Ian Pocock reports on London CAAT’s protest as part of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending
On Tuesday 12 April I took part in a protest London CAAT organised to coincide with the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Ten of us turned up outside the Treasury and stayed for an hour to engage with passersby and Treasury staff. A die-in halfway through the hour attracted a lot of attention and was an eye-catching way to make our point. Inventive chants such as Welfare not Warfare, A&E not BAE and Sure Start not War Start also helped, as did the loud-hailer. The latter allowed me to inform the public of the vast amounts of money the government is spending on the Afghanistan war and the Trident nuclear weapons system, as well as suggesting items this money could be better spent on.
The placards and leaflets backed me up with details of the money spent on the military and details of what this money could be spent on instead. For instance, UK military expenditure in 2010 was £38.954bn. This is equivalent to 1.5 million nurses or 1.34 million teachers. I know which I would rather the money is spent on. Also, in this time of austerity, the Ministry of Defence is only facing cuts of 8% while the average cut across all other departments is 18%.
All in all, it was an successful action and London CAAT will keep challenging the pernicious presence of the arms trade on our doorstep. Email londoncaat(at)riseup*net if you want to get involved.