COVID, SECURITY, AND MILITARISM
The Covid 19 pandemic has brought in focus the question of what security means both nationally and internationally. For people in all countries it is about health and a functioning local society. It is not about military build up and weapons.
Early in the Covid crisis the UN General Secretary called for a global ceasefire to allow war-torn countries the chance to focus on the threat of the infection. Nowhere was that a more pressing need than in Yemen where 5 years of bombing by Saudi Arabia destroyed its health care system. Yet Britain has continued to supply military equipment to the Saudi armed forces.
The increasing cost of Coronavirus will require decades to recover. Collectively, governments around the world are investing nearly two trillion dollars a year on militarism at the expense of public health infrastructure and other aspects of social wellbeing. The UK spends more than forty billion pounds a year on the military. Within this overall budget, the cost of the UK’s Trident nuclear weapon system remaining on continuous patrol is some £2 billion a year. This all creates a world equipped to fight wars, not pandemics or the continuing threat of climate catastrophe and massive unemployment.
The Scottish Peace Network is a network of groups in Scotland coming from a variety of different traditions which are united in opposing militarism and defending human rights. We oppose particularly the possession, use of or threat to use nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, and economic dependence on the production and trade of weapons systems. We call for an immediate cut of 50% in the UK military budget, along with the decision to not renew the Trident system, with the money saved being used to fund essential social services.
There are other groups from all regions of our planet-- and all cultures, ethnicities, and beliefs-- who feel this way. They meet up and take risks to make the words ‘Another World is Possible’ attainable. They work hard, are courageous, and deserve our recognition, respect, and support. Let us introduce you to some of these people from our part of the world…
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