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Edinburgh activists call on council to end its investment in arms companies

Brian Larkin and members of the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre hand the petition to divest from arms manufacture to Cllr Chas Booth, Convener of Edinburgh Council’s petitions committee.

Campaigners in Edinburgh are calling for their council to end its investment in arms companies.

Yesterday our friends at Edinburgh CAAT and the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre presented a 400 strong petition to Councillor Chas Booth, the Convener of Edinburgh Council’s petitions committee.

Edinburgh City Council is sitting on almost £130 million worth of investments in arms companies.

  • Lockheed Martin: The biggest arms company in the world. It specialises in fighter jets and is one of the main contractors for the UK’s trident missiles. It has sold arms to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bahrain, Pakistan and Egypt among others.
  • BAE Systems: The UK’s largest arms company and is the lead producer of the Eurofighter Jet, which is currently being used by Saudi forces in the ongoing bombardment of Yemen.
  • Northrop Grumman: Also one of the biggest arms companies in the world. It makes fighter jets and has worked on training programmes with Saudi forces.
  • Honeywell: Honeywell produce systems for tanks, combat aircraft and drones.

As Mark Bitel of Edinburgh Campaign Against Arms Trade told us “Edinburgh City Council should be striving to leave as positive a footprint as possible and acting in the public good, rather than investing in companies that arm human rights abusers and profit from war and conflict.”

“Edinburgh was the birthplace of the enlightenment” he continued, “and should take the opportunity to set a positive precedent by putting people first and adopting an ethical investment policy. By investing in positive industries Edinburgh can lead the way and provide a beacon for other capital cities around the world.”

The petitions committee considered the petition this afternoon and agreed to refer it on to the Pensions Committee for consideration. The next meeting of the Pensions Committee is 28 June.

The webcast of the committee meeting, including the response from Lothian Pension Fund and the questions that followed, can be viewed here.

1 comment to Edinburgh activists call on council to end its investment in arms companies

  • Stuart Wakefield

    I would like to see all the USA military bases removed from Europe. There military strength is a real threat to Russia and we will be the target when war starts. The US always starts wars in other countries, never from there home bases. Now Trump is expanding and pouring more money into the war machine. The biggest threat to us in the UK is the USA. Our government seems to be blinded by the real threat and the corruption from the arms trade buy there voice in this fear and hate build up to war.

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