Glasgow University continues to support arms companies

In this guest post, David Bloomfield from the Glasgow University Arms Divestment Coalition (GUADC)  provides an update on the campaign against Glasgow University investments in the arms trade. Unfortunately a similar story can be told about universities across the UK. We recommend reading this post as background.

At the end of June, the University of Glasgow decided to retain the bulk of its £3 million worth of investments in some of the world’s largest arms companies, including BAE Systems, Airbus and Boeing.

The decision to keep profiting from the arms trade was made despite a fierce campaign by the student group Glasgow University Arms Divestment Coalition (GUADC) and concerned members of the community. As has been pointed out again and again, weapons produced by the huge arms companies that the University has chosen to invest in have been linked to serious war crimes across the world. The University has publicly proclaimed that ‘#BlackLivesMatter’, but it has refused to accept that the bombs it profits from have been used to kill people around the world.

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Questions for BAE

Weapons manufacturer BAE Systems holds its Annual General Meeting today, but it’s not taking questions from shareholders.

We understand why it would want to hide from scrutiny: this is a company with plenty to be ashamed of. But as it continues to profit from violence around the world, we still have #QuestionsforBAE

A line of people hold placards in front of BAE Systems background
Continue reading “Questions for BAE”

Saudi-British relations: silenced oppressions & complicity

Photo by Ryan Ashcroft

Last month CAAT and the CAAT Universities Network co-hosted a very important meeting at the School of Oirental and African Studies, London.

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi’s has put the UK-Saudi relationship under more scrutiny than ever before. Unfortunately there has been more scrutiny of his murder than of the death and destruction that Saudi forces have inflicted on Yemen, and of the ongoing human rights abuses for those living and working in Saudi Arabia and those affected by Saudi Arabia’s international policies. On the 19th November, we co-hosted an event on ‘Saudi-British relations: silenced oppressions & complicity’.

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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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University students oppose arms company recruitment

Disrupting arms company recruitment is an effective way to challenge the arms trade. Arms companies rely on hiring graduates to keep their business going. This makes universities an obvious recruiting ground, as there are many people who will soon be qualified and looking to start a career.

Three people hand out leaflets at an information stall. There is a banner that reads "careers in killing" in the background.

This term a number of arms companies have tried to recruit students at universities all over the UK, but they have been met with fierce opposition. Continue reading “University students oppose arms company recruitment”

Stop the Arms Fair: Conference at the Gates

Stop the Arms Fair: Conference at the Gates
A Workshop on Militarism, Resistance and Academic Praxis

Where: ExCeL Centre, East London, E16 1XL
When: Thursday 10th September 2015

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This September arms dealers from around the world will congregate in London’s ExCeL Centre for the DSEI arms fair. As one of the world’s largest arms fairs, DSEI brings together over 1,500 arms companies and military delegations from over 100 countries.

On display will be everything from crowd control equipment to machine guns, tanks, drones and even battleships. It’s a crucial event in the business of the international arms trade, and the deals done here play a major role in reinforcing Western militarism, fueling conflict, repressing dissent and strengthening authoritarian regimes across the world.

The Stop the Arms Fair coalition have called a week of action at the venue to disrupt the setup of the arms fair. On Thursday 10th September, the protests will focus on the relationship between militarism and education. As part of this day, there will be an open air academic workshop at the gates of the ExCeL Centre. Continue reading “Stop the Arms Fair: Conference at the Gates”

Kicking arms companies off campus

Protesters stall covered in alternative information about BAE
BAE Systems: Graduate schemes in warmongering

Tom Greenwood and Beth Smith reflect upon an excellent year of student campaigning, and outline the ways in which students and staff can get involved in the year ahead.

Arms companies need universities and they need university students. Universities produce the skilled graduates that the industry requires and undertake research necessary for technological developments. Some universities even invest money in the arms industry, often without the knowledge or approval of their students or staff.

This year, students all over the UK have taken action to show arms companies that they are not welcome at their universities. By kicking arms companies off our campuses, we have the power to hit them where it hurts!

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Manchester University staff member’s ironic letter to colleagues about their indifference to the consequences of their research for BAE

Dear Colleagues,

I attended the presentation given by the arms company Thales a few months ago as a personal interdisciplinary exercise. The problem was as follows.

Given a group of thoroughly decent academics listening to a presentation of some highly technical problems posed by an organisation devoted to the production, inter alia, of tools of repression, mass slaughter, and arbitrary execution, I was interested to learn how such individuals would cope with a certain cognitive dissonance which they might be expected to experience.

The results were very interesting. During the two hours or so for which I attended, despite the fact that numerous questions were asked, not a single member of the audience (including myself) asked any question concerning the purpose for which the resolution of any of the problems might be required. Continue reading “Manchester University staff member’s ironic letter to colleagues about their indifference to the consequences of their research for BAE”

Careers in the arms trade – there are ethical alternatives

Abi Haque on CAAT’s first-ever alternative careers event.

Alternative Careers Event, University of York, 10 February 2011Our excitement about holding the first ever Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) alternative careers event was well rewarded. The event at the University of York on the evening of 10 February saw a fantastic turn-out of over 60 students. In fact, the room was so crowded we ran out of seats and some people ended up sitting on the floor, so keen they were to participate. Continue reading “Careers in the arms trade – there are ethical alternatives”