What is happening in Yemen should be plastered across every UK newspaper, every day. Saudi forces are using UK-supplied weapons to destroy vital civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, water supplies and electrical grids.
On 21st November, CAAT was proud to join Bahraini activists and supporters from around the UK to protest against the ongoing crackdown and repression in Bahrain. We were saying, free human rights campaigners, such as Nabeel Rajab, free the family of Sayed Alwadaei, stop torture in Bahrain, and stop arming Saudi Arabia which is supporting repression in Bahrain. UK arms sales to Bahrain prop up the repressive regime, and arming Saudi Arabia gives further support to the crushing of democracy in Bahrain.
A new report “Securing Profits: How the arms lobby is hijacking Europe’s defence policy“ by Bram Vranken of the Flemish peace organisation Vredesactie documents the symbiotic relationship between arms industry lobby and the European Union.
In 2016 the European Union took the unprecedented step of setting up a military research programme worth 90 million euros, the so-called Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR). This is only a first step. For the next ten years, the European Commission proposes the establishment of a European Defence Fund which would allocate more than 40 billion euros to the research, development and procurement of weapons.
These steps signify a fundamental change to the European project. Although arms companies have received EU funding before, this has always happened through the ‘back door’ by way of a security research programme. The establishment of a EU military research programme points towards an unprecedented acceleration in the militarisation of the EU.
This September, thousands of people took part in two weeks of effective action against the DSEI arms fair, but we were acting for millions more across the UK. One thing we always have to remember is that public opinion is firmly on our side and that the overwhelming majority of people across the country are appalled by events like DSEI.
Next week will see a major week of blockades and actions against the DSEI arms fair while it sets up at the Excel Centre in East London.
For four days in September 2017, the international weapons industry plans to set up shop in London at a huge arms fair, DSEI. The weapons sold here fuel the death, destruction and injustice perpetrated by militaries, police forces and at borders around the world.
In 2015, hundreds of people took part in a huge week of action to stop the set up of the arms fair – the biggest-ever protests against DSEI. For six days we blocked entrances, disrupting the set-up of the fair. This year the protests will be even bigger.
September 2017 is a key month for those seeking to end the arms trade. There are just so many, and such varied, opportunities to highlight the dire consequences of the trade in death and destruction and move towards ending it. Continue reading “It’s all happening in September”
Over 22-23 July, CAAT organised a full weekend of workshops, speakers, training and performance to build resistance to the arms trade. On the Saturday evening, over 260 people attended Dance To Disarm: a night of live music, DJs and spoken word to raise funds for CAAT and build solidarity through music. Below, long-time CAAT supporter Alastair Binnie-Lubbock gives his reflections on the evening.
In 2015, a group of eight activists were arrested while taking action against the DSEI arms fair, and later acquitted as a judge ruled they took action to prevent a greater crime. The Winter Oak reports on the CPS challenge to their acquittal- you can read a longer version of this article at winteroak.org.uk.
In a judgement handed down today (Friday July 14 2017), the High Court overturned the acquittal of eight anti-militarists for disrupting the setup of the DSEI arms fair in 2015. Nevertheless, it ruled that in the interests of justice, none of the activists would be re-tried or face costs. Continue reading ““It is up to each of us to stop the killing where it starts”: No retrial for Stop DSEI activists”
Quaker activist Sam Walton and Rev Daniel Woodhouse have pled ‘Not Guilty’ to criminal damage at their pre-trial hearing, and called for further action to Stop Arming Saudi. Sam Walton reports.
Back in January we broke into BAE System’s Warton Airbase to try and disarm warplanes they are selling to the Saudis. The Saudi are using those planes in their bombing campaign that is devastating Yemen. We had to take action to prevent crimes against humanity. Continue reading “Stop Arming Saudi activists call for further action”
Church House Conference Centre rely on the same three, repeated in various ways to anyone who challenges them – if they reply at all.