During the Days of Protest for Peace and Disarmament, actions were carried out in almost 50 German cities and thousands of signatures were collected.
The days of protest from 1 to 4 November 2018, organised by the national initiative “disarm instead of rearm”, have not yet ended. Some actions in different cities will last until 10.11.2018. In many places they were actively supported by trade unions. The cooperation at national level in the initiative “disarm instead of improve” continued in many places. This action was supported by the two big networks of the peace movement “Cooperation for Peace” and the Committee of the Federal Peace Council.
The days of protest were held almost exactly one year after the foundation of this initiative and more than 120,000 signatures had already been obtained on the days of action. Among the first signatories were four trade union leaders, the presidents of major environmental associations, scientists, including a German Nobel laureate, church leaders*, politicians from various parties and peace activists. The exact list of initial signatories can be found at https://abruesten.jetzt/
Some of the first points of this successful action can already be mentioned:
We have intervened actively and with commitment in the budgetary debate of the German Bundestag, we have said no to armament, to mad increases in the armament budget to 85 billion. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, the defence budget is expected to increase by 11.8%, and no other budget line even has an approximate increase in this percentage.
In thousands of debates we have been able to point out the link between armaments and social affairs, we have made it clear time and again that every euro can only be spent once, either on armaments and war or on the people. Never in recent years have we had such a coordinated offensive of national dialogue from the peace movement towards the people of our country.
In almost 50 places in the republic, actions took place in the streets. They were often well-designed information booths with active collectors of signatures. Up to 1000 participants demonstrate the possibilities of decentralized actions. The “peace question” and disarmament were present in public.
In many places the collection was combined with rallies and demonstrations. In large cities, several hundred people participated in these events. Speakers from the peace movement and trade unions support the call for disarmament.
Several thousand were collected, in the end probably as many as 10,000 new signatures. The collection of signatures was welcomed with great sympathy and support from the population.
The days of protest have led us to take a good step forward. We were able to converse simultaneously with many people in many places and with an active presence. We were able to provide intensive information and clarification about the dangers and costs of updating. We have also shown in many small towns and villages that something is happening for peace. The actions of local peace alliances in the streets and squares were supported by committed people from trade unions, environmental associations and Christian initiatives. Members of various political parties and movements were present and actively supported our protests.
For future actions we need many more participants and even better cooperation. Peace, climate and environmental protection go hand in hand. Disarmament frees funds to finance the International Climate Fund. By calling for an end to arms exports and wars, we are making the causes of leakage a problem. Every euro can only be spent once on education, schools, science, health and care or on arms and war. We need a new policy of détente in Europe and also with Russia. These common positions are shared by many millions of people. Let us build on this foundation and move even more active street activities into public space over the next few years. Let us take advantage of the good experiences of the protest days for wider and more central actions.
Anti-War TV Video: Representation of the Drone Attack on the Action Day “Disarm instead of Update” on 03.11.2018
Translated from Spanish by Pressenza London
Photo gallery by Reto Thumiger