Friends and Supporters of Article 9,
are pleased to send you some information about the Global Article 9
Campaign to Abolish War's recent activities and related developments.
|INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT PROTESTS AT NATO FOR ITS 60TH ANNIVERSARY
On April the 4, 2009, heads of states and governments will meet to celebrate NATO's 60th anniversary in Strasbourg and Baden-Baden at the German-French border.
address and counter the NATO summit, national and international groups
working for peace, human rights and social justice will come together
to bring up NATO's war policies and question the very existence of the
military alliance, as peaceful and just solutions to conflict cannot be
found through military means.
The international peace movement is currently organizing a wide range of activities, including
- an international conference (April 3-5)
international congress will analyze NATO politics and strategy as well
as discuss alternatives to NATO. This shall serve the peace movement to
prepare long term actions.
Find the program here
- a demonstration (April 4)
This international protest against NATO will take place in a colorful, manifold, enormous and peaceful way.
- civil disobedience actions (April 4)
networks and activists from the peace and anti-war movement from
several European countries carry different forms of action and
expression to block access to the NATO summit.
Find more about it here.
- as well as an international peace camp (April 1-5)
village of resistance will be able to host up to 8000 people.
Festivals, concerts, workshops and other kind of cultural events will
take place throughout the week.
For more information about the peace camp, click here.
members of the Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War are part of the
International Coordinating Committee " No to war - No to NATO". We
encourage many of you to participate in the events, protest against
NATO's military and nuclear policies, and carry the colors of the
Global Article 9 Campaign by asserting our vision of a peaceful, just
and sustainable world that does not rely on force.
Visit the "No to War - No to NATO" website for information about the events, here.
the Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War's Secretariat to inquire
how you can represent the campaign during the events at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|THE GLOBAL ARTICLE 9 CAMPAIGN JOINS THE CALL FOR A PACIFIC FREEZE
year ago, a number of groups among the U.S. peace movement and the
Asian-American community came together to build on the momentum of the
Six Party Talks and call on the participating countries to freeze and
reduce their military spending.
initiative, called the Pacific Freeze Campaign, not only aims to bring
Asian issues into the U.S. peace movement and support peace efforts in
Northeast Asia, but also to launch a campaign of global significance
that addresses the dangerous escalation in global military
Indeed, together, the six
countries (United States, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea, and North
Korea) are responsible for nearly 65% of global military spending.
Despite the talks for peace in Northeast Asia, they are also the
fastest growing military powers in the world.
freeze on military spending is just a start. Reducing military budgets
- as well as freezing arms exports and imports to the region, stopping
the construction of new military bases, and halting the construction of
new weapons systems - will also be critical components of a collective
peace and security system for the region.
the leadership of Foreign Policy in Focus, Institute for Policy
Studies, peace groups in all six countries have been building their own
Pacific Freeze campaigns and coalitions according to their own specific
The Global Article 9 Campaign to
Abolish War has endorsed the Pacific Freeze Campaign and contributes to
this important initiative by advocating for the preservation of the
Japanese peace constitution and its national and regional significance,
including its global impact of Article 9 in regards to human rights,
disarmament, nuclear weapons abolition, conflict prevention,
development, the environment, and other global issues.
in July 2005, the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed
Conflict (GPPAC) declared, in its action agenda for North East Asia,
that "Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution has been the foundation
for collective security for the entire Asia Pacific region."
the Global Article 9 Campaign adds its voice the Pacific Freeze
Campaign's call that the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on
preparing for war must urgently redirected towards improving the lives
and welfare of millions of people in order to achieve human security in
the region and globally.
Read the Pacific Freeze's Call to Action, here.
Visit the Pacific Freeze Campaign's website, here.
| SECURITY WITHOUT EMPIRE: PROJECT ON U.S. MILITARY BASES
February 27 - March 2, more than 200 activists, scholars, and students
from the United States and eleven other nations gathered at the
national organizing conference of the Project on Military Bases held at
the American University in Washington, D.C.
