A view from inside the UK’s biggest arms company

Photo by Alan Wilson.

Every year, CAAT activists attend the Annual General Meeting of the UK’s biggest arms company, BAE Systems. We do this so that we can challenge the Board face to face and expose the hypocrisy and greed at the heart of the arms trade. One campaigner who attended this year was Arabian activist, Ameen Nemer. Here he reflects on his reasons for going and how he found the experience.

I attended because I wanted to provide a voice for Arabian people. The absolute monarch does not represent the people in Arabia. The House of Saud tries to kidnap our voices. BAE has fallen for the propaganda and presents the regime as a liberating force. I attended so that I could tell the Board and shareholders about what is really happening to my people and land.

I am sure the BAE AGM will be happy not to have that voice which reminds them of the dirty job they are doing. No matter how nice they present themselves using polite language and advance technology, criminals are still criminals. They need to be exposed, and CAAT is doing a great job.

Shareholders got to direct questions to BAE’s Chair, Roger Carr. He was obviously well-briefed and had prepared answers for questions about the bombing in Yemen. His words may have been delivered with confidence, but they were morally bankrupt.

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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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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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