It is no coincidence that Rex Tillerson is both the ex-CEO of Exxon Mobil and the Secretary of State to the most militarised country in the world. It’s also no coincidence that Tillerson is here in Aotearoa after the US have requested NZ increase our military capacity in Afghanistan.
The links between oil and war are numerous – what is less well understood is how climate change contributes to war.
Did you know that the US army is the largest consumer of oil in the world? This makes the US Army one of the biggest polluters on the earth. As well as fuelling war, the greed for petroleum also produces war – think Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Nigeria, Sudan. Britain’s largest ever arms deal is paid in oil. The ‘Al-Yamamah’ arms deal, ongoing since 1985, is between the UK and the autocratic regime of Saudi Arabia.
Climate Change and Disaster Capitalism
Climate change is one of the biggest threats to peace and security in the world – it contributed to instability that led to the formation of Boko Haram in Nigeria, the drought which precipitated the civil war in Syria and is creating climate refugees in many of our Pacific neighbours. These links are why so many see the climate justice movement as a peace movement.
Weapons companies seek to profit from the instability climate change causes – through disaster relief, the ‘processing’ and detention of asylum seekers, and security in conflict zones. The climate movement undermines the motives and causes for this kind of disaster profiteering by advocating for a move away from an oil-based economy.
The Weapons Expo is an annual meeting of over 500 delegates from the world’s largest weapons and arms manufacturers, as well as NZ military and government representatives. It’s hosted by the New Zealand Defence Industry Association, an arms industry lobby group.
Many of the companies that attend produce weapons that contribute to humanitarian crises and human rights abuses. Lockheed Martin, the primary event sponsor has ongoing links with the human right abuses Saudi Arabia is perpetrating in Yemen.
This year, October 10-11, the war profiteers are again returning to our city. The 20th Weapons Expo will be held at the Westpac Stadium, a venue co-owned by Wellington Council and Greater Wellington Regional Councils and maintained by us, the ratepayers.
Non-violent direct action at the TSB Arena in 2015 resulted in extensive disruption to both the venue and the forum. In 2016, hundreds of protesters blockaded the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland and hindered the business of war by preventing delegates from attending.
Join us in October when we shut them down again