|Webdiary - Independent, Ethical, Accountable and Transparent|
Stopping the War Fair
Last Sunday I was invited to a meeting of around twenty people in a tiny Adelaide office, and was proud to participate in the vote to adopt the name of the Stop the War Fair Committee. It's a rare collection of organisations and individuals determined to show the public not just of the Defence Capital but of the rest of the country, what they're participating in.
Here's the media release that came out today:
On November 11, the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day, a group of arms dealers and manufacturers from around the world will meet in Adelaide. Invited by the premier of South Australia, Mike Rann, they will be here for the Asia-Pacific Defence and Security Exhibition (APDSE) — the first major arms fair to be held in Australia since AIDEX in 1991.
Alongside major corporations, the governments of France, Germany, Israel, Italy, South Africa, Britain, and the United States have booked space. These countries represent the source of 80% of all military equipment used in conflicts throughout the world; conflicts in which ordinary people are killed, maimed, raped, made homeless and destitute every day.
Yet to the arms companies and their political allies this death and destruction is not about the suffering of people, but about a simple economic consideration: every bullet used makes some arms trader richer, every bomb dropped improves the bottom line of some “defence” company.
Now this global industry has identified the Asia-Pacific region as being the fastest-growing arms market in the world, and Australian governments and companies are keen to get in on the action.
The APDSE is part of Rann’s vision of turning Adelaide into the high-tech arms development and trade capital of the southern hemisphere.
Resources and skills that could be committed to fighting climate change, developing new health-care technologies, or creating environmentally responsible industries will be channelled into a trade in death and horror that will make a handful of corporations and politicians very rich, and thousands of civilians very dead.
We need to stop this nightmare vision before it begins.
Come to Adelaide
Large demonstrations against AIDEX in 1989 and 1991 helped stop federal government plans for further fairs and the development of Australia as an arms trade hub. The politicians may have forgotten, but the people haven’t, and it’s time to do it again.
From November 8–13 in Adelaide there will be a range of activities to protest the APDSE and the arms trade, and to promote a better world based on sustainability, respect, and freedom.
We invite all who believe in social justice and human rights to come to Adelaide and join together in opposition to the APDSE and everything it represents. Peace activists, workers, students, trade unionists, environmentalists, Indigenous groups, artists, community campaigners — come to Adelaide and raise your voice against the violence and immorality of an industry and economy based on death.