BAAT is a non-hierarchical group of activists who share a belief in the necessity of direct action to oppose militarism and the arms industry.
BAAT aims to challenge the military/industrial complex in all its forms and provide:
* a variety of media to educate and inform ourselves and others about militarism
* campaigning to raise awareness of the arms industry in Bristol
* solidarity and mutual aid
* training and workshops in direct action, trauma support, media, etc
* a forum for discussion and analysis
Bristol is home to many of the UK’s major arms companies, with over 20 arms company sites in the city alone. Bristol also played host to the local DPRTE arms fair, until activists chased it out of the city to Cardiff, where this March local activists are planning to show the arms dealers that there’s no welcome for them in Wales either.
Activists in Bristol have been busy, and this October succeeded in chasing an chasing an arms fair out of their town. But it seems one arms event just wasn’t enough for Bristol’s arms dealers. The day after the protest at the arms fair in Cardiff, the CEO of QinetiQ was in Bristol speaking to students as part of the University of West England’s “Distinguished Address Series”. Luckily, Bristol Against Arms Trade were waiting, and activist Aly Vernon explains what happened next.
QinetiQ work mainly on military technology – they make weapons, guidance systems, military aircraft- but also branch out into surveillance & security technologies (including technologies considered for ID cards) and ‘energetic materials’ (i.e. explosives). QinetiQ make a mint supplying arms to the beheading-regime in Saudi Arabia and run the UK Drones test centre in Aberporth, West Wales, where they test the Israeli-developed drones that have killed hundreds in Gaza. Continue reading “A distinguished address? Arms dealers speech targeted by activists”
Underneath it’s nondescript acronym, the DPRTE – or Defence Procurement, Research, Technology and Exportability exhibition – claims to be one of ‘the UK’s leading’ arms fairs. The event brings together a whole host of companies looking to find out what’s new in the world of warfare. In its own words, it ‘provides a unique promotional, educational and engagement platform’.
Later, as they approached the building, attendees were accompanied to the door of UWE’s Exhibition and Conference Centre by protesters letting them know who would be attending the event; the likes of Raytheon (bombs in Iraq, missiles in Gaza), Babcock (nuclear submarines), Chemring (teargas used in the Arab Spring) and our good friends BAE Systems. Continue reading “Arms Companies Not Welcome at UWE”