DiEM25’s Alternative Security Conference: Security for whom?

Contrary to its own proclamations and their reiterations in the Western media, the Munich Security Conference is not a venue of populations at large and their security concerns, but of corporations which dominate the world and the political and doctrinal managers that shape and present it in their interests.

If the security concerns of people however are to be taken seriously, it is clear that the existing bodies of decision making power and discussion (like the Munich Security Conference) have to be pressured into doing so and alternative bodies have to be formed which by their own virtue take them into account.

It is this which DiEM25 proposes to do from the 27th to 29th of April 2021, by hosting its first ever Alternative Security Conference.

In a variety of formats with speakers from different professions from around the world we will seek to deconstruct the predominant discourse of security policy, rooted in state and corporate power, and offer some alternatives which seek to accommodate people’s interests instead.

Programme

The Alternative Security Conference seeks to do everything that the Munich Security Conference does not: Give an analysis of international hegemony (forwarded by multinational corporations and governments which act in their interests) spearheaded by the United States and its allies in the Western world and elsewhere and offer a different kind of hegemonic and security framework where people’s interests and not those of corporations and states are prime.

Tuesday, April 27, 18:30 – 19:30 CEST: Session 1 “What is Security”

What is meant by security when we read about it in the mainstream press? What do our leaders mean when they speak of our security? Is it the security of us citizens, as they claim? Or is it another kind of security that they allege to protect?

Speakers: Francesco Strazzari (Scholar of international relations at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa), security policies, political violence and extra-legal governance)

Moderator: Mohammad Khair Nahhas, DiEM25 Task Force for the Alternative Security Conference

NB: Prof. Strazzari’s contribution was recorded as the Conference program was still being finalised. He wishes to note that he should not be associated with the speakers present at other sessions of this conference.

Tuesday, April 27, 19:45 – 21:15 CEST: Session 2 “Counting the Money”

We assume that the defence/security industry is actually producing more insecurity and that profit generation plays a main role in this trend. During this session we will try to answer the following questions: What are the threats that justify a security industry? How is unjustified fear produced? And how can we disrupt that problematic production of fear?

Speakers: Stephen Semler (Co-founder of the Security Policy Reform Institute), Shana Marshall (Researcher at the Institute for Middle East Studies (George Washington University and the author of “Middle East Armies and the Global Military-Industrial Complex”) and Mark Akkerman (Researcher at “Stop Wapenhandel” and the “Transnational Institute”)

Moderator: Mohammad Khair Nahhas, DiEM25 Task Force for the AlternativeSecurity Conference

Livestream link

Wednesday, April 28, 17:30 – 18:30 CEST: Session 3 “The Ecological Crisis“

A discussion on the global ecological crisis. Its perception in the West. It’s reality. And what people can do about it.

Speakers: Martin Lukacs (Canadian journalist for the Guardian and The Breach and the author of “The Trudeau Formula: Seduction and Betrayal in an Age of Discontent”), Ridhima Pandey (Indian climate activist, one amongst 16 children to file a complaint with the UN in 2019 for violations of its Convention on the Rights of the Child due to the climate crisis). Further speakers to be announced
Moderator: Tom Stopford, DiEM25 Task Force for the Alternative Security Conference

Livestream link

Wednesday, April 28, 19:00 – 20:00 CEST: Session 4 “Cyber Security”

A workshop on how the threat of cyber-war can be mitigated and ended in the future and how such efforts should be grounded in international law.

Speakers: Allison Pytlak (Curator of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom), James Shires (Cybersecurity scholar and Assistant Professor at the University of Leiden) and Evelyne Tauchnitz (Senior Researcher at the ‘Lucerne Graduate School in Ethics’, specialisation on digital technologies, peace and conflict transformation).

Moderator: Amir Kiyaei, Task Force for the Alternative Security Conference

Livestream link

Thursday, April 29, 18:00 – 19:00 CEST: Session 5. “Disarmament“

How the arms-race has been re-instigated and how this development can be averted.

Speakers: William Robinson (Professor of sociology at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Author of “The Global Police State” and “Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity”)
Moderator: Igor Mijatović, Task Force for the Alternative Security Conference

Livestream link

Thursday, April 29,  20:15 – 21:45 CEST: Session 6 “Woke Imperialism”

“Woke Imperialism“ explores the fairly recently adopted language of the Western foreign policy establishment post-Trump, and attempts to link this phenomenon to previous deployments of empire-justifying logic and rhetoric throughout history. During this session, we will discuss how the Western military, surveillance and financial establishments continue to extrapolate different formerly countercultural trends borrowed from identity politics, in order to airbrush a progressive aura onto their projects of 21st century global dominance.

Speakers: Aaron Maté (Freelance Journalist for The Nation, The Grayzone and Democracy Now!), Katie Halper, American comedian, writer, filmmaker, podcaster, and political commentator. Katie is the host of the podcast “The Katie Halper Show” and co-hosts the “Useful Idiots” podcast alongside Matt Taibbi, and Rania Khalek, journalist at Breakthrough News, producer and host at Soapbox, and co-host of the “Unauthorized Disclosure” podcast alongside Kevin Gosztola. Previously an associate editor at “The Electronic Intifada”, Rania has written for a number of publications including The Intercept, Al Jazeera, Truthout, and The Grayzone.

Moderator: Arturo Desimone, DiEM25 Task Force for the Alternative Security Conference

Livestream link

This information is also available on the event page.

Join us when we pose the question: Security for whom? For states and corporations? Or for people at large?

The Alternative Security Conference is organised by DiEM25. The views and opinions expressed in the conference are those of the speaker(s) and do not necessarily reflect DiEM25’s official policies or positions.

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