GREECE: Women's, conscientious objectorsí and other anti-war groups target the military budget

Banners: No to armaments, No to nationalisms (Antinationalistic Antimilitaristic Initiative); No to armaments race, Yes to social expenditure (World March of Women); Your submarines are diving, Our pensions are sinking (Women Network, SYRIZA party)

Protest against the outrageous war expenditure

in front of the Ministry of National Defence, May 9, 2010 at 11 am


65 years since the end of World War II. The wars and the occupations continue.

The war expenditure is too high.


In the 65th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, humanity is not even close to peace, since dozens of wars are taking place across the planet, and arms sales worldwide increased by 21% over the last five years.


While the frugal measures of the government, the International Monetary Fund and the European Union take nightmarish dimensions, condemning millions of people, especially us women, to poverty, unemployment, exclusion and constant stress; at the very same moment of this greatest crisis, small Greece has a grievous record in Europe: it is first in military spending!


Worldwide, Greece occupies the fifth position in the import of weaponry and the 13th in war expenditure as a proportion of GDP, while this year of harsh frugality for the working classes, Greece will pay 10 billion euros for armaments and another 500 million euros for Greek missions abroad, namely the occupations. Along with this, the commissioning and the corruption of the supply of arms and munitions increase the bills and create powerful interest groups for the permanent fiesta of war expenditure to continue.


Greece and her neighbour Turkey are wasting their financial resources on outrageous military spending. Both governments, buying completely useless and unnecessary rockets, airplanes, submarines and tanks, sacrifice on the altar of major arms industries and dealers, in the USA, Germany, France and many others, the access of our people, especially of women, to employment, housing, education, health, joy of life...


Common logic would dictate that now, while Greece is at a critical point, this policy of ultra-expensive armaments should be abandoned in the name of other priorities such as the survival of starving pensioners, the protection of the unemployed or the basic support of the increasingly poor single-parent families at least 90% of which is headed by a woman-parent.


But enough is enough! Enough is enough with the Greek "sacred cow" of insane armaments that no one dares to touch! We demand:


o   To stop the arms race between Greece and Turkey. 

o   To sharply revise downward the armaments programs now.

o   No participation of Greek forces in missions abroad, such as Afghanistan and Kosovo.

o   Investment in public services (health, education, housing, environmental protection, etc.) that we need, us women and the society as a whole.

o   Creation of structures to support women against violence. 

o   Money to combat poverty, which particularly affects women, and not for weapons.

o   No to armaments, no to nationalisms.

o   Never again fascism, never again war.


Organization: Greek Network of World March of Women, Participation: Greek Social Forum, Network of Women of SYRIZA party, Antinationalistic Antimilitaristic Initiative, Association of Conscientious Objectors and other collectives. Translation: Greek Association of Conscientious Objectors

Protests in Greece have inspired others - In Rome (left) and Venice (right)

from the Global Women's Strike and Payday Men's Network

Dear sisters and brothers,

We totally support your demonstration at the Greek Ministry of Defence. As you say, the proposed cuts are an attack especially on women, increasing their poverty. Your targeting of the defence budget gets to the heart of the matter: the $1.46 trillion world military expenditure is killing us even before any bombs are dropped or bullets fired.

Like you, we have been protesting that governments can always find money for the Market and the war and weapons to defend it, but not for survival and welfare. Common logic, as you say, would dictate that the policy of ultra-expensive armaments be abandoned to ensure the survival of starving pensioners, protection for the unemployed and basic support for single mothers. A fraction of the money spent on the military would secure clean water, housing, schooling, health and other essential services to every single person on the planet.

Your protests in front of Parliament have filled our TV screens. The resilience and courage of thousands of people determined not to lose what has been won by decades of struggle, is an example to us all who face similar cuts.

It is no accident that women and conscientious objectors have got together to target military budgets. Women are the first carers in every society, our work is for life not death. Conscientious objectors understand this best, since they have refused to kill, maim and rape as part of the armies of the world.

We are with you this morning as you take on the Ministry of Defence. We will publicise your protest as widely as possible. Please let us know how else we can help.

Invest in caring not killing.

Power to the sisters and therefore to the exploited all over the world,

Issued by Global Womenís Strike and Payday menís network 

c/o PO Box 287 London NW6 5QU, UK  Tel: +44-20-7482 2496