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Guns into Ploughshares

By Bernie Bell

The sculpture includes several thousand guns from Washington D.C., as well as 10 donated by former Harrisonburg Police Chief Don Harper. Credit EMU

This sculpture includes several thousand guns from Washington D.C

It’s always good to hear when an individual or organization gets appreciation and acknowledgement for what they do.  In this case, it was an email for the Campaign Against Arms Trade, letting me know that they have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

We have supported CAAT for years – donating, signing petitions and writing to relevant people/organizations when asked to do so.  This can include contacting venues such as hotels and Conference Centres, asking them not to host Arms Fairs.  The Arms dealers can’t promote and sell their instruments of war, if they have no-where to do so. 

I find that to be a particularly chilling image – huge spaces full of objects – the sole purpose of which is to kill and maim as many people as possible. Sometimes, also, objects designed specifically for torture are on sale – they label them otherwise – but that’s what they are.

Imagine the people who go there to sell and to buy – what kind of people are they, to choose to make a living this way? Many of them will problay have families. Do they not realise that this is their world too?

Some governments in allegedly democratic nations condone and support those trading in Arms to repressive regimes, because it’s ‘good for the economy’.  It may be good for the economy of that nation, but what is it doing to the world?  Our world.

“So what if we controlling all the oil
Is it worth a child dying for.
Long life is what we all live for
And long life will come to pass. Anything’s better than a picture of a child
In a cloud of gas.”  – ‘Money Don’t Matter 2 Night’ – Prince 

I sometimes feel a bit despondent about this particular campaign, when I think of all the money and influence available to the Arms dealers, compared to a relatively small organization such as CAAT, but – I feel that I have to do something.  As individuals, there is very little that we can do, ourselves, about this fiendish trade, but, as part of an organization we can achieve…something. 

And so, I was very pleased to get that email about the Nobel Peace Prize nomination as it could mean a number of very positive outcomes for CAAT.  One is, that those people working in and for the organization, at every level, will get a strong boost of confidence in what they are doing, and an affirmation of what they can achieve.

Another is the obvious one – publicity – the publicity could mean more folk knowing of the existence of CAAT, and therefore, maybe, hopefully, starting to support them – ideologically and financially – and they very much need that support.

Add to this the simple fact that CAAT  being chosen to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, shows a recognition that to campaign against trade in Arms, is A GOOD THING.  It shows that people who the world will pay attention to, are saying that the Arms trade goes too far in its power and its ability to disrupt and destroy societies, and it needs to be halted.

That an important statement to make, and stance to take.

If you would like to find out more about CAAT, and maybe decide to support them, please go to….

https://caat.org.uk/news/what-a-nobel-peace-prize-nomination-means-for-our-campaigning/

2 replies »

  1. Thanks for standing up and naming CAAT. They and we who support them (have done for 20 years) do often hidden but invaluable research and actions, always bold in the face of big money and government shady procurement and sales.

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