Archive: 04/2011

Global Day of Action on Military Spending

April 12, 2011

For decades, the “Stockholm International Peace Research Institute” has annually issued what is regarded as the foremost assessment on global military spending. On Tuesday, April 12—the release date of the Institute’s 2011 statistical report—“A Global Day of Action on Military Spending” is being held around the world to to focus international attention on the $1.6 trillion now being annually squandered on war-making. Conceived by the Nobel Prize-winning “International Peace Bureau” (the oldest international peace federation, founded in 1891) and the Institute for Policy Studies (based in Washington, D.C.), the global day of action has been endorsed by host of U.S. organizations, including Peace Action, Pax Christi, FOR, Global Exchange, the National Priorities Project (and our own Nebraskans for Peace).

The biggest culprit in this costly (and deadly) enterprise is, of course, the United States.

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Chiapas 2011

Bob Epp, NFP State Board

Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan erupted, only sporadic attention has been paid to the countries to our south. Even the Peace & Justice community has seemingly lost interest in this part of the world. Yet, as it is the source of what has recently become America’s so-called ‘immigration problem,’ this region merits more attention than ever. So when I had a chance to be part of a “Work and Learn” delegation to Mexico the first two weeks in January, with a little prodding, I took it. We would be spending most of our time in Chiapas—an area I hadn’t been to for at least 15 years.

The ‘work’ half of the trip consisted, initially, of painting the concrete walls of the home base of an organization working to bring together cultural and religious groups that have historically been at odds with each other. In addition to its ‘on the ground’ mediation efforts, the group is seeking to expand its agenda into influencing public policy. Later on, we built benches for a primary school that serves children of underprivileged families in Cuernavaca.

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