Social instead of Military Spending!

In the context of the international campaign «Poetry Against Arms» (http://www.poetry-against-arms.world/) and the Global Campaign on Military Spending (http://demilitarize.org/), we organized on Sunday 23/04/2017 in Athens, Greece, the action «Social instead of Military Spending», in front of the Greek Parliament, the organisations: World Without Wars and Violence (http://www.kosmosxorispolemous.gr/), Association of Conscientious Objectors (http://www.antirrisies.gr/), Service Civil International Hellas (http://sci.gr/), and the feminist collective The Purple (https://tomov.gr/).

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Facebook event for our action in Greece: https://www.facebook.com/events/292857114481828/

Facebook event for the actions worldwide: https://www.facebook.com/events/1839407139658848/

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With central demand the decrease of the military spending and the increase of the social spending, we put on white masks highlighting that we are not invisible, we opened up a huge banner “There are money – there are not”, we planted flowers in military helmets with the peace sign painted on them and we recited relevant poems.

Ποίημα «Τα σύνορα και οι στρατιώτες» του Νικηφόρου Βρεττάκου από τη Μαριλένα Λιβανού

Χρειάζονται οι στρατιώτες για να φυλάνε τα σύνορα.
Τα σύνορα χρειάζονται για να υπάρχουνε οι στρατιώτες.
Τα σύνορα και οι στρατιώτες για να μην αφήνουν
να κάνουν τη δουλειά τους οι νόμοι του ήλιου κι η ποίηση.

Ποίημα “Απόκριση” του Νικηφόρου Βρεττάκου από τη Μαρία Κολιάκου

Ο ήλιος μοιράζεται σε κομμάτια μέσα στους ποιητές.
Είναι το αντίδωρο που ο Θεός διανέμει στους εντολείς του.
Συμμετέχουμε στην υπόθεση του φωτός.
Ενώ φτιάχνουν εκείνοι, πουλούν, διακινούν
όπου γης κι όπου άνθρωποι όπλα
κι αποθηκεύουν αίμα σκοτώνοντας όνειρα
εμείς προσπαθούμε:
Να φτιάξουμε έναν ουρανό με λίγες λέξεις.

Our action took place with the opportunity of the launch of the annual report on world military spending of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) (https://www.sipri.org/media/press-release/2017/world-military-spending-increases-usa-and-europe). According to this report, total world military expenditure rose to $1686 billion in 2016, an increase of 0.4 per cent in real terms from 2015, with increases in the West, Asia, Oceania and decreases in oil-exporting countries.

The top 10 spenders in 2016: 1. USA (small increase since 2015); 2. China (significant increase); 3. Russia (moderate increase) 4. Saudi Arabia (significant decrease); 5. India (significant increase); 6. France (aprox. no change); 7. UK (aprox. no change); 8. Japan (small increase); 9. Germany (small increase); 10. South Korea (small increase).

Top 10 increases 2007-2016: Niger (277%); Gambia (249% to 2015); Mali (228%); Cambodia (202%); Republic of Congo (195%); Algeria (169% to 2014); Hondorus (160%); Tanzania (160%); Democratic Republic of Congo (159%); Namibia (146%).

Top 10 decreases 2007-2016: Equatorial Guinea (-92%); Venezuela (-85%); Georgia (-68%); South Sudan (-55%); Fiji (-44%); Chad (-40%); Sudan (-40%); Madagascar (-37%); Slovenia (-37%); Greece (-35%).

For Greece, SIPRI’s estimate is that in 2016 the military spending increased at 4,497 bil. euros, from 4,462 bil. euros in 2015. Respectively, as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), SIPRI’s estimate for the military spending in Greece is that they increased at 2,6% in 2016, from 2,5% in 2015. Finally, as a percentage of the governmental spending, SIPRI’s estimate for the military spending in Greece is that they increased at 5,1% in 2016, from 5,0% in 2015.

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The total annual update of the SIPRI Database on Military Spending is accessible at the webpage www.sipri.org/databases/milex.

Many thanks to Giorgos Panagakis for the photos!

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