This month sees the launch of a new interactive website from Conscience The Peace Tax Campaign. From 2 March, visitors to PeacePays.org will be able to see how nonviolent peacebuilding initiatives are not only desirable, but are actually less costly and more effective than current approaches to security.
The UK is the third largest military spender in the world and almost 10% of our taxes go to the military. Out of a military budget of over #33 billion, only 3% is spent on conflict prevention and resolution. By illustrating how else the money could be spent, and the benefits of an alternative nonviolent approach, Conscience hopes to advance its argument that those with a conscientious objection to war should have a legal right to have the military part of their taxes spent on peacebuilding initiatives. With serious investment in civilian peacebuilding initiatives we could have a security policy that conscientious objectors to war could pay for with a clear conscience - and an approach to conflict that everyone would benefit from. After all, there are more successful and cost-effective ways to build peace because war costs and everyone pays.
PeacePays.org will go live on 2 March with a launch party in Central London. The 2 March launch date is significant as it marks the 90th anniversary of the introduction of conscription and the right to conscientious objection to military service. It is also likely to be the date that the Peace Tax Seven - a group of seven war tax resisters - visit the Court of Appeal to put forward their case for a judicial review hearing on the right to conscientious objection to taxes going towards military spending.
The PeacePays.org launch party will take place at Clerkenwell House bar, 23-27 Hatton Wall, off Hatton Garden, London EC1 from 6 to 11pm. There will be music, projections and the opportunity to view the new website and meet the Peace Tax Seven - fresh from their day in court. All are welcome and there's no entry charge. Come along to show your support.