Good news everyone! Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), one of Britain’s most tireless, essential and all-round loveliest organisations has won the 2012 Right Livelihood Award – perhaps better known now as the Alternative Nobel Prize – along with three other recipients.
The award comes attached to the very handsome sum of €150,000, a huge amount to a small campaigning organisation on a very modest budget. CAAT was recognised for its ‘innovative and effective campaigning against the arms trade’. This work has historically encompassed governmental lobbying; freedom of information requests; publishing detailed analytical reports of arms companies and the effects of their trade on conflict zones; and supporting a variety of campaigns, including Stop the Arms Fair Coalition – working to shut down the bi-annual DSEi arms fair in Newham’s Excel Centre – and Disarm the Gallery – putting pressure on the National Gallery to stop taking money from Italian arms dealer Finmeccanica.
They are hugely creative, wonderfully non-hierarchical, and completely necessary in our political culture – in which the military industrial complex has taken deep root.
This year’s group of four Laureates highlights the essential conditions for global peace and security: effective nonviolent resistance, a recognition that the arms industry is part of the problem, human and women’s rights, and the preservation of our precious ecological resources.
To find out more about the Alternative Nobel Prize, check out the Right Livelihood Award’s website. To learn more about CAAT and the work it does (perhaps you might feel moved to donate a few pence of your own…?) then click here.