Wars, occupation, oppression, and corruption fuel a surging Middle East arms race

New SIPRI arms transfers data shows small overall increase in global trade, but huge increase in sales to the Middle East.

Graphic showing map of states in the Middle East with bubbles for each country indicating level of arms imports. Heading: Arms imports by states in the Middle East. Subheading: The volume of arms imports in SIPRI trend-indicator values is depicted by the size of the circle. 2014-2018. Source: SIPRI Arms Transfers Database. Copyright SIPRI 2019.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) yesterday releasedits latest data on the global arms trade, for which it is by far the best source. The data provides details of deliveries of major conventional weapons worldwide from 1950-2018, both in numerical terms and with searchable lists of the actual weapons transferred between countries. The information can be found in SIPRI’s database, and some of the key points are discussed in a fact sheet also published yesterday.

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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 Continue reading “Fly Kites Not Drones: Bristol action report”

Stop Arming Israel: Oldham takes action!

The Oldham based “Stop Arming Israel” campaign aimed at Ferranti Technologies, owned by the Israeli arms company Elbit, is going from strength to strength. Read on and find out how you can support the campaign!

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Mass blockade hits drone factory

Activists block factory of Israeli drone company.
Activists block factory of Israeli drone company.

Hundreds of cyclists and their supporters who blockaded a Midlands factory in protest at its sale of drones used by the Israeli military have vowed “We’ll be back.”

The Big Ride for Palestine staged four feeder rides from London, Bristol, Manchester and Sheffield which converged on Birmingham for a festival in Sparkhill Park. The peloton then moved off en masse to a rally at the factory gates of UAV engines, in Shenstone near Lichfield.

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Activists on trial for trying to stop the DSEI arms fair

This week activists are on trial for taking action against the DSEI arms fair last September.

Yesterday, three of the defendants presented their case. All of them spoke at length about why they felt their actions against DSEI were necessary in order to prevent greater crimes.

Activists with a 'Stop Arming Israel' banner and waving Palestinian flags stand on an armoured vehicle
Activists blockade an armoured vehicle from entering the Excel Centre

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Resisting police militarisation: shut down ‘Security and Policing’

Last night I joined activists from several groups including the Network for Police Monitoring, Global Justice Now, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, London Mexico Solidarity, London Campaign Against Arms Trade and Stop the Arms Fair for a protest outside the Home Office to call for an end to the ‘Security and Policing’ arms fair.

Candles in jam jars in front of a 'Human Crisis Your Profits' placard
Photo by Sophie Mawson

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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”

Stop Elbit victory: No arms company expansion in East Kent!

On 21 October, activists invaded the former Manston Airport, in Kent, in broad daylight and occupied the roof of the WW2 control tower. Arms company Instro Precision rents the top floor for R&D and customer demonstrations, and it was seeking to expand by moving its whole operation to the airport from its current base in nearby Broadstairs. Thanet District councillors were due to vote on the planning application later the same day. Activists – who had already occupied the company’s facilities in February and July this year – were determined to stop the move and the expansion from happening.anti-arms trade banners on the railings outside Manston Airport

Why? Because Instro is owned by Elbit Systems, the largest supplier of drones to Israel, meaning we can be almost certain that Elbit’s technology was used to commit likely war crimes in the massacre of Gazans by Israel in 2014. Not only that, but Elbit is also a supplier of arms to the regimes of Saudi Arabia and Turkey – both known to have supported ISIS financially or militarily. In other words, Instro-Elbit is fueling some of the worst conflicts and
facilitating some of the worst oppression in the Middle East. Continue reading “Stop Elbit victory: No arms company expansion in East Kent!”

Stop Elbit defendants in court: call out for solidarity

This summer’s Block the Factory demonstration drew campaigners from across the UK to protest at Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems’ factory in Shenstone. But 19 people were arrested during the demonstration, charged with breaching a High Court injunction that Elbit Systems had taken out in an attempt to halt protests at the factory. Campaigners have successfully challenged the injunction, and the ban on protest at the site has been lifted.

On Friday 28th August, the 19 arrested at the Block the Factory demonstration will be appearing at Burton-on-Trent magistrates court, and are expected to plead Not Guilty to the charges. Show your support with those arrested by joining one of the solidarity demonstrations.

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