©Picture from Icy and Sot www.icyandsot.com
Given the numerous crises facing the planet – the environment, the economy, epidemics, mass poverty – is this the right priority for the use of public money? We say no: a massive reallocation is needed. There are thousands of organizations and millions of individuals who support this point of view – what is needed is a serious mobilizing effort to make it visible. For this reason we have launched a global movement calling for the transfer of military money to human needs.
Every year since 2011, in mid-April, we have been organizing the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) to coincide with the release of the annual world military expenditure figures by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). It is also timed to tie in with Tax Day in the U.S., when Americans pay their taxes and debate their use.
On the Global Day, people on all continents join together in collaborative actions to focus public, political, and media attention on the costs of military spending and the need for new priorities. Such events help us build the international network around this issue, and reach new audiences.
Each location has a free hand to craft its own approach. It could be linked to a national, local, or international peace issue, such as on-going wars, anti-bases protests, arms trade deals, work against small arms, resources for nonviolent conflict resolution, a nuclear disarmament campaign, etc. It can also be linked to welfare cuts, hospital closures, reductions in pensions or development cooperation; or to the need to put money into tackling climate change.
We encourage groups and individuals to maximize the Global Day as an opportunity to connect up with each other across the sectors — peace, environment, development, labour, youth, faith-based, anti-poverty organizations and individuals who share our perspective. Our only specific request is to call attention to a common focus: the overall size of global military spending.
The number of actions are increasing each year. As for the types of activities: a whole range is possible — from physical actions: flashmobs, street theatre/demonstrations, banner displays, seminars, signature collections or concerts; to social media campaigns: Thunderclap; Selfies or groupies on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest; video productions on Youtube; or some combination.