How ANZ bank is backing cluster bombs

Just one more reason to dislike the banking industry:

A postcard produced by campaigners shows six-year old Abdullah, pictured with his left arm missing above the elbow.

It explains the Iraqi boy was sleeping in his home in 2003 when a cluster bomb came through his window, the shrapnel blowing off his arm and tearing open his abdomen.

On the back of the postcard is the address of ANZ’s chief executive officer, Mike Smith, along with a message, urging the bank to stop financing the American weapons maker, Lockheed Martin.

Mark Zirnsak is the social justice spokesman for the Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania and is part of the postcard campaign.

ZIRNSAK: Members of the community have been sending in postcards to the ANZ, asking them to join those banks globally that have said they won’t do business with companies that manufacture cluster munitions – as a way of pushing these manufacturers to get out of the business.

COCHRANE: Cluster bombs are particularly devastating for civilians, with hundreds or thousands of small bomblets scattered over a wide area, posing a risk to those clearing them or to children who pick them up to play with.

Mark Zirnsak says ANZ has taken positive steps in helping facilitate dialogue between Lockheed Martin and the anti-cluster bomb campaigners.

ZIRNSAK: And in that discussion, Lockheed Martin has indicated they’ll get out of the business of manufacturing cluster munitions that are banned by this treaty as of 2013. So, that’s a really positive step. But at the same time the ANZ has provided finance to another company, L3 Communications, who also manufacture components that go into cluster munitions, particularly fuses.

Text and images ©2023 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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