Approximately 70 students took part in Afri’s ‘Education for Liberation’ event in Blanchardstown Institute of Technology on Thursday March 8th. Following an introduction by Rose Kelly, Joe Murray gave a presentation on the theme of ‘militarization and famine’, which looked at the Millennium Development Goals agreed by the UN in 2000 and how world leaders have failed to make progress towards achieving them by the target date of 2015.
The reason given for this failure is lack of resources and yet the ‘elephant in the room’ is rarely mentioned. The elephant in the room is, of course, the annual global military budget which in 2010 reached an all time high of over $1500 billion.
Joe went on to argue that we need a radical change of emphasis from military security to human security. Human security includes:
- Economic security (basic income for individuals)
- Food security (physical and economic access to a basic food)
- Health security (protection from diseases)
- Environmental security (protection from threats in nature)
- Personal security (protection from physical violence)
- Community security (protection from sectarian and ethnic violence)
- Political security (protection of human rights)
Following the presentation Rose facilited a series of ‘world café’ discussions which explored the themes raised and invited students to reflect on issues such as military security versus human security, what is militarization, where is militarization and what can we do about it. Afri Board member John Maguire gave some input during these sessions.
Students were informed about the Global Day of Action on Military Spending which takes place on April 17th 2012.