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.
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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.
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. Read more »
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
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. Read more »
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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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. Read more »
Abi Haque on CAAT’s first-ever alternative careers event.
Our 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. Read more »
A careers fair at the University of Edinburgh was closed down last week after the organisers’ decision to invite the world’s largest arms firm to the event triggered a nonviolent protest by students. The students laid down in front of the stall run by BAE Systems in a symbolic die-in.
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At the start of 2010, Kaye Stearman looks back on events of the past year and what was achieved.
8 November 2008 – CAAT’s National Gathering at Conway Hall in central London sees the launch of the new “Armed & Dangerous” campaign to focus on the support given to arms exports by United Kingdom Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO).
Kingsgate House Demo, 24 November
24 November – CAAT holds its first demonstration outside UKTI DSO headquarters at Kingsgate House, Victoria Street, Westminster. Is it right for civil servants to act as arms dealers?
27 December onwards – Israel launches an armed attack on Gaza which continues for three weeks. CAAT highlights how British weapons and components are deployed and calls for a complete ban on British arms exports to Israel. Read more »
Battlefield dispatch from General Whitewash and his brigade of rebel clowns:
Today at 17:00 hours a highly militarised clown battalion laid siege to the BAE Systems stand at the Edinburgh University Careers Fair on Chambers Street. In a bid to disrupt the recruiting efforts of the world’s third largest arms company these brave clowns performed great feats of surrealist mayhem.
Their derring-do extended to other stalls when they were alerted to the presence of such villains as Shell, RBS and Procter & Gamble, all of which futilely attempted to conceal their misdeeds – which range from massive environmental and social degradation (here’s lookin’ at you Shell and RBS) to the routine torturing of animals for cosmetics’ testing (hello Procter & Gamble!) – behind nice and shiny PR smokescreens. Good thing these clowns come fully equipped with bullsh*t detectors!
Back at the BAE stand, company reps were definitely not overheard explaining to students how the company equips F-16 warplanes used by the Israeli army to reduce Palestinian and Lebanese villages to rubble. Like lightening clowns were despatched, heavily armed with sarcasm and fluorescent clothing, to make sure potential graduate employees were fully educated in the glorious history of BAE’s deadly dealings. Read more »
Katherine O’Mahoney, Universities Network Volunteer writes:
Anti-arms trade campaigners will be shocked and disappointed to learn of the launch of University College London’s (UCL) new £17m Security Research Training Centre – or UCL SECReT. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC), the multidisciplinary centre will recruit between 10 and 20 PhD students each year to research a range of subjects relating to crime and security. And, in its ambition to become one of the world’s leading centres of expertise for security and crime science, UCL SECReT has partnered with arms companies BAE Systems, Thales and Lockheed Martin.
This year student group Disarm UCL successfully lobbied for the university to adopt an ethical investment policy which should result in the exclusion of arms shares from the university’s portfolio.
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