The last week has seen a significant victory for our campaign to get the arms trade out of public institutions. On Monday 18th May, the Public and Commercial Sector Union (PCS), which represents 5,000 workers in public galleries and museums across the UK, passed two motions at their annual conference in Brighton rejecting the arms trade and oil sponsorship of the cultural sector.
The outcome of the General Election and the daunting prospect of continued austerity and increased cuts to public services has no doubt left many campaigners feeling deflated. There is no way around it- the next five years will be challenging and difficult.
Our friends at Arms Dealers on Trial have made this excellent and inspiring film about their attempts to hold arms dealers from the DSEI arms fair to account for the promotion of illegal torture weapons.
Activist are cycling from London to Burghfield to protest the UK’s , as part of protests around the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Here, activist Nikki Ray explains why she’s joining the Wheel Stop Trident cycle.
A few weeks ago I was invited to join Wheel Stop Trident, a group of young people cycling to raise awareness about the amount of money the UK spends on nuclear weapons that we don’t need and how re-prioritising this money would improve vital public services that have been cut by the government. Read more »
In his book Capitalist Realism: Is There no Alternative? Mark Fisher sharply argues that when it comes to thinking about changing entrenched social norms and priorities our lives have become dominated by an attitude of resignation and fatalism.
Fisher’s argument can be easily applied to mainstream discourses around climate change and militarism. Just as capitalism dominates the horizon of the possible, talks and ideas for a future without fossil fuels and wars are often rejected as mere utopian fantasy. Indeed, the ‘no alternative’ ideology has such a totalising effect that many seemingly treat ecological catastrophe and the arms trade as facts of nature that simply cannot be reversed, despite hard evidence and rational arguments for the opposite. Read more »
On 17 February 2015, members of East Kent Campaign Against Arms Trade were among several groups who staged a rooftop occupation of a local arms factory. The action was hugely successful, receiving widespread media coverage and extensive local support. You can see a video report of the day here. Here, group member Ellie gives her account of the day.
For 13 hours last Tuesday, we occupied the rooftop of a factory owned by the Israeli army’s drone supplier, Elbit Systems. We hung enormous banners advertising Elbit’s role in Israel’s war crimes, took phone calls from the press and pitched a tent against the cold.
The UK sells arms to over 100 countries across the globe, including many abusive regimes, or those in conflict, even selling arms to both sides
The official justification for the Government’s unquestioning support for the arms trade is that it is vital to safeguard “national security”. CAAT’s Arms to Renewables campaign argues that we must shift priorities to tackle the root causes of insecurity.
What is security?
For individuals in the UK and all over the world, security means having basic needs met and feeling safe in our homes and communities.
In contrast, the Government views security almost exclusively through a military lens. Its National Security Strategy is based on military force and the projection of power. Read more »
Last week, we were there to challenge arms dealers gathered in London for a £246/head ‘networking’ dinner, where they were wining and dining 40 MPs and 60 senior civil servants, with the BBC’s Jeremy Vine to entertain them with an after dinner speech.
After making their way past protesters at the door, the guests probably thought they could sit down and get on with the business of keeping military spending high and public subsidies for arms companies flowing. But there were a few surprises when the first speaker took the stage. Read more »