Militarism and war are inextricably linked with imperialism, racism, and the destruction of habitats. XR Peace makes explicit the effects of militarism and war on our ecological/climate emergency.
The continuous armed conflicts, many of which relate to the control and exploitation of fossil fuels, needlessly kills people (mainly unarmed non-combatants), pollutes crucial environments such as rivers and agricultural land, and destroys essential infrastructure. The necessary reconstruction – often carried out by profiteering corporations – then depletes already scarce resources. Nuclear war remains a continuing existential threat, as the nuclear-armed states persist in refining and expanding their weapons systems whilst trashing arms agreements. Many civilian police forces are becoming militarised in their organisation and are utilising tear-gas and other weaponry against citizens. Countries of the Global North are barricading themselves against those already suffering from climate-related droughts, floods and conflicts over resources; arms manufacturers and dealers are reaping the profits from our increasingly militarised borders. People of indigenous communities are routinely intimidated and murdered by states or corporations and their agents who prioritise power and profits over environmental protection and the right to life.
Militarism is a huge direct contributor to our climate emergency. The US military is the world’s single biggest user of oil, and yet the military have been exempted from the global requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – or even to declare them. This has to change: a major factor in dealing with the climate emergency will be challenges to the world’s militarised power structures.
Solutions must be based on justice and equity in a world that is not governed by violence or the threat of violence.
XR Peace will explore the links between war, peace, justice and the climate/ecological emergency in October with speakers, assemblies and blockades. Put 7th to 21st of October in your diaries and come to the peace blockade area during Extinction Rebellion’s autumn campaign by the Ministry of Defence Buildings on The Embankment.