As Edinburgh CAAT group celebrates it’s 20th birthday, long-term group member David Turner reflects on 20 years of campaigning against the arms trade in Scotland.
In 1995 a group of Campaign Against Arms Trade supporters came together for an inaugural meeting, and the Edinburgh CAAT group was formed- the first CAAT group in Scotland.
Over the years, the group has been using many forms of engagement for the public and politicians- from street stalls to displays, conferences, festivals and demonstrations. The group has paid particular attention to work with schools and colleges, with workshops on the ethical and economic impacts of the arms trade welcomed by a number of schools in Edinburgh and beyond.
Action against arms company involvement in Graduate careers fairs at Edinburgh University has also been a regular feature of the groups work. The group’s focused and intensive campaign over 18 months led to the Edinburgh Science Festival dropping arms firm Selex as a sponsor earlier this year, giving great encouragement to the group as a third decade of Edinburgh CAAT gets under way.
The advent of devolution for Scotland and the recent Scottish National Party victories has opened a door to a major shift in government priorities away from the arms trade, and the Edinburgh group is well placed to influence these developments.
There will be a celebration and campaign day in Edinburgh on 31 October in Edinburgh (details tbc) to celebrate 20 years of Edinburgh CAAT. Email outreach(at)caat*org*uk if you’d like to hear more about this.