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Working against war profiteers: Some examples of campaigns by War Resisters' affiliates and others

Serco is part of the consortium that runs Aldermaston. Since the company began its involvement with the British nuclear weapons programme, women from the Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp(aign) (AWPC) began organising a shareholder campaign.

As Serco Group plc is a huge and rapidly expanding company AWPC had expected their AGM to be a moderately impressive affair: not a bit! Whilst the coffee and apple Danish were pretty classy, and the atmosphere reeks of money, privilege and power, the meetings themselves are very small and short.

The first two meetings Aldermaston Women attended (2001 and 2002) consisted of a board of about ten people on the platform and an audience of about twenty people in a small conference room. They had no idea what to do with AWPC. Consequently, although there were only about five women from AWPC, they were able to hold the floor and rant about Aldermaston for about half an hour, get the meeting adjourned, interrupt it frequently, and end with a rousing poem and a colourful banner. The most recent AGM was held on 30 April 2004.

Both men and women are needed to take an active part in this aspect of our protest, though only women may become shareholders in the campaign and participate in the AGM (this reflects AWPC's desire to create a women-only action inside the AGM).

The Serco shareholder campaign is in its infancy and there are many avenues to explore and potential locations for applying pressure. As part of the resistance to Britain's nuclear weapons, Aldermaston Women will continue to investigate...

Contact: Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp(aign), www.aldermaston.net

Windrush Communications are the British company responsible for organising the Iraq Procurement Conferences. These regular events gather together multinational corporations and the US puppets that represent occupied Iraq, to "realise the enormous trade and investment potential of Iraq". That is, to plan and discuss the sell-off of Iraq's assets, properties and and resources, all in contravention of international law (Hague Regulations of 1907 and Geneva Conventions 1949).

Iraq Procurement conferences are sponsored by arms dealers, mercenaries and oil giants such as Erinys, Raytheon, Shell, Chevron and Bayer who meet to discuss the future of Iraqi agriculture and irrigation, finance and banking, infrastructure and construction, tourism, education, industry, oil and gas and transport."

A week of action is being called for 1 - 6 April to oppose the corporate plunder of Iraq.

Contact: http://corporatepirates.gzzzt.net/

For the past year, four Belgian organisations (one of them being WRI affiliate Forum voor Vredesactie) have been running the campaign 'My Money. Clear Conscience?'. This campaign denounced the fact that banks are using their clients' money to invest in the weapon industry.

During that year of campaigning, two reports have been released. These reports show the investments in (controversial) weapon systems by the 5 most prominent international banking groups in Belgium. They caused a lot of commotion within the Belgian public, press and financial sector. At this moment, the campaign has already reached some very important and concrete results and we expect some new positive evolutions in the near future.

Contact: http://www.netwerk-vlaanderen.be/actie/read.php?campaign=1&article=95&lang=en or http://www.vredesactie.be

The War Resisters League has decided to promote awareness of the Merchants of Death as a long-range strategy for resisting the new wars of the post-Cold War, globally corporatised world.

Specifically, WRL sees that friends and business associates of the present administration - companies like Halliburton, Bechtel, DynCorp and others - have found a way into the "new" Iraq, trying to cash in on the disaster that a brutal dictator, years of U.S.- and British-led sanctions, and an unprecedented "preventive attack" have created. Oil companies and pipeline firms have already gotten a foothold in Afghanistan. Introducing, financing, and maintaining these companies have come at an enormous cost to the people of the United States and elsewhere: U.S., Iraqi and Afghan lives lost; an increase in the likelihood of attacks against U.S. residents and other occupiers both at home and abroad; an explosion in the opium trade from Afghanistan; increasing outrage among our allies in the Muslim world, in Europe, and elsewhere; injustices to people of color both here and abroad; and the diversion of more and more domestic resources to pay for military occupation and corporatisation. Since it is we, the ordinary people of the United States, who will pay the ultimate price, it is essential that we know the true course of our foreign policy: Who it is our leaders are actually representing, and the real reason our soldiers are killing and dying.

Contact: War Resisters League, http://warresisters.org