University of Southampton ends its investment in arms companies

Last week, the University of Southampton joined the growing list of Universities who have decided to take a stance against investments in the arms trade. In this article Sebastian, Odell of Southampton University explains what’s happened and how students forced the university into taking action.

Southampton students take action against BAE.
Southampton students take action against BAE.

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Sisters Against the Arms Trade shut down a missile factory

On Tuesday 3rd May, Sisters Against the Arms Trade blockaded an MBDA missile factory in Henlow, Bedfordshire, occupying the factory for 10 hours and closing production for the day. The action, which took place six months on from the first UK airstrikes in Syria and as the Assad regime intensifies its attacks on Aleppo, called for an end to the UK’s military intervention and an end to Assad’s bombardments and starvation sieges. Here, one of the activists discusses her experience of the day. sisters against the arms trade action photo Continue reading “Sisters Against the Arms Trade shut down a missile factory”

It’s time to scrap Trident: Join us on Saturday 27th February

Thousands of people are getting ready for the Stop Trident march this weekend.

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This Saturday promises to be a day filled with passionate protests and speeches against the UK Government’s plan to vote to renew the nuclear weapons system later this year. People will be gathering at 12 noon at Marble Arch and then marching to Trafalgar Square where a mass rally will take place. Over twenty organisations are supporting the march, ranging from faith groups to environmental, anti-militarist, health and social justice campaigning organisations.

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London Underground subvertised for Israeli Apartheid Week

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If you were in London this weekend and travelled on the Underground, you may have spotted some adverts exposing the UK’s complicity in Israel’s crimes against Palestinian people. Continue reading “London Underground subvertised for Israeli Apartheid Week”

Resisting police militarisation in the US

Two police officer in heavy riot hear and carrying guns

Since the terrorist attacks in Paris, David Cameron has announced plans to increase investment in counter-terrorism police and that thousands of troops are ready to patrol the streets if a similar attack took place in London. The lines between policing, the army and ‘security’ are becoming blurred and ‘counter-terrorism’ is being used to clampdown on civil liberties.

In the US, a coalition has been taking action against the militarisation of police and institutionalised racism by targeting a major arms fair: Urban Shield. Continue reading “Resisting police militarisation in the US”

Addressing some misconceptions about the Arms Trade Treaty

Deception in High Places by Nicholas Gilby
Deception in High Places by Nicholas Gilby

In this blog anti arms trade writer and campaigner Nicholas Gilby, author of Deception in High Places – A History of Bribery In Britain’s Arms Trade, analyses misconceptions about the arms trade treaty.

The Arms Trade Treaty came into force on 24 December 2014.  At the time of writing the Treaty has been signed by 131 states and ratified by 61.  I want to try and clear up some misconceptions about the Treaty that have been aired in the commentaries surrounding its the entry into force.

Will the Arms Trade Treaty prohibit the sale of arms which might be used to violate human rights?

The short answer is no.

The Arms Trade Treaty sets out criteria for when arms exports should be prohibited (Article 6) and the criteria which should be used when deciding whether other arms exports should be permitted (Article 7).

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The arms trade on your doorstep: Coventry activists target Lockheed Martin

A Coventry-based activist shares his story of arms trade investments, cluster bombs, and challenging the world’s largest arms dealers with Blu-Tack.

If you’ve got something right under your nose, it gives you the opportunity to confront the reality of the arms trade in a way that cannot be dismissed as ‘none of our business’. It also means that you don’t have the problem of slogging half way across the country to put up banners for a couple of hours. I have discovered that drawing attention to your local arms company office can be as simple as sticking a sign up- and can make a significant campaign impact.

Activist with a T-shirt reading "Arms Dealer" and an arrow pointing sideways stands next to an arms fair delegate

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Referendum: Swiss say no to new fighter jets

Sicherheit zuerst! Ja zum Gripen am 18 Mai.
Referendum poster: “Security first! Yes to Gripen on 18 May”

Many European governments have used the situation in the Ukraine as justification to increase military spending. But only in Switzerland do people have a direct say in their country’s military policy. And the signal that the Swiss people sent out last Sunday was very clear: Buying expensive weapons systems is not a priority.

In a national referendum, 53.4% of the voters rejected the purchase of 22 Swedish JAS Gripen E fighter jets. The deal was worth £2 billion immediately and £6.6 billion including operations and maintenance over the next few years. The government had proposed the procurement to replace the ageing F-5 Tiger fleet that will be put out of operation next year.

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