Through the Payne barrier on the Great South Run

“Wow, I did it” says Debbie Payne after she finishes the Great South Run.

These shoes were made for running

What makes it even more special is that Debbie was running on 24 October to raise funds for Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and now she has posted her account on the blogsite of Norfolk CAAT. Read all about it and be inspired.

CAAT is keen to hear of others who are willing to run, hop and skip to raise funds. And if you want to take that ultimate jump of a lifetime, why not sign up for skydiving. If you want to learn more, contact fundraising(at)caat*org*uk

Looking back with CAAT

At the start of 2010, Kaye Stearman looks back on events of the past year and what was achieved.

8 November 2008 – CAAT’s National Gathering at Conway Hall in central London sees the launch of the new “Armed & Dangerous” campaign to focus on the support given to arms exports by United Kingdom Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO).

Kingsgate House Demo, 24 November
Kingsgate House Demo, 24 November

24 November  – CAAT holds its first demonstration outside UKTI DSO headquarters at Kingsgate House, Victoria Street, Westminster. Is it right for civil servants to act as arms dealers?

27 December onwards – Israel launches an armed attack on Gaza which continues for three weeks. CAAT highlights how British weapons and components are deployed and calls for a complete ban on British arms exports to Israel. Continue reading “Looking back with CAAT”

The Quinnie and I (and a few friends)

CAAT’s Media Coordinator Kaye Stearman writes:

I lay unmoving on the walkway above Trafalgar Square, in front of the National Gallery. Through my half-closed eyes, I could see passers-by stopping to look at me, some taking photos. My knees stiffened and my back arched on the still damp ground yet I felt strangely content. Why? Well, I was taking part in a public art event and simultaneously protesting against the London arms fair. How good is that?

The main focus of attention was on the Fourth Plinth of the square, scene of the One & Other project, brainchild of artist Antony Gomley. Members of the public, drawn by lot, could use their hour on the plinth as “living sculptures” to do what ever they liked – as long as it was legal.

A wonderful lady in Leeds called Quinnie had got in touch with Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) the previous month to say that she had been drawn to appear on the plinth and wanted to dedicate her hour to protest against the London arms fair – Defence Systems & Equipment International (DSEI). Continue reading “The Quinnie and I (and a few friends)”

Throw the book at BAE – CAAT at the BAE AGM 2009

The BAE AGM is one of the constants of the CAAT calendar. Every May we mobilise our supporters to line up to ask the sort of questions the BAE Board definitely do not want to answer. 2009 was no exception.

This year we decided to focus on what happens inside the AGM, rather than outside. Even so, the day started with a small group of CAAT supporters holding posters highlighting BAE’s rising profits and ethical record. As usual, the area outside the giant Queen Elizabeth 11 Conference Centree was heavily policed and we were confined to a small holding pen, made even more frustrating by the narrowed pavements and extra barriers thrown up by roadworks. Hopefully, the Korean tourists and French schoolchildren who passed by understood at least some of our message.

At least you can see our messages in our photos. Although BAE faithfully recorded the entire AGM on film, shareholders cannot use recording equipment inside the meeting.

We were faced with the usual bland setting. The BAE Board – all male, almost all white – sat on the rostrum. Most stayed mute, letting Chairman Dick Olver dominate the meeting. Apart from a report from Chief Executive Ian King, and a few short replies from others, it was Olver all the way. Continue reading “Throw the book at BAE – CAAT at the BAE AGM 2009”

The cuckoo has landed… at UKTI

CAAT media co-ordinator Kaye Stearman writes…

Monday morning, 30 March, at 8.30am. and the pavement outside Kingsgate House, the unlovely concrete box that houses United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI), was in deep shadow. I had volunteered to do the early shift at CAAT’s UKTI demo and was freezing as a result. As the wind whistled down Victoria Street I almost envied the civil servants, arriving for work in a warm building.

As those same civil servants pushed through the rotating door (the title of one of CAAT’s earlier campaigns) they were puzzled to be handed a copy of UKTI’s Defence and Security Organisation (DSO) “performance report”. Like most civil servants they are familiar with glossy government reports. They know that most are exercises in box ticking, highlighting perceived successes and hiding more dubious activities – or spin as we laypeople call it. Continue reading “The cuckoo has landed… at UKTI”