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Invictus Games, glossing over inconvenient truths: the arms trade and the British royals

 

Prince Harry at the Invictus Games

In a guest blog, Michelle Fahy of the Medical Association for Prevention of War exposes how the UK Royal Family has worked with arms companies and human rights abusers around the world. Many of those arms companies are using the Invictus games in Australia as a promotional vehicle.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have arrived and the media frenzy has erupted, fuelled by news of the royal pregnancy. As media coverage goes, the Invictus Games team couldn’t have managed it any better. Yet, when it comes to the actions of the royal family, all that glisters is not gold.

Bubbles Not Bombs!

On Saturday the 21 July 2018, a small group of activists for Stop The Arms Fair
met outside the Farnborough International Airshow to participate in a peaceful
family friendly action. The Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) hosted
arms deals during the week of the 16-20 July. On the weekend, it held a public
“family friendly” weekend, to whitewash its deadly trade show. Stop The Arms
Fair had a thought provoking message for the public and families attending
this event.

A woman activist in a red shirt blows bubbles in front of a Bubbles Not Bombs banner on metal fencing

Making bubbles, not war!

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Glasgow Sank UDT!

The Undersea Defence Technology (UDT) arms fair took place at SEC Glasgow at the end of June. It was met by a large, boisterous protest, which made it very clear that weapons trading should not be happening in Glasgow, or anywhere! As a result, Glasgow Council took the decision to no longer support arms fairs.

"Don't Let Warmongers Make Glasgow"

Campaigners borrowed the slogan from the “Glasgow Life” campaign …and explained what having arms dealers in town really means.

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Malvern Votes Against the Arms Trade!

When campaigners in Malvern in Worcestershire found out that a “Defence and Security Expo”, called “3CDSE” was coming to the Showground venue in their town in May, they knew what to do!

A chef on stilts in front of the stall

A long legged ‘Monsieur’, from an adjacent event, shows his support (credit: Melanie Johnson)

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CAAT visits the BAE Systems AGM

Two activists stand wearing Stop Arming Saudi t-shirts in front of a BAE Systems sign, next to a security guard in a suit.

Andrew Smith reports from our visit to the BAE Systems AGM.

This article originally appeared in Red Pepper.

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Time to act on Yemen

Protesters block a road holding signs saying "Stop Arming Saudi"

Protesters at this year’s DSEI arms fair blocked deliveries of weapons calling for an end to arms sales to Saudi

What is happening in Yemen should be plastered across every UK newspaper, every day. Saudi forces are using UK-supplied weapons to destroy vital civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, water supplies and electrical grids.

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Join the week of action against DSEI

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.

Protests against DSEI 2015 – Photo by Jess Hurd

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.

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How many excuses can you find for hosting arms dealers?

Church House Conference Centre rely on the same three, repeated in various ways to anyone who challenges them – if they reply at all.

Sctivists hold a banner up outside Church House denouncing the conference

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Edinburgh activists call on council to end its investment in arms companies

Brian Larkin and members of the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre hand the petition to divest from arms manufacture to Cllr Chas Booth, Convener of Edinburgh Council’s petitions committee.

Campaigners in Edinburgh are calling for their council to end its investment in arms companies.

Yesterday our friends at Edinburgh CAAT and the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre presented a 400 strong petition to Councillor Chas Booth, the Convener of Edinburgh Council’s petitions committee.

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Fly Kites Not Drones: Bristol action report

On 21 March Bristol Against Arms Trade took action to support the Fly Kites Not Drones campaign. Rowland Dye reports on their action.

We were running a family-friendly craft stall and building our own kite as part of the Fly Kites Not Drones week of action. Supporters from three Bristol groups maintained a constant presence all afternoon.activists gathered around the Fly Kites Not Drones stall Read more »