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’.
On London’s first hot weekend of the year a group of activists chose to spend their morning outside a Land Rover showroom in Mayfair. Their goal? To highlight Land Rover’s support of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, which takes place on 12th May and brings together the UK royal family with dictator King Hamad of Bahrain.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, principal architect of the war on Yemen which has devastated the country and caused what the UN has called a “humanitarian catastrophe”, has been invited to the UK. On 25th January, Lucie Kinchin from CAAT joined with representatives from other NGOs and human rights organisations to hand in an open letter to say he is not welcome here.
On 21st November, CAAT was proud to join Bahraini activists and supporters from around the UK to protest against the ongoing crackdown and repression in Bahrain. We were saying, free human rights campaigners, such as Nabeel Rajab, free the family of Sayed Alwadaei, stop torture in Bahrain, and stop arming Saudi Arabia which is supporting repression in Bahrain. UK arms sales to Bahrain prop up the repressive regime, and arming Saudi Arabia gives further support to the crushing of democracy in Bahrain.
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.
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.
Over 22-23 July, CAAT organised a full weekend of workshops, speakers, training and performance to build resistance to the arms trade. On the Saturday evening, over 260 people attended Dance To Disarm: a night of live music, DJs and spoken word to raise funds for CAAT and build solidarity through music. Below, long-time CAAT supporter Alastair Binnie-Lubbock gives his reflections on the evening.
In late 2016, Auckland Peace Action (APA) organised a successful week of action against the New Zealand Defence Industry Association’s annual weapons expo in Aotearoa (New Zealand). Arms dealers found themselves locked out of the venue by the blockades. You can read more about their actions on the Peace Action Wellington blog, and in APA’s report.
Tom Anderson – an anti-militarist writer from Shoal Collective – interviewed Valerie Morse from APA about the group and the week of action. This interview is the second in a two part series about anti-militarism in Aotearoa. See part one here.