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Global Day of Action on Military Spending

Global Day of Action on Military Spending, 17 April 2012

Last year global military expenditure was $1,630 billion (US), on average nearly $4.5 billion a day. By way of contrast, an average of more than 24,000 children under the age of five die every day from mainly preventable causes - lack of access to adequate food, clean water and basic medicines. This is one of the prices paid, the collateral damage that is seldom talked about, for maintaining armed forces in a state of combat readiness around the world.

An invitation to take part in the second Global Day of Action on Military Spending, 17 April - there are two sections below:

1) Getting involved in the Global Day of Action, and
2) Background information.

This message is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/gdams12.htm

1) Getting involved in the Global Day of Action

Peace, social justice and human rights groups around the world are involved in the Global Day of Action and we will be joining together on 17 April to focus public, political, and media attention on the costs of military expenditure and the need for different spending priorities.

There are many ways that can get involved in the Global Day of Action, and here are some:

Add your organisation to the list of supporters: if you would like your organisation listed as a supporter of the Global Day of Action and of the urgent need to change spending priorities away from funding armed forces towards meeting human needs, please send your details to email pma@xtra.co.nz with 'Global Day of Action' in the subject line and we will add you to the list of supporting organisations at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/gdams12s.htm You can also add your organisation's name to the international Global Day of Action site, http://demilitarize.org if you wish.

Supporting individuals: you can add your name as an individual supporter of the Global Day of Action by RSVP'ing to the event listing on the Peace Movement Aotearoa Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/events/342424252461836

Help distribute the advertising flyer
: a flyer (which can be printed as A4, then cut to A5) is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/gdams12.htm - your help to distribute the flyer through your networks would be appreciated.

Organise an event: it would be great if you could organise an event in your local community to mark the Global Day of Action - you don't need to plan for something massive, having a small group with a placard or banner or street theatre in a public place, perhaps outside a health, education, refuge or other social service that has had a recent funding cut, would be fine. A public meeting or discussion with speakers from services that have recently been cut or that could put more funding to good use, or from organisations involved in overseas development assistance is another possibility.

It would be really helpful if you could let us know if you would like to organise something so we can put you in touch with others in your area who are also interested in being part of the Global Day of Action. If you would like to discuss your ideas, publicity, or any other support, we are happy to help - please email pma@xtra.co.nz with ‘Global Day of Action' in the subject line or phone us on 04 382 8129. Planning for events in Wellington, including street leafleting and a public forum on government spending priorities, as well as a national media strategy, are already underway.

The Global Day of Action this year is on the first day of the White Poppies for Peace Annual Appeal, so if you would like white poppies available for your event, please email whitepoppies@ymail.com with 'Request for poppies' in the subject line.

Resources: the A4 ‘Time for action on military spending’ poster and the ‘Time for action on military spending’ leaflet - which includes global and national military spending figures, some information about militarism and militarisation, and some questions about why NZ has armed forces - are available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/gdams12.htm Global resources are available on the international site at http://demilitarize.org/category/fact-sheets

2) Background information

The Global Day of Action was started by the International Peace Bureau, based in Geneva, and the Institute for Policy Studies, based in Washington DC, in 2011. The April date is chosen to coincide with the release of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's latest figures on world military expenditures.

Peace Movement Aotearoa has been the national contact in Aotearoa New Zealand for the Global Day of Action since its inception and is part of the Global Day of Action International Steering Committee.

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