Arms trade

1 March 2012Cartoon

1 March 2012Feature

Four hundred people are being prosecuted for refusing to fill out the 2011 census. Many of them took their stand on political grounds. Here are some of those who are resisting.

Deborah Glass-Woodin

Deborah Glass-Woodin was an active member of the Green Party and served on the city and county council in Oxford, where she still lives. Deborah had her pre-trial hearing on 2 February and her full hearing is scheduled for 14 May at Reading magistrates’ court.

After spending many years as an active member of the Green Party, she has become a green activist. In 2008, she was arrested during a protest against treefelling in Oxford. The charges were later…

24 January 2012News

Chris Cole's DSEi trial postponed to March 2012

On 16 January, Chris Cole, 48, a peace activist from Oxford, appeared before Westminster magistrates’ court in Marylebone Road, London, to be tried for a protest at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEi) arms fair in September 2011. Chris was arrested for spraying “DSEi Kills” and “Stop the arms trade” at the entrance to the fair, as delegates queued to enter. 

Chris, who has pleaded “not guilty” to charges of criminal damage, was prepared to argue that he was acting…

24 January 2012News in Brief

At least 400 people across the UK are being prosecuted for not completing last year’s national census. Many of them refused on grounds of conscience, protesting against the involvement of US arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin in data capture and processing.

On 17 January, Derek Shields, 57, from the Wirral, was found guilty of not completing the census and was fined £75. He has announced that he does not intend to pay the fine.

John Voysey from Herefordshire, who was a…

24 January 2012Letter

Thank you for the article on the fate of those who refused to fill in the 2011 census forms. (PN 2540-41).

The statements they will make in their own defence will be very interesting and helpful. I hope you can print some of them in an issue of Peace News.

24 January 2012Comment

Jeff Cloves ponders the arms trade, the census, and the perils of not being on the electoral register

Small events in small towns happen everywhere in UK plc but they’re worth recounting nonetheless. At times it’s easy to believe that nobody cares about anything and nothing can be done anyway. Usually the arrival of PN is a corrective to such negative thinking on my part but occasionally there also occur what Tory prime minister Harold (Supermac) Macmillan once described as “events, dear boy, events”, and the world takes on a slightly rosier hue.

Events here in the People’s Republic…

24 January 2012Review

Hamish Hamilton, 2011; 672pp; £25

Andrew Feinstein’s The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade has been a long time coming. Anyone with more than a casual acquaintance with the arms industry will be well aware of its arsenal of libel lawyers, and the alacrity with which they descend upon all but the most cast iron of assertions against it. In this day and age it takes a brave publisher to put out such a book as Feinstein’s latest tome, and it is little surprise…

1 December 2011News

Refusers face trial for arms protests

A number of activists refused to fill in the 2011 national census because of their objection to the involvement of military firm Lockheed Martin in processing the data.

Census resister Judith Sambrook, 47, pleaded not guilty at Wrexham magistrates court on 11 November; her case was adjourned to Mold magistrates court on 8 December.

On 8 December, Sarah Ledsom, 56, is due to appear at Liverpool magistrates court for failing to complete the 2011 census form.
Former Oxford…

26 November 2011Blog entry

The freebies given away at DSEi arms fair in London are so extraordinary they need to be seen to be believed. Jill Gibbon has drawn and photographed a selection.

Air Boss Defense condoms given free to arms dealers

Jenrick grenade

BAE Systems jelly beans given free to arms dealers

Rubber toy tank for the boys from Bose

BAE Sytems boiled sweet given out to arms dealers

1 November 2011Cartoon

26 October 2011Blog entry

<p>Jill Gibbon reports from Britain's biggest arms fair.</p>

Appropriate clothing for selling weapons

A sign at the entrance to the Defense and Security Equipment International arms fair warns that visitors must wear business dress. The pinstriped suits, school ties and polished shoes shroud the event in sham respectability. However, the dress code does not extend to sales staff. Here, the main aim is to entice.

Women's clothing…

1 October 2011News

Dan Viesnik reports on the protests surrounding Europe's biggest arms fair.

The world’s largest arms bazaar returned to east London’s ExCeL exhibition centre from 13-16 September. The euphemistically-titled “Defence and Security Equipment International” (DSEi) exhibition opened its doors to dictators and merchants of death from around the world in the ultimate corporate celebration of killing.

Official invitations were, as usual, extended to such democratic and human-rights respecting nations as Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab…

22 September 2011Blog entry

This is the first of a series of drawings from DSEi 2011.

As the world’s largest arms fair, DSEi is part of a wider shift in the commercialisation of war. Although arms companies have always profited from conflict, military production was previously linked to the perceived needs of the state.

In the 1990s this changed. Arms companies responded to the reduction of military budgets at the end of the Cold War by expanding beyond state boundaries, merging into multinationals and…

1 September 2011Letter

By the way, have you had much feedback from the census form campaign to make it difficult for Lockheed Martin [arms manufacturer and census processor]? We received a visit from a census “chaser-upper” who said our form hadn’t been received. We wondered if this was a genuine “lost in the post” or our form had been discarded due to prominent “No Trident” etc messages on all that lovely blank white space on the back of the envelope! We love you, PN, but hope you won’t have to be around for…

1 September 2011Letter

In a recent issue of Peace News I read about some protesters refusing to make out the census as it was run by Lockheed Martin, the same company that does the census in Canada. I am trying to resist this here and wonder what happened to the protesters in the UK. I very much appreciate your paper and have so much admiration for the continual actions of so many dedicated people. We need to do more of that sort of thing in Canada.