14th April is the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. We passed a delightful day in Oxford city centre with Pax Christi, talking to people about money being wasted on renewing Trident (UK’s nuclear weapons) while services like healthcare are running dry and while little money is being invested in green energy, despite catastrophic climate change looming.
Through the use of buttons, we asked how people would rather redistribute the £40bn spent annually on defence.
A seesaw helped people grasp the concept of spending £100bn on useless illegal weapons rather than on the NHS. One child suggested, “that’s an expensive seesaw”… well we hope we planted a few seeds. We gave out postcards, asking people to write to their MPs; if the government knows we know how much they’re planning on spending in 2016 (having already spent £3bn on renewing Trident before being given the go-ahead), they might think twice. We want to push for a really public debate on nuclear weapons and security.
It was striking how, on a day of engaging with locals about spending on welfare instead of nuclear weapons, three people came up to us asking where the nearest sheltered housing facility is.
Of course, it wouldn’t be global if there hadn’t been events happening over the world; check out the map, or rather, plan of action.
See more photos at https://www.facebook.com/forepeace/photos_stream