How we gate-crashed the arms dealers’ dinner

Yesterday around 200 arms dealers from the ‘defence’ sector of the aerospace industry and their guests (military ‘top brass’ and high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Defence and foreign embassies) gathered for a dinner. At these events companies that manufacture and sell weapons entertain their clients, network and promote their deadly wares. Seven supporters of London Campaign Against Arms Trades and East London Against Arms Fairs went along to remind them of their victims.

Continue reading “How we gate-crashed the arms dealers’ dinner”

London CAAT visits Brighton to support Summer of Resistance

London CAAT outside Brighton Free Radio London CAAT display their banner outside Radio Free Brighton.

London CAAT group took a day trip to Brighton to support Smash EDO’s “Summer of Resistance”.

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Protesters take Vince Cable to task over his support for arms sales

Rhiannon Rees reports on Kingston Peace Council’s vigil outside Vince Cable’s constituency office

Vince Cable talks to the protesters

On Friday 18 March I joined constituents of Vince Cable who were lobbying him at his constituency office in Twickenham to end government support for arms exports to repressive regimes.

As Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills he is the Minister responsible for the UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation (UKTI DSO), the government agency that has been promoting arms exports to Libya, Bahrain and other governments that abuse human rights…surely an uncomfortable position for a leading Liberal Democrat MP! Continue reading “Protesters take Vince Cable to task over his support for arms sales”

The day I went to Downing Street…

CAAT petitioners in Downing Street, 9 March 2011
CAAT petitioners in Downing Street, 9 March 2011

Rhiannon Rees wrtes of her experiences as a member of a CAAT delegation presenting an anti-arms trade petition at the office of the Prime Minister.

On Wednesday, 9 March, I went with Anne-Marie, Henry and Sarah from the CAAT office, and Azeldin El-Sharif, of the British-Libyan Solidarity Campaign, to present CAAT’s ‘This is not OK’ petition at 10 Downing Street.

Nearly 4,000 people had signed the petition and posted their comments to tell the Government that selling tear gas, firearms and crowd control ammunition to Bahrain and Libya, promoting arms exports to corrupt and repressive regimes and holding one of the world’s largest arms fairs in London next September are NOT OK. Continue reading “The day I went to Downing Street…”

Diary of a peace campaigner

Rhiannon Rees recalls her busy week of meetings and actions in October 2010.

Peace campaigners in the London area have had a busy week, and I have been fortunate to get around and meet some fantastic people. Last week was also ‘Quaker Week’, and I went to two of the talks at the Quaker Centre in Euston that illustrated how Quakers are involved in working for peace.

Tuesday 5 October: Andree Ryan spoke at the Quaker Centre about the time she had spent as an Ecumenical Accompanier in Israel/Palestine. These are trained volunteers of all faiths, who spend several months living and working alongside Palestinians and Israeli peace activists, observing and reporting on the daily brutality and hardships of the Israeli occupation and helping to negotiate some mitigation of the hardships and defuse some tense situations by their presence. The programme is co-ordinated by Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW) under the auspices of the World Council of Churches.

Inspired by the courage of the Ecumenical Accompaniers, I took the rather less brave step of joining the monthly vigil against Trident in Parliament Square, which is organised by London Region CND and takes place from 5-7pm on the first Tuesday in the month. Since the Peace Camp was ejected and the green has been blocked off by hoardings, we have to display our banners on a narrow strip of pavement close to the rush-hour traffic, but we gave out 350 leaflets and I hope reached some MPs. Continue reading “Diary of a peace campaigner”