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Nottingham anti-arms trade activist convicted

On 20 May at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court, anti-arms-trade activist Kirk Jackson was found guilty of aggravated trespass for his part in a protest that shut down an arms company for a day. He was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £350 court costs.

Anti-arms trade protesters on H&K rooftop

Anti-arms trade protesters on H&K rooftop

The charge arose from a 18 February protest at the Nottingham warehouse of international arms company Heckler & Koch. Before dawn, four activists locked themselves to the gates, preventing employees from entering, while Kirk and another activist climbed onto the roof and displayed banners accusing the company of “arming repressive regimes”.

Heckler & Koch has been the target of demonstrations since 2007 when Nottingham residents discovered its presence on the Lenton Lane industrial estate. The company has a long history of supplying weapons to unstable regions, and using licensed production deals in order to evade arms embargoes. This was the first direct action taken against the company. Read more »

A global referendum on militarisation and climate change

Ian Mackinnon reports from the People’s World Conference on Climate Change in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

At the Peoples’ World Conference on Climate Change from 19-22 April 2010, activists and grassroots organisations from around the world gathered to address what they see as the failure of governmental climate policy at Copenhagen.

Working Group 4 was charged with developing a proposal for a global referendum on environmental issues. However, the debate among the participants ranged frequently and profoundly into issues of war, militarisation and occupation.

Discussion at the PWCC

Discussion at the PWCC, Bolivia, April 2010

The group concluded two and a half days of discussions by submitting to the plenary session a document outlining their plans for the structure and preparation of the referendum. Their proposal recommended that it comprise the following five questions:

1) Do you agree with changing this capitalist model of over-production and super-consumption, and re-establishing harmony with nature, recognizing and respecting the rights of the Mother Earth? YES or NO

2) Do you agree that countries and transnational corporations reduce and reabsorb their greenhouse gas production proportionally to their emissions and historical responsibilities in order to halt global warming? YES or NO

3) Do you agree with transferring all that is spent in wars and for allocating a budget bigger than used for defence to climate change? YES or NO

4) Do you agree that our countries be transformed into territories of peace, free from occupation by troops and foreign military bases? YES or NO

5) Do you agree with a Climate Justice Tribunal to judge those who destroy Mother Earth? YES or NO
Read more »

Report – The People’s Jury @ BAE AGM

Anne-Marie O’Reilly on how CAAT campaigners brought BAE to justice on 5 May.

Dick Olver looms over judges

The People's Jury in session

One 12-foot high puppet (literally armed to the teeth) + 30 judge/jurors in wigs and cloaks = a strange sight for civil servants, tourists and shareholders in the City of Westminster this morning. The giant puppet was Dick Olver, Chair of the world’s largest arms company, and the thirty judge/jurors were Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) activists. The scene was set for the People’s Jury outside BAE’s AGM.

Chanting “BAE can’t you see: corruption is your legacy”, the People’s Jury pursued Giant Dick Olver from 66 Victoria Street (home to the government arms sales department from which he receives so much support) to justice outside the AGM. Read more »