– Over 130 events planned in 39 countries on Tuesday, April 17
– Actions come as new global military spending data released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
– Action coincides with U.S. tax day

Washington DC – Over 130 different actions will take place in 39 countries worldwide, with participation in over 50 cities in the United States. The events, which coincide with tax day in the United States, emphasize the staggering amount of taxpayer money that goes toward military spending. Amidst global economic and climate crises, groups will be calling for a shift in spending from war and militarism to expenditures on human need. [FULL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS HERE.] An annual index of global military spending will be released on the same day, and is expected to show an increase.

[VIEW VIDEO: GDAMS promotional video with images from GDAMS 2011 from all over the world.]

“Almost every country with a military is on an insane path, spending more and more on missiles, warcraft, and guns, while the planet is in crisis,” said John Feffer, Co-Director of Foreign Policy In Focus, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies. “These countries should be confronting the real threats of climate change, hunger, disease, and oppression, not wasting taxpayers’ money on their military.”

“We are not only talking about money,” added Colin Archer, Secretary-General of the International Peace Bureau. “The world is misusing some of its most brilliant brains, which are desperately needed to tackle issues like the energy crisis and the challenge of creating millions of new jobs.”

The global protests occur at the same time that the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) will release annual numbers on global military spending . SIPRI’s annual report is the authoritative index on global military spending. Last year, according to SIPRI, global military spending exceeded $1.6 trillion. This year’s report is expected to show that levels of military spending across the globe increased once again in 2011, the last measureable period.

The global actions will be unified in their message that $1.6 trillion-plus in military spending is an enormous waste of money. Each local event, however, will develop its own specific focus. Among the various events there will be street theater in Dhaka, demonstrations in Istanbul, a parliamentary debate in Yaoundé, protests against military bases in Okinawa, a peace village in Oslo, a high-level seminar at the UN in Geneva, a flash mob in Oakland, Tax Day leafleting in Bethlehem, PA, and a “walk of shame” in Washington DC.

The first Global Day of Action On Military Spending was last year and featured GDAMS events at the international, national, and local levels. Activists produced videos, constructed powerful public displays and performances, held press conferences and seminars, and mobilized public opinion in favor of reducing military spending.The GDAMS coalition is a network of dozens of well-known peace organizations, and was originally called by the Institute for Policy Studies and the International Peace Bureau in acknowledgement that thousands of peace groups and billions of individuals across the world share the desire for a reduction in global military spending.

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John Feffer (USA), Institute for Policy Studies, (202) 294-9128

Lacy MacAuley (USA), Institute for Policy Studies, (202) 445-4692, lacy@ips-dc.org

Annette Willi (Europe, Int’l), International Peace Bureau (+41 22 731 6429)

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