Imagine a World Without Arms….
Imagining a world without arms was just one of the inspiring things we did at Conversations About the Arms Trade. Overflow, Open Heaven’s social justice group, organised the event as part of our Study War No More campaign. The campaign has two main aims:
- To help members of Open Heaven learn more about the global arms trade and some of the problems it is creating in our world.
- To see Loughborough University reduce the amount of research it does that has connections to the global arms trade.
Yoy can read the campaign’s full aims (six of them) by reading Overflow’s Dummies Guide to the Arms Trade.
As a group we are concerned that, in its current form, the arms trade is centred on maximising profit for private companies rather than being centred on creating peace in the world. We are also concerned that our university is more involved in this process than we would like it to be through research it is paid to carry out by military and military-industrial organisations. We would like to see the university adopt an ethical policy which refocuses its efforts on research which will bring about peace in the world and help to solve social and environmental problems.
The event was a chance for people to get to grips with some of the issues surrounding the arms trade and included opportunities to listen to experts on the subject speak and ask questions.
Alun Morinan of Campaign Against Arms Trade, a national campaigning organisation whose name sums them up, was the first speaker. Alun spoke about CAAT's work with Friendship of Reconciliation to create the Study War No More campaign. In 2006 CAAT and FOR conducted research into the amount of military and military-industrial funding that had been received by universities between 2001 and 2006. They found that Loughborough University had the second highest number of military/military-industrial funded projects and the fifth highest amount of funding. Since that time a number of groups in university towns across the UK have been campaigning to ensure their respective universities adopt ethical policies concerning their funding.
Open Heaven’s own Brian Wakley, who heads up CORD, was the second speaker of the evening. CORD is an international charity which works with people in areas of the world which have experienced conflict to help them rebuild their lives sustainably and peacefully. Brian spoke on the topic of ‘Imagine a World Without Arms…’ He encouraged us to think about where we choose to place our sense of security. Do we trust in an ever-increasing number of arms or do we trust in God and work to solve the problems we have with others in a peaceful, prayerful and humble manner?
If you missed the event and you’d like to know more there are a few things you can do:
- Get hold of the Powerpoint presentation used by Alun Morinan by sending an email to Caroline Harmon.
- Download Overflow’s Dummies Guide to the Arms Trade. It takes about ten minutes to read and explains what the arms trade is, what it isn’t, the role Loughborough plays in this trade and how you can get involved in our campaign.
- Borrow The No-Nonsense Guide to The Arms Trade from the Open Heaven library. Perfect if the Dummies Guide has whetted your appetite.
- Find out more about CAAT’s work at www.caat.org.uk and find out more about CORD’s work at www.cord.org.uk.
- Find out more about the Study War No More Campaign at www.studywarnomore.org.uk. Sign up to Overflow’s Study War No More campaign by visiting www.facebook.com and searching for ‘Loughborough Study War No More’.
- Come along to Overflow’s next meeting and help us to plan the next stage of our campaign. Overflow’s next meeting is at the Swan-in-the-Rushes pub (opposite the Amber Rooms and behind Sainsburys) on Sunday 22nd November at 1:30pm.
Posted by: Caroline Harmon on Monday Nov 23rd, 2009
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