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We don't buy Mercedes: Boycott cluster bombs!

About the campaign

Automobiles of the brand Mercedes are built by the Daimler AG. But Daimler does not only produce cars, but also weapons and other munitions. Via the EADS (European Aeronautics Defence and Space Company) and other investees Daimler is linked to the production of fightbombers and carrier systems for atomic weapons. Besides that Daimler also participate in the production of cluster bombs respectively missile carrier for cluster bombs. With 15% of the shares Daimler will be also in the future the biggest shareholder of EADS.
In the year 1990 the “Critical Shareholders of Daimler-Benz“ was founded with the Motto “Disarm Daimler” and renamed themselves in 2007 to become the “Critical Shareholders of Daimler” (KAD). The emphasis of their resistance lies in the campaign “We don’t buy Mercedes: Boycott cluster bombs!”
»We have to proscribe companies, which like Daimler and EADS profit from the production of Cluster bombs.«, explains Jürgen Grässlin, who is spokesman of the German Peace Society, spokesman of the Critical Shareholders of DaimlerChrysler and member of the Board of Directors of the Armaments Information Office.
Juergen Graesslin published also a few books about this topic. One of those is “The Daimler Desaster”. It is a story about the arrogance of power, a didactic play about megalomania. Finally, Jürgen Grässlin tells how a management driven by uninhibited ambition and overestimation of itself wants everything and loses almost everything. The shareholders, the employees and the customers are the damaged ones.
This campaign is prepared for a long struggle. »We will keep the campaign “We don't buy Mercedes: Boycott Cluster bombs! alive till Daimler/EADS has quitted his business with the death.«

Aims

The aim of this campaign is very clear. They want Daimler to abandon their investments in the arms industries, their emphasis is especially on the cluster bombs. “We don’t buy Mercedes: Boycott Cluster Bombs!” demands clearing vehicles instead of missile carriers. They want to raise a public awareness of the involvements of companies in arms trade. An other thing what they demand is a fund for the victims of cluster bombs.

Actions

They organise activities directly in front of the entrance to the Berlin Fairgrounds ICC where the general assemblies have been taking place for years. These include the distribution of the alternative reports, “In the Shadow of the Star”, in which we describe the dark sides of the Daimler business politics, which are ignored in the official business reports and shiny pamphlets, as well as offering the “Daimler Bloodcocktail” – KAD members are dressed as waiters and serve a symbolic blood-red juice to draw attention to the immoral armaments production and the inhuman Daimler/EADS arms exports.
In October 2007 activists from numerous peace organisations demonstrated at Mercedes establishments in ten cities. At the beginning of November 2007, the BUND youth organisation of Baden-Württemberg (Organisation for Nature and Environment Protection of Germany) laid out a gigantic cluster bomb field in the EADS city of Ulm.
The yearly direct actions focus in 2009 on the general assembly of the Daimler AG and the EADS N.V. As well as the IAA in Frankfurt.

Successes

According to the shareholders’ law, each shareholder has the right of speech, the right to obtain information and the right to make motions at the general assembly. The protest of corporation critics doesn’t have to stop at the entrance to the assembly – it can be carried into the assembly.
A first big success can already be recorded by the corporation critics: After receiving information about the involvement of the car and armaments producer in the weapons business, Unicef, the Children's Help Fund of the United Nations, refused to put DaimlerChrysler on the list of sponsors in the business year 2005. And Belgium was the first country to completely ban cluster bombs in February 2006. This positive development led to a forced discussion in Germany and put Daimler/EADS as a producer of cluster bombs in the middle of that public discussion.
An other big success for the whole scene of campaigns against cluster bombs is the signing from more than 100 states to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo. That took place in early December 2008. »It has to be criticised that the most important producer of cluster bombs - among them Russia, the USA, China, Israel and Pakistan – are missing in this convention.« explains Jürgen Grässlin. Nevertheless »the proscription of cluster bombs in Oslo is a very important step into the right direction«. Definitely this historical ban came not at last due to the big pressure by the peace- and human rights movements into force.

The campaign today...

As mentioned before this campaign will work till Daimler has completely given up his involvements in any arms company. Therefore it is still organising actions and meetings against Daimler. On their website they are calling to take part in the campaign and to subscribe a list of supporters.

List of Groups involved in the campaign:

-Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft - Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen
(DFG-VK) www.dfg-vk.de
-FRIEDENSZENTRUM e. V. Braunschweig www.crisis-prevention.info
-Informationsstelle Militarisierung e.V. (IMI)www.imi-online.de
-Kritische AktionärInnen Daimler (KAD) und Ohne Rüstung Leben (ORL)
-pax christi-Bewegung (deutschen Sektion) www.paxchristi.de
-RüstungsInformationsBüro (RIB e.V.) www.rib-ev.de
-Werkstatt für Gewaltfreie Aktion / Baden (WfgA) www.wfga.de

List of Companies against which they are working:

Campaign profiles

Information about war profiteers

This campaign was Campaign of the Month in the issue of Warpofiteers' News of Oktober 200, Nr. 15

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