Bristol is home to many of the UK’s major arms companies, with over 20 arms company sites in the city alone. Bristol also played host to the local DPRTE arms fair, until activists chased it out of the city to Cardiff, where this March local activists are planning to show the arms dealers that there’s no welcome for them in Wales either.
In March 2016, the DPRTE arms fair will come to Cardiff. Join Stop the Cardiff Arms Fair and help to shut it down!
According to its website, DPRTE (the Defence Procurement, Research, Technology and Exportability exhibition) is the “UK’s Premier Defence Procurement Event”. Since October 2014 the exhibition has been held annually at the Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, with exhibitors from around the globe selling arms to a wide range of brutal regimes.
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.
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!”
Norfolk CAAT surprised their local arms dealers, MSI Defence, ahead of the companies attendance at the DSEI arms fair in London. Group member Jan explains how death came to be haunting a factory on the outskirts of Norwich….
Norfolk CAAT decided to do an action at MSI Defence because it is a company with a local factory making military equipment, including naval guns. MSI supplies to various repressive regimes, including Saudi Arabia, and the company had a stand at the recent DSEI arms fair in London. We wanted to highlight to local people what was going on, and to show the company that we’re not happy with them making weapons in our community which maim and kill people. Continue reading “Norfolk CAAT surprise their local arms company”
Join us to watch a collection of short films including Hell Unltd (1936), with guest speakers from Campaign Against Arms Trade
Saturday, September 5th, 9pm, Atlantic Way (next to the River Mersey), outside Brunswick Business Park. See the location on a map here.
The L15 film cooperative are staging a very special event- this September, we’ll be projecting an anti-arms trade film… onto an arms factory.
Hell Unltd. was made as a protest against profits in armaments during a period when fascism was growing throughout Europe. The film is political in nature but, unlike many political films of the period, also heavily experimental, mixing puppets, diagrams, animation, and archival footage at an extremely rapid tempo. Norman McLaren and Helen Biggar’s “Hell Unltd” was one of the first ever agit-prop, anti-war films. Released in 1936, it expertly combines stop motion animation and allegory to form a powerful argument against the war industry. In our screening, the silent film has been overlaid with a beautiful deep house mix by Deepchord. Continue reading “Hell Unltd: outdoor film screening in Liverpool”
Two rooftop protests and no arrests. East Kent CAAT reports on the campaign against Israeli arms manufacturer Eblit System’s factory in Broadstairs, and asks: just what does Elbit have to hide?
Last year, we found out that we had an Elbit factory on our doorstep – Instro Precision, based in Broadstairs. This year we shut it down – twice. Both times, we put four people on the roof, D-locked a neck to the main gates, draped banners down the building, turned away deliveries, leafletted the local population and alerted media outlets. The workers were told to keep away for the day – both days.
In February, they tolerated the bad publicity and loss of business. Not one of the protesters was arrested. We wondered why: it is hardly usual for blockaders to be allowed to shut a factory down.
So we thought we’d see how much Elbit and the police would tolerate.
The Stop the Arms Fair tour of the UK will be coming to Manchester on Saturday 22nd August. Join activists from across the North to find out more about the arms fair, and share ideas to take action against it!