On 3 December, the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) organised a day of action in solidarity with the people in Yemen and against the companies fuelling the war there, in the run-up to their legal challenge to British arms sales to Saudi Arabia, due to be heard in the High Court on 31 January.
Some events took place before the official day of action. On 2 December, there was a demo outside BAE Systems in Holyhead, on Anglesey, and, in Lancaster, Demilitarise Lancaster, Solidarity with Yemen and CAAT disrupted an arms company talk.
In Southampton, on 3 December, there was a ‘Don’t Talk About Y***N’ poetry event at the Art Gallery Fountain, followed by a walk to arms company Leonardo.
During these days, CAAT reports there were activities in Ayrshire, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Caithness, Farnborough, Glasgow, Keighley, Liverpool and Preston.
Unfortunately, London CAAT’s ‘Worst Sights of London Tour’, visiting arms companies, was postponed due to illness.... (So it’s not just PN this happens to.) During the eight-year war in Yemen, CAAT reports, the UK has supplied over £23bn-worth of arms, including fighter jets, bombs and missiles, to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen. The war has led to an estimated 377,000 deaths through direct and indirect causes, according to the UN.
CAAT’s previous legal action in 2019 forced the UK government to stop issuing export licences to Saudi Arabia for weapons that could be used in Yemen.
In July 2020, the government re-started arms sales to Saudi Arabia, claiming any violations of international humanitarian law involved in their use were only ‘isolated incidents’. Since then, the UK has licensed over £2.2bn more in weapons sales to the Saudis.