Made of 17 U.S. organizations, the Project on Military Bases aims at
strengthening and integrating networks of organizations working for the
closure and withdrawal of foreign military bases, as well as at
developing common strategies that address the destructive impacts of
U.S. military bases in the U.S. and abroad.
while the exact number of US bases is unknown, the Pentagon has a
global network of over 1000 bases overseas (in addition to those in the
U.S.), with 268 in Germany; 124 in Japan; 87 in South Korea; 89 in
Italy; 57 in the Britain to cite just a few.
on the unprecedented scale of U.S. foreign military presence, a number
of participants from so-called "host" countries spoke of the negative
impact that US bases have on their communities, including violence
against women, environmental contamination, health consequences and
violations of human rights.
described how discontent with the presence and impact of U.S. military
bases on their soil has inspired citizens to run campaigns for their
closure. The delegate from Ecuador shared how for years, human rights
and peace groups lobbied against the base in Manta and eventually
succeeded in having a ban on all foreign military presence included in
the new Ecuadorian constitution. Movements are also active in Guam,
Italy, Korea, Okinawa, Porto Rico, and beyond.
working for the closure of specific bases, or all of them for that
matter, participants underlined that military installations are the
manifestation of a militarized state of the world, thus militarism
itself must be addressed and challenged.
keynote speaker Phyllis Bennis from the Institute for Policy Studies
encouraged in her final address, the issue of military bases is closely
connected to many other major issues -from the environment and energy
policy to torture, violence against women, war profiteering, and
affordable housing. So, to address the issue of bases, we must reach
out and connect with activists in other movements and make the fight
against militarism a cross-cutting issue.
addition to plenary sessions and workshops, the conference comprised
strategy sessions, a vigil in front of the Pentagon, a lobbying day and
cultural events such as an anti-military fashion show.
This article is based on the initial report from the conference, that can be found here.
For information on the Project on Military Bases, visit its website here.
Picture Credit: AFSC/Project on Military Bases
|JAPAN DISPATCHES MARITIME SELF- DEFENSE FORCES OFF SOMALIA FOR ANTI-PIRACY MISSION
months of debate, Japan has dispatched two naval ships in waters off
the coast of Somalia to join multinational operations against piracy.
to opponents, sending Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces as part of
the anti-piracy mission is yet another step paving the way for more SDF
missions overseas and challenging the country's peace constitution.
while resisting US requests to send troops to Afghanistan, the
government has taken a number of controversial steps. In addition to
sending non-combat troops to Iraq from 2004 to 2008 and to refueling US
vessels in the Indian Ocean as part of the so-called war on terror,
Tokyo has sent two destroyers the Sea of Japan to monitor North Korean
missile activity and developed a multi-billion dollar ballistic missile
system with the US against a potential attack by North Korea.
military is slowly moving away from its traditional self-defense role
within its own borders, by redefining "national defense" to allow
troops to be sent abroad for new types of operations, mostly
characterized as policing activities.
The bill approved by the
government on March 13 authorizes the SDF to use weapons as part of the
anti-piracy mission, in contradiction with Japan's pacific constitution
that renounces the use of force and the deployment of forces abroad.
claim that invoking Article 82 of the Self-Defense Forces Law is a
distorted application of the text that clearly states that the purpose
of the SDF is to "deal with outside armed attacks", thus limiting their
deployment in waters near Japan. Moreover, the bill authorizing the
mission is unconstitutional, as it allows the SDF to use force for
protecting foreign vessels.
The fact that the government and the
opposition have jointly agreed to define Japan's SDF responsibilities
as a more frontline role in this mission indicates that major political
parties both believe the country should take a higher-profile role on
the world stage.
Most of Japanese civil society does not share
such political ambition, however, and many worry that this is the
latest attempt to re-interpret and move away from the original meaning
of Article 9 of Japan's peace constitution.
Thank you for your interest in and support for the
Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War.
| Newsletter Editor:
Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War / Peace Boat