Later, as they approached the building, attendees were accompanied to the door of UWE’s Exhibition and Conference Centre by protesters letting them know who would be attending the event; the likes of Raytheon (bombs in Iraq, missiles in Gaza), Babcock (nuclear submarines), Chemring (teargas used in the Arab Spring) and our good friends BAE Systems. Read more »
We were there to greet them, but where were the arms dealers? Turns out direct action at the last arms dealers’ breakfast at the Savile Club was enough to put them off!
In July, the Chamber of Commerce hosted a Defence Breakfast at the Savile Club in Mayfair.
The event promised to help arms dealers “…expand your network of contacts and promote your business…”. It is part of a series of gatherings which let arms dealers meet with each other and their customers, often buyers from repressive regimes.
On 8th October, the Savile Club was due to host the arms dealers again. At £72 a head, the Security Breakfast Briefing promised to offer more than your average pastries. With a keynote speaker set to offer help to “identify and develop security export opportunities in key markets overseas and maximise the security legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games”, we thought we’d point out that “security” means just the opposite when you export to repressive governments like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Colombia.
So a group of us made our way to the Savile Club at 8am to interrupt proceedings (challenging the stereotype that activists don’t get out of bed early in the process!). As we got into position to effectively shut the event down, we discovered the booking had been cancelled and the event had been moved!
Apparently they hadn’t enjoyed our intervention at the Savile Club and decided to move the event to a secret location. It seems the arms dealers are on the run. The arms industry will continue to try to legitimise itself by hosting extravagant events at different institutions, but wherever it pops up, we will be there to stop it.
A group of people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds and political views came together during the Gezi -Taksim resistance. They did not and do not represent a political party or any other organization. In support of the Gezi movement they organised flashmobs, protests, workshops, and started to interact with other international solidarity groups. As part of this we came across CAAT. At the first CAAT meeting we attended, we realised we have many reasons in common to protest the arms fair.
Paediatrician Dr Samira Al’aani examining another case at Fallujah General Hospital.
During the occupation of Iraq, the city of Fallujah bore witness to some of the most intense US combat operations since Vietnam, with 2004’s Operation Phantom Fury widely condemned for its ferocity and disregard for international law.
Paediatrician Dr Samira Al’aani has worked in the city since 1997. In 2006 she began to notice an increase in the number of babies being born with congenital birth defects (CBD). Concerned, she began to log the cases that she saw. Through careful record keeping she has determined that at Fallujah General Hospital, 144 babies are now born with a deformity for every 1000 live births.
This is nearly six times higher than the average rate in the UK between 2006 and 2010, and one strong suspicion is that contamination from the toxic constituents of munitions used by occupying forces could be the cause.
Now a new nationwide study by the Iraqi Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), has the potential to catalyse efforts to understand and confront the issue, but only if science can be allowed to rise above politics. For years there have been huge problems with funding, political bias and delays. Read more »
Rebecca with her toddler Ivy on her bike trailer – getting in practice for the Sprint Triathlon.
It’s true. I care more about peace and fair food than I do about my own fitness or figure.
I am utterly in awe of people that run…swim… cycle… simply for the joy of it. What is THAT about?! When I do something ludicrous, it has to be oddly attached to some sort of cause.
And why is one of those causes Campaign Against Arms Trade – CAAT? Well, sorry to the marvellous team who do wonderful publicity, but my boyfriend has just hit on the best way of describing CAAT’s aims… Read more »
Bradford activists write to local arms firms – July 2013. Credit: Andrew Dey
A group from Bradford’s JustSpace community has written to over 30 companies around Yorkshire, including several from Bradford, expressing concern about their participation in the world’s largest arms fair. The DSEI weapons expo takes place every two years at the Excel centre in London’s Docklands. Read more »
In the new year, I signed up for the East London Half Marathon, to be held on 14 April. It was 13.2 miles; the farthest I’ve ever run. I started volunteering in the office of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) when the DSEi arms fair came to East London in 2011, so with the arms dealers returning this autumn and some exciting plans afoot to disrupt the 2013 DSEi arms fair, it seemed appropriate to be raising money and running in the East End.
I was very excited, and spent most of February and March running around Hackney in thermal running tights, and enthusiastically describing new knee stretches I’d learnt to my friends in the pub. (They were not impressed.)
In my head, I was a running super hero, an athlete, and destined for sporting greatness. Or at the very least, destined for a souvenir T-shirt. Read more »
This is the translation of the message in the final scene of this video (see still above). It was made by activists from NESEHNUTÍ and is part of their campaign to raise awareness of the Czech arms trade. I met with NESEHNUTÍ activists in May when I was invited to participate in Different Fest, their anti-arms trade festival, to represent Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).
The British government actively promotes the Eurofighter Typhoon to foreign governments. This scene comes from the Farnborough arms fair in 2012.
The fringe issue of arms export criteria became headline news today (17 July), with The Independent’s splash on an “‘arms for dictators” scandal. A parliamentary report by the Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) raised a few eyebrows, but the embarrassment of the government approving arms sales to 25 out of 27 of the countries blacklisted as human rights abusers will soon vanish.