The UK Section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) calls on the government to spend money on welfare, not warfare.

As the fifth highest spender on military in the world, the UK government spent £41.7 billion on it in 2014. Of that money, £3 billion is spent annually on the Trident nuclear weapons system (based at Faslane Naval Base on the Clyde estuary outside Glasgow).

This year is the fifth consecutive year of the Global Day of Action against Military Spending (GDAMS). On 13 April 2015, people around the world will gather to protest their government’s level of military expenditure.

In the UK, due to the government’s desire to maintain its current level of expenditure, citizens are enduring the effects of on-going, severe public sector financial austerity measures.

WILPF women are taking part in protests on this day because expenditure of this magnitude, on weapons, is paid for by cutting essential services elsewhere. Those cuts continue to negatively and disproportionately affect the lives of women. Cuts to public sector jobs and services impact women both as employees and consumers. Currently, 13 times more people are relying on food banks than did five years ago, and one-in-four children in the UK lives in poverty.

Join us as we protest this misuse of public funds. The parliamentarians that we elect in the forthcoming May 2015 general election will make the decision in 2016 of whether or not to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system at an annual cost of at least £100 billion.

Use the WILPF election manifesto to ask your candidates how they would advance six actions, including reducing spending on the military.

And if you’re in the area, please stop by and join us at the following actions:

  • Glasgow: Blockade of Faslane Naval Base
  • Brighton: Supporting the blockade from afar with a stall at the clock tower between noon and 2:30 pm
  • Orpington: Working with the CND to host a stall at the high street entrance to The Walnuts shopping precinct from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Penzance: Protesting military spending outside Lloyds bank, Market Place at 1:30 pm
  • London: Joining the CND at the Party and Protest outside the Ministry of Defence, Whitehall

 

*Scotland’s share of the cost of Trident is reported to be £165 million per annum, which if used for welfare, could pay for any of the following for a year:

  • 7,500 new teachers
  • 7,500 new nurses
  • Abolishment of the bedroom tax
  • More social housing
  • More affordable childcare