So I went to Farnborough this week and saw what ‘legitimate’ looks like.
It was the most surreal and chilling day I have ever experienced. But for the arms dealers and military buyers attending, it was just business as usual.
I stood by the glossy stands of Israeli arms companies, promoting ‘battle-tested’ weaponry with slick videos of missile strikes and drone attacks, while outside, in the real world, the death toll in Gaza mounted.
Here’s the latest update from CAAT’s Christian Network.
Arms dealers at Church House: never again
This month, in the space of three weeks there will have been two conferences sponsored by some of the world’s largest arms companies at Church House, which also houses the administrative headquarters of the Church of England.
The Church House conference centre is run by a charity, whose president is the Archbishop of Canterbury and whose council includes “representatives of national church institutions”.
Hosting such events supports and legitimises the arms industry and the terrible destruction it causes. It helps sustain the status quo of huge military spending, at the cost of addressing real human needs.
Please take action now:
Sign our online letter to Archbishop Justin Welby asking him to ensure that Church House conference centre never again hosts such events.
Take part in a Silent Vigil as the arms trade conference commences tomorrow, Wednesday 9 July: meet at 10.45am outside Methodist Central Hall.
It was a surreal sight to see Foreign Secretary William Hague posing with Hollywood’s most famous couple, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the recent high profile Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.
Responding to media accusations that he was “hobnobbing” and “starstruck”, Hague defended the importance of his role at the summit, telling Radio 4 listeners that “this is about conflict prevention.”
So let’s take a look at Hague’s record on conflict prevention.