Disrupting arms company recruitment is an effective way to challenge the arms trade. Arms companies rely on hiring graduates to keep their business going. This makes universities an obvious recruiting ground, as there are many people who will soon be qualified and looking to start a career.
Since the terrorist attacks in Paris, the French government has declared a national state of emergency; giving exceptional powers to security services and police. This is being used to suppress dissent and civil disobedience during the UN climate talks which started yesterday. Big events such as Christmas markets and football matches have been allowed to go ahead, but all protests and marches have been banned. Squats have been raided, activists have been placed under house arrest and have had possessions seized.
In the UK, South Korea and New Zealand, activists have been taking action against the global arms trade.
I had barely recovered from the marathon of activism against the DSEI arms fair in September, when I found myself on a plane to Seoul, South Korea: to take action against the ADEX arms fair. I joined activists from five continents for a gathering organised by the Korean anti-militarist group World Without War and the international network War Resisters International.
On 21 October, activists invaded the former Manston Airport, in Kent, in broad daylight and occupied the roof of the WW2 control tower. Arms company Instro Precision rents the top floor for R&D and customer demonstrations, and it was seeking to expand by moving its whole operation to the airport from its current base in nearby Broadstairs. Thanet District councillors were due to vote on the planning application later the same day. Activists – who had already occupied the company’s facilities in February and July this year – were determined to stop the move and the expansion from happening.
Why? Because Instro is owned by Elbit Systems, the largest supplier of drones to Israel, meaning we can be almost certain that Elbit’s technology was used to commit likely war crimes in the massacre of Gazans by Israel in 2014. Not only that, but Elbit is also a supplier of arms to the regimes of Saudi Arabia and Turkey – both known to have supported ISIS financially or militarily. In other words, Instro-Elbit is fueling some of the worst conflicts and
facilitating some of the worst oppression in the Middle East. Continue reading “Stop Elbit victory: No arms company expansion in East Kent!”
The Network For Police Monitoring (Netpol) have launched a new way for opponents of Prevent, the government’s ‘anti-radicalisation’ programme, to make a public stand against its draconian surveillance methods, stigmatization of political dissent and disproportionate targeting of Muslim communities. CAAT is proud to be one of many organisations to join ‘Together against Prevent’ and stand in opposition to the flawed assumptions behind this discredited approach to countering terrorism.