LAND FORCES 21
Land Forces ’21 will run from 1-3 June at the Brisbane Convention Centre in South Brisbane. There will be a couple of killing conferences alongside a massive killing expo.
All the major weapons companies will be there, alongside Australian Defence Force representatives, plus Defence Ministers and trade delegations from over 70 nations.
These CEOs and Ministers are normally inaccessible. Land Forces brings them all together in one place at one time, presenting us with a rare opportunity to speak truth to their power.
Weapons companies are making a killing
Arms dealers make billions exporting terror
Weapons sales directly cause immense human suffering. Occupying armies and police forces kill, rape and mutilate human beings in every part of the world. The arms industry is profiting from the misery of others in the most direct way possible. Weapons companies are literally making a killing.
Weapons turn public wealth into private profit.
The weapons sold at Land Forces end up in the hands of state security institutions – armies, navies, police forces etc – and as such are paid for with public money. At Land Forces hundreds of billions of dollars will be siphoned from working people, via taxes, into the bank accounts of weapons corporations. Climate breakdown, ecosystem degradation, forcible extraction, land alienation, famine and war itself form a vicious cycle that harms everybody – except the profit-seeking corporations – and we pay for it.
War causes famine and creates refugees
War causes famine
Weapons cause starvation and famine. Armies intentionally destroy crops and supply systems, starving cities. Occupying armies make it unsafe to farm, alienating farmers from arable land. Forests and waterways become unsafe, so that wild food is no longer available. Long after hostilities have ceased, contaminated soil and water impact food production. Wherever you see famine, there you will find weapons of war.
War creates refugees
War and militarism are what cause people to flee from their homes and seek refuge in other, safer countries. Warfare and persecution by armed forces cause millions of people every year to leave their homes and begin a risky journey into the unknown. After suffering through war, persecution, torture, famine, rape and terror, refugees finally reach ‘safe’ countries like ours, only to find themselves vilified and locked up. Most weapons in the world are exported from ‘safe’ countries like ours. Let’s stop weapons exports where they start – right here where we live.
Weapons cause climate chaos
War is a carbon bomb
The climate breakdown and emissions caused by weapons are appalling; the US military is the highest carbon emitter in the world. Weapons have a massive carbon footprint, both in the manufacturing phase and in their deployment. Weapons are burning our planet, both with actual ‘firepower’ and with greenhouse gases.
Weapons devastate wildlife and ecosystems
Tanks, missiles, jets, bombs, grenades and chemical agents rip out forests, destroy ecosystems, pollute waterways and maim wildlife. The toxic waste warfare leaves behind can contaminate soil and water for decades.
Weapons are a waste product
There are no ‘eco-friendly’ weapons. The arms industry creates 100% waste products – products designed to destroy and to be destroyed. Warfare is the opposite of sustainable. Weapons are there to lay waste and to be waste.
War = peak toxic masculinity
Take the toys from the boys
was a refrain of the Second Wave Feminist movement from Greenham Common through to Pine Gap. Women and children are the most heavily impacted by war and its toxic aftermath. Feminists have pro-actively resisted conscription, militarization and the arms trade since Australian women successfully opposed the draft in World War One. Today, West Papuan (and millions more) women uphold this century old resistance to the toxic masculinity of war when they assert their right to give birth to and raise children free from the threat of murder by the military.
Saya tidak melahirkan anak saya untuk menjadi sasaran TNI .
I didn’t birth my child to be a military target.
All humans will be better off when we can separate masculinity and manhood from mechanized violence.
Weapons enforce resource extraction & dispossession
Weapons enforce resource extraction
Weapons in the hands of public and private security agencies enforce resource extraction, providing corporations with the coercive force they need in order to log rainforests, dig coal, frack farmland and burn the earth for palm oil.
Weapons enforce dispossession
Armed soldiers and police ensure that private corporations can ‘invest’ and extract against the will and without the consent of sovereign peoples. People who resist extractive projects are frequently murdered or arrested by security forces. Sovereign people lose access to the material and cultural means of survival and become outcast, alienated, dispossessed and impoverished.
Those weapons are meant for us
Repression of resistance
Whether we live in a ‘safe’ country or in a war zone, the weapons sold at Land Forces will ultimately point at us. Police forces around the world are increasingly militarized, meaning that they use military grade weapons, uniforms, vehicles and surveillance technology. Weapons are used to suppress civil society movements with disturbing regularity, from tear gas and water cannons through to machine guns and sniper rifles. Recently we have seen the police in Chile aiming rubber bullets at people’s eyes, blinding many. At least 25 West Papuan civilians were killed by the army and police in 2020, on suspicion of being ‘separatists’. Two of those killed were 12 years old. The Amazon is a particularly dangerous place to be an environmental activist, as is the Phillipines, while Australia and the US are dangerous places to be black. There is no safety where there are heavily armed soldiers and police. Whoever and wherever we are, those weapons are meant for us.
We are asking activists to travel to Brisbane/Meanjin ahead of time, so that we can plan and prepare the weekend before Land Forces.
We will help with billeting and we can connect you with a group if you don’t already have one (click to connect).
We ask collaborators to agree to the following principles:
- Respectful language and behaviour with each other
- Actions are nonviolent = we do not harm other living beings.
As we approach Land Forces 21, some of us have begun to take protest action at weapons companies such as Rheinmetall, EOS, Thales & Boeing. We encourage you to target an arms dealer with your group, in any way you can.
Thales, Rheinmetall, Boeing, EOS, Elbit, Lockheed Martin, BAE among others are making obscene profits by #ExportingTerror to the peoples of West Papua, Yemen, Mindanao and Sudan.
Weapons that we pay for, through our tax dollars, end up destroying indigenous forests, waters and lives. Get involved, take action and join us in Brisbane to #DisruptLandForces
JANGAN BUNUH KAMI LAGI
GET YOUR ARMIES OFF OUR BODIES
Banners, placards, flyers, graphic elements to make your own, videos to share, images for social media, infographics, a template to write to the PM, fact sheets and graphics to support West Papua.