Arms trade

1 October 2015Feature

Help PN publish Andrea Needham's account of Britain's most daring anti-arms trade action

'The heroic actions of this small, but determined, group of women is told brilliantly in Andrea Needham’s fascinating account…. You can sense just how much human life matters to each and every one of these women. They spent six months in jail for acting upon their consciences – but were eventually, and rightly, found to be innocent. Anyone interested in social change, or campaigning for peace, should read this book and take inspiration from the brave actions of these amazing women.'…

1 October 2015News

Dan Viesnik surveys a week of creative disruption

Activists stop deliveries to the DSEI arms fair on 12 September. PHOTO: DAN VIESNIK

There were huge tailbacks during day-long blockades of both entrances to the ExCeL exhibition centre in East London on 12 September, as a day of mass action capped a week of creative disruption in the run-up to the huge biannual DSEI arms fair.

On Monday 7 September, the week of action was launched with a blockade in solidarity with Palestine. Activists stopped a military vehicle from entering…

31 March 2015News in Brief

On 18 March, Yorkshire peace activist Sylvia Boyes, 72, was sentenced to 14 days in New Hall prison for not paying a fine arising from an anti-arms trade protest.

Sylvia had been fined £100 and ordered to pay £340 court costs after being found guilty of obstructing the highway at the defence and security equipment international (DSEI) arms fair in East London in September 2013.

31 March 2015News in Brief

On 3 February, Campaign Against Arms Trade staffer Anne-Marie O’Reilly strode onto the stage of the annual ADS arms industry dinner at the Park Lane Hilton in London. She took the microphone and urged the arms dealers present to consider a career change. (Also present were ministers, over 40 MPs, and many top-ranking civil servants and ministry of defence officials.)

Anne-Marie’s opening words were: ‘I’m here tonight because my child is going to be born in four months’ time.... He…

31 March 2015Feature

A report from this year’s Campaign Against Arms Trade national gathering


CAAT national gathering at Conway Hall,
London, 21 March 2015 Photo: CAAT

One of the most powerful speeches at the CAAT national gathering this year came from Sayed Alwadaei, a Bahraini activist who was imprisoned for taking part in pro-democracy demonstrations and then had his citizenship revoked in Bahrain.

Sayed reminded us of the terrible human cost of the arms trade, and the impact that those of us campaigning over here can have. ‘Your action gives Bahrainis a…

1 February 2015News in Brief

‘Arming All Sides’ is an excellent new online First World War resource initiated by Campaign Against Arms Trade.

The website questions what role the arms trade played before, during and after the war, what opposition was mounted to the trade, and how the war affected what people thought about making and selling armaments. armingallsides.on-the-record.org.uk

1 February 2015Review

Pluto, 2014; 256pp; £15.99

Like his earlier No-Nonsense Guide to the Arms Trade, Nicholas Gilby’s latest book is a well-written, easy-to-read information tool for activists, providing a comprehensive history of corruption in the British arms trade since the 1960s.

Though it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all the players, this is more to do with the inherently shady, obfuscatory world of corrupt arms deals rather than any shortcomings on the author’s part.

The multi-billion-pound Al…

28 September 2014Feature

Sarah Waldron makes the argument for conversion

What sort of future do we want to invest in? Last month’s NATO summit offered a dystopian vision. Here, ‘building stability’ involved turning Cardiff and Newport into militarised zones, overtaken by security fences and armed police, while warplanes roared overhead. It also involved promoting the commercial interests of the weapons manufacturers that have been the main beneficiaries of NATO’s militarism and force projection.

Defence ministers dined aboard the BAE Systems’ Destroyer…

22 July 2014Cartoon

21 July 2014Review

Harvard University Press, 2013; 290pp; £22.95

‘Napalm was born a hero’, argues Columbia University’s Robert Neer about the creation of the sticky, jellied incendiary by US scientists in the Second World War.

Burning at over 800 ° C, napalm played a decisive role in the Pacific War, with perhaps 100,000 Japanese dying in the infamous napalm attack on Tokyo on 9 March 1945. The US ‘scorched and boiled and baked to death’ more people in that one night than died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined, according to US air force…

9 June 2014News

At the London Transport Museum

On 16 May, London CAAT carried out a banner drop inside the London Transport Museum to protest at their decision to take sponsorship money from Thales, the 11th-largest arms company in the world. Thales has used the museum’s rooms to meet with the government’s arms export-promoting body (the UK trade & investment defence & security organisation). Follow ‘London Campaign Against Arms Trade’ on Facebook or on Twitter (@londoncaat) to get involved. Next monthly demo at 2pm on 21 June.…

9 June 2014Cartoon

9 June 2014News

Rolls-Royce directors were confronted with the harrowing testimony of Setsuko Thurlow, a Hiroshima survivor, at their AGM on 1 May. Although the quote was lengthy, the chair was too disorientated to interrupt, and the board responded with nervous laughter.

Rolls-Royce provides power systems for Britain’s Trident nuclear-powered, nuclear-missile-carrying submarine system. In June 2012, Rolls-Royce was awarded a £1bn contract to produce new reactor cores for the Trident replacement…

7 May 2014Blog entry

Report and images from Trident Protest at Rolls Royce AGM.

Rolls-Royce directors were confronted with the harrowing testimony of a Hiroshima survivor, Setsuko Thurlow, at their AGM on 1 May. Although the quote was lengthy, the chair was too disorientated to interrupt, and the board responded with nervous laughter.

Rolls-Royce provides power systems for Britain's Trident nuclear-powered, nuclear-missile-carrying submarine system. In June 2012, Rolls-Royce was awarded a £1bn contract to produce new reactor cores for the submarine that is…

19 March 2014Cartoon