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Stop Fuelling War President's report 2017

It has been a year of consolidation and positive advancement. We are investing for now and for the future and we have faith that our approach will bring fruit.

We are guided by our Quaker peace witness, and it seems to us that the arms trade is perceived positively and the public in France is not aware of Eurosatory. So that is our message this year to raise awareness of Eurosatory being held in Paris giving the arms industry legitimacy and prestige and there are alternatives to the military industrial complex.

In March last year we set up as an association 1901 and this is our first AG. Since then the bureaucracy has been challenging not least because the delays in the 6th arrondisment. We have raised money which has enabled us to employ Holly part time since January and recently we have a journalist Anne-Sophie, with us to raise our profile in the media. Having someone based in Paris is making all the difference to our efficiency and networking. We currently have 55 members.

 

The data protection law coming into effect on May 25th is a challenge as is the insurance for members and our events but both are in hand.

The bureau is diminished, Andrew Lane of QCEA is fully occupied and having helped launch Building Peace Together in Brussels. Others have heavy commitments and we are seriously in need of new bureau members. We have however had good support from QPSW, EMES and Church and Peace. Translations and blog posts have been slow and hope that this will grow as our contacts grow.

We are thrilled that two important publications have come out this year about peace building to launch us on our aim of transforming the arms salon into a positive, less military environment. Out task is enormous and we do what we can with our limited resources to bring into the light our Quaker family the importance of a witness against arms fairs and militarisation. The business plan for peace by Dr Scilla Ellworthy and Building Peace Together by QCEA have been great resources for our campaign. ( We have participated in a webinar on the Business plan for peace and contributed to Building Peace together).

We are also very assisted by Amnesty international and ACAT who recently launched campaigns against arms sales from France to countries in conflict in Yemen, including Saudi Arabia, which have received some echo in the media. According to a YouGov survey published on March 26, 75% of French people would disapprove of France's arms sales to Saudi Arabia's Saudi Arabian coalition in Yemen and would like the French president to stop exports of armament to these countries. A petition from SomeOfUs against arms sales from France to countries in conflict in Yemen has more than 92,500 signatories.

Holly is in touch with Amnesty who will be highlighting Eurosatory in June to the media.

We have set ourselves deadlines and goals and during that last 6 months we have a well visited website in English French and German, a facebook presence and an active twitter following. We had 11,200 twitter impressions (reactions or reads) in March when we had a twitter storm. 

We are strengthening our relationships with French peace groups including MAN, Non violence 21, Union Pacifist, le Mouvement Rurale de Jeunesse Chrétienne and Movement de la Paix who we are working closely with, The movement Non- Eurosatory which was set up as a collective including the Quakers, is strong but they are not communicating with us at the moment. Perhaps is our European base rather than our French credentials which is the problem but we are working on it.

The postcards about the myths surrounding the arms fair are still well received and they are now as well as English and french are reproduced in German and used by the Mennonites there for their raising awareness of the arms trade.

This year we have had an event against military spending on April 29th at the place de la marie where Holly was supported by other peace groups and we handed out 700 flyers about Eurosatory and our actions and followed our tradition of having fruitful conversations with the public.

The organisation for June is well underway we have Friends coming from the UK, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Belgium , Finland, Ireland, Holland and Portugal. We have been in converstaion with Sympathetic individuals from Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.
The events planned are

June 9th - Place St Michel gathering: from 2pm to 6pm with the Quakers, the Movement for Peace, the Christian Youth Rural Movement, the MAN, the Pacifist Union ... Distribution of leaflets, public information, games and music

June 10th - training workshop for protesters (IN VIAM 14.30 to 18.00 REGISTRATION required)

June 11th - Inter faith slow procession for peace: departure at 11am from Parc Monceau. We will begin with a silent rally of 10 minutes before parading with banners and drums until 3 Avenue Hoche to deliver letters to the offices of Gicat and Coges (Gicat subsidiary that organizes Eurosatory). We will then walk to the tomb of the unknown soldier, under the Arc de Triomphe, for a silent gathering (dispersion at 12h)

From June 11th to 15th - presence in front of Eurosatory: from 8am to 4pm, 93420 Villepinte. If for any reason we cannot be there we will be at a roundabout at the car entrance to Villepinte.

Also there is a film maker Anne Poiret who has made a documentary on the opacity of the French arms sales and we hope this be on televison during the week of Eurosatory but this is not yet confirmed. War Resisters International are helping us prepare a 20 page document about who profits from the arms trade. We are looking fror French proof readers for this at this very moment.

Latest news: Holly gave a radio interview to a peace radio in Nancy which will be aired on May 18th. Wednesday.

After June we will re reassessing our structure as an association to move forward over the next few years.

 

 

 

STOP FUELLING WAR
Siège social : Centre Quaker International
114 rue de Vaugirard
75006 Paris
Association loi de 1901 No. W751238358

stopfuellingwar@gmail.com

Where Eurosatory happens

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