay active on social media debates, find allies, write an op-ed! How we understand and tell the story of this crisis as a society will define the measures to be taken afterwards.