Saudi-British relations: silenced oppressions & complicity

Photo by Ryan Ashcroft

Last month CAAT and the CAAT Universities Network co-hosted a very important meeting at the School of Oirental and African Studies, London.

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi’s has put the UK-Saudi relationship under more scrutiny than ever before. Unfortunately there has been more scrutiny of his murder than of the death and destruction that Saudi forces have inflicted on Yemen, and of the ongoing human rights abuses for those living and working in Saudi Arabia and those affected by Saudi Arabia’s international policies. On the 19th November, we co-hosted an event on ‘Saudi-British relations: silenced oppressions & complicity’.

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Invictus Games, glossing over inconvenient truths: the arms trade and the British royals

 

Prince Harry at the Invictus Games

In a guest blog, Michelle Fahy of the Medical Association for Prevention of War exposes how the UK Royal Family has worked with arms companies and human rights abusers around the world. Many of those arms companies are using the Invictus games in Australia as a promotional vehicle.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have arrived and the media frenzy has erupted, fuelled by news of the royal pregnancy. As media coverage goes, the Invictus Games team couldn’t have managed it any better. Yet, when it comes to the actions of the royal family, all that glisters is not gold.

Four Years Since the Disappearance of 43 Students in Mexico: We Want Them Back Alive

Last month, CAAT joined Mexican activists for a protest outside the Mexican embassy in London. In this article, a spokesperson for London Mexico Solidarity explains why they were protesting.

Four years have passed since 43 students were disappeared in Guerrero, southwest Mexico, by different state agents acting in collusion with the organised crime.

The student’s whereabouts remain unknown while impunity reigns over a case that reveals the complexity and atrocity that Mexico’s ongoing human rights crisis may reach. Continue reading “Four Years Since the Disappearance of 43 Students in Mexico: We Want Them Back Alive”

Putting the spotlight on UK arms sales to Turkey

Theresa May with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at G20 meeting

Earlier this year, Turkish forces entered Afrin, Syria. Ceren Sagir and Cinar Altun from Solidarity with the People of Turkey (SPOT) highlight the UK’s complicity in the atrocities that are taking place.

World leaders have watched idly as Turkey has fallen into even great authoritarianism and repression under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

There are more journalists in prison in Turkey than in any other country, with other 160 news organisations closed since the coup-attempt: including 45 newspapers. 32 radio stations, 30 TV channels and 19 magazines. That is one reason why Freedom House has taken the step of declaring Turkey ‘not free’ for the first time this year.

Human rights and the foundations of democracy are being dismantled, but many EU countries have willingly ignored the oppression taking place while distastefully bartering over refugee numbers and quietly continuing to arm the regime.

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Public opinion is firmly against the arms trade

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.

Join the week of action against 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.

Protests against DSEI 2015 – Photo by Jess Hurd

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.

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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.

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Mass blockade hits drone factory

Activists block factory of Israeli drone company.
Activists block factory of Israeli drone company.

Hundreds of cyclists and their supporters who blockaded a Midlands factory in protest at its sale of drones used by the Israeli military have vowed “We’ll be back.”

The Big Ride for Palestine staged four feeder rides from London, Bristol, Manchester and Sheffield which converged on Birmingham for a festival in Sparkhill Park. The peloton then moved off en masse to a rally at the factory gates of UAV engines, in Shenstone near Lichfield.

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Shutting down the DSEI arms fair for good

Vyara Gylsen was one of the campaigners who was arrested for protesting outside DSEI last year. Her charges were eventually dropped, but not until after two court dates and seven hours in a police cell. In this piece she reflects on the reasons she protested and the recent acquittal of eight other anti-DSEI activists.

stop-dsei

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) just won’t quit wasting public money to prosecute peace campaigners acquitted of obstruction to the highway outside DSEI 2015.

Earlier this year, eight activists were acquitted for blockading DSEI on the basis that they were seeking to prevent greater crimes such as torture and the mass indiscriminate killing of civilians in places such as Yemen, Kurdistan, Palestine and Bahrain.

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