David Cameron has just returned from yet another overseas trade mission – this time to India.
It’s been billed as the largest UK trade mission ever, with over 100 delegates – government ministers, MPs, “leaders of industry”, university grandees and assorted hangers-on. In the name of cementing trade ties we have seen Cameron playing cricket, laying wreaths and promising quicker visas for Indian students.
All this flummery rather disguises the main aim of the trade mission to flog arms to India, which in recent years has emerged as one of the world’s largest arms buyers. So it is worth having a closer look at who accompanied Cameron and what they might be selling.
Forming our CAAT group was initially inspired when one of our members met someone from CAAT on an arms trade protest at the DSEI arms fair in 2011. We then realised there was no active CAAT group in Southampton, though many separate groups had taken action on the arms trade at Southampton University. Southampton University is riddled with links to the arms trade in terms of sponsorship from major arms companies and arms companies being represented on boards. It is for this reason we decided to form a cohesive group to try to sustain a campaign.
Southampton CAAT in action
One of our first ideas was to arrange a night time cycle about the city – this idea could be easily linked to visiting the local companies making arms or components for arms in the city. We looked up the companies who exhibited at the East London DSEI arms fair. Continue reading “Southampton CAAT show how it’s done”
On this day, two years ago, a group of Bahraini citizens gathered at the “Pearl Roundabout” to call for democratic freedoms and equal rights for the majority Shia population. They were part of the “Arab Spring”, the wave of protests that swept the region in 2011.
The ruling regime responded with violence. Peaceful protesters were met with bullets and teargas. Some of the weapons used by the police and military came from the UK.