Courts begin to prosecute census refusers

Courts throughout the UK are prosecuting individuals whose only crime is to refuse to fill out the 2011 census form because of the involvement of arms giant Lockheed Martin. The refusers face a fine and possible jail sentence for their actions.

Lockheed Martin is based in the US and was contracted to process census data from England and Wales. The refusers say that it is unethical for a weapons manufactuer to be involved in the census, especially as Lockheed Martin has exanded into the security and surveillence industry and personal data could therefore be at risk.

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Arrested at the arms fair!

Chris Cole under arrest at Custom House station
Chris under arrest at DSEI 2011

On Tuesday September 13th, Kirk Jackson and Chris Cole were arrested for taking part in demonstrations against the world’s largest arms fair – DSEI, which takes place every two years at the ExCeL exhibition centre in East London. In this article, Kirk and Chris talk about their actions, their arrests and what happens next.

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Withdraw the census contract!

CAAT has signed a joint statement with CND and Stop the War urging the UK government to withdraw the 2011 census contract for England and Wales from arms giant Lockheed Martin.

Count me out demo at Office for National Statistics - 7 March 2011
Count me out demo at Office for National Statistics - 7 March 2011

How many people are aware that the collection of data for the forthcoming UK census, scheduled for 27 March, has been contracted to American arms giant Lockheed Martin? The contract will cost UK taxpayers £150 million.

Lockheed Martin is one of the world’s largest arms producers, with over £33 billion worth of arms sales in 2009. Its products include cluster bombs which
can indiscriminately kill and maim innocent civilians, and nuclear weapons, the use of which are illegal under virtually all conceivable circumstances. Lockheed Martin also manufactures Trident missiles for both the US and the UK nuclear weapons systems and is one of three contractors which run the nuclear weapons factory at Aldermaston. Continue reading “Withdraw the census contract!”

Calling young voters!

The current election campaign is intriguing for many of us, not only because there is no clear favourite to win, but because we shall see at least a 150 new faces in parliament.

Many of these faces will be young faces, replacing those who for many years have been at the heart of the establishment. What’s more, approximately four million young people will be eligible to vote for the first time this year, and capturing their votes could be key for whichever party pops the champagne on 7 May.

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) is taking part in an event that sets out to show that to engage a new generation of voters, politics are going to have to change. New Voters, New Politics exists precisely to show that candidates need to take the issues of young voters seriously if they wish to gain their support.

CAAT is supporting this event with fifteen other organisations which will allow young voters to grill four high profile politicians from four of the national parties. It will have a ‘Question Time’ type format, and the politicians will face questions relating to issues such as human rights, the environment, fair trade and the arms trade.

With the High Court’s recent decision not to to allow a judicial review hearing against the Serious Fraud Office’s (SFO) controversial plea bargain settlement with BAE Systems, as requested by CAAT and The Corner House, it’s an opportunity to question politicians on how they plan to bring BAE to justice.

Taking part in the session will be: Hilary Benn (Labour),James Brokenshire (Conservative), Simon Hughes (Liberal Democrat) and Darren Johnson (Green).

New Voters, New Politics is being held at Oasis Centre Hall, opposite Lambeth North tube station.
Date: 27 April
Time: 7pm (Doors open at 6pm)

If you are a young voter and have questions for the politicians, we have plenty of seats to fill so book your place now!

Email universities(at)caat*org*uk for more information and to book a spot.

Clown Army descend upon BAE careers fair!

Battlefield dispatch from General Whitewash and his brigade of rebel clowns:

Today at 17:00 hours a highly militarised clown battalion laid siege to the BAE Systems stand at the Edinburgh University Careers Fair on Chambers Street. In a bid to disrupt the recruiting efforts of the world’s third largest arms company these brave clowns performed great feats of surrealist mayhem.

Their derring-do extended to other stalls when they were alerted to the presence of such villains as Shell, RBS and Procter & Gamble, all of which futilely attempted to conceal their misdeeds – which range from massive environmental and social degradation (here’s lookin’ at you Shell and RBS) to the routine torturing of animals for cosmetics’ testing (hello Procter & Gamble!) – behind nice and shiny PR smokescreens. Good thing these clowns come fully equipped with bullsh*t detectors!

Back at the BAE stand, company reps were definitely not overheard explaining to students how the company equips F-16 warplanes used by the Israeli army to reduce Palestinian and Lebanese villages to rubble. Like lightening clowns were despatched, heavily armed with sarcasm and fluorescent clothing, to make sure potential graduate employees were fully educated in the glorious history of BAE’s deadly dealings. Continue reading “Clown Army descend upon BAE careers fair!”

BAE AGM in pictures

A picture is worth a thousand words and that is certainly true when you look at the output of the wonderful Jill Gibbon. She attended the 2009 BAE AGM, as she has in previous years, and has done a fantastic series of sketches of the meeting itself and the lunch afterwards -which makes you realise there is a whole subculture of investors who attend AGMs just for the food (admittedly it was the best part of the day).

Look and laugh at