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Hastings Against War supports THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST ARMS TRADE

The Arms Trade

  • The Arms Trade thrives on proxy wars.
  • Many refugees are fleeing from armed conflict. If our MP Sally-Ann Hart really wants to reduce the number of asylum seekers coming to Britain, she could start by campaigning against the arms trade.
  • The arms trade rewards the Rich and Powerful.
  • The arms trade hurts the Poor and the Weak.

Arms Exports from UK

It is not easy to establish where the arms used in conflicts have originated. However, the use of UK arms in conflict zones includes the use:

The 2021 Defence Review

In the 2021 Defence Review -
  • Army troops have been cut by 10,000, and there will be possible cuts to infantry fighting vehicles and tanks. However, military spending will increase by 24 billion pounds over 4 years.
  • There will be new funding for high tech warfare including armed drones.
  • Trident nuclear warheads will be increased from 180 to 260.
  • There will also be 6.6 billion pounds for military research and development over the next 4 years, including a new artificial intelligence centre and a new RAF space command.
  • 76m pounds for a National Cyber Force, the first unit dedicated to offensive acts against enemies.
  • Foreign aid will be cut by some 4 billion pounds, including cuts to vital health research and tackling corruption in developing countries, and cuts as high as 90 per cent in some conflict zones.

Stop the Arms Fairs

The Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI), is a major arms fair run every two years by the Defence and Security Organisation, part of the UK Department of Trade and Investment. It returned to the Excel Centre in East London on 14th-17th September 2021. Supporters of Hastings against War were there to protest.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called for an end to DSEI.

Unfortunately, DSEI is the first of a series of planned or re-arranged arms fairs this autumn, which include -
  • DPRTE (Defence Procurement Research Technology Export), 5 Oct 2021.
    DPRTE has been chased around Britain. It was the Bristol Arms Fair, but was basically chased out of Bristol and became the Cardiff Arms Fair, before being chased out of Cardiff. They tried to make it the Birmingham Arms Fair, but they gave up on that before it had even happened. It has now retreated to near BAE Systems' HQ in Farnborough in Hampshire.
  • Liverpool: AOC 2021 (Electronic Warfare) in Liverpool, 12 Oct 2021, despite local protests
  • Malvern: 3CDSE (Three Counties Defence & Security Expo), 3 & 4 Nov 2021
Supporters of Hastings against War also helped to obstruct the delivery of military equipment to DSEI in 2015, in 2017, and in 2019. Click here for an account of the 2019 arms fair.

Protesters Not Guilty

Eight activists arrested for resisting DSEI in 2015 were found Not Guilty on the grounds that they were seeking to prevent a greater crime.

In June 2021 the Supreme Court quashed the conviction of four protesters for blocking an approach road to the DSEI arms fair in 2017.

Stop Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

In June 2018 the UK Court of Appeal ruled that the export of fighter jets, missiles and bombs made in the UK, for use in Yemen, was illegal.

This was not the end. The Government did not accept the verdict and was granted permission to take the case to the Supreme Court - at the taxpayers' expense. Meanwhile the Government has announced its decision to continue licensing arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen.

They acknowledge that there have been hundreds of concerning incidents, including the bombing of homes, schools, hospitals and markets, killing thousands of civilians. Yet they have now decided that these are only "isolated incidents" and resumed licensing arms to Saudi Arabia for use in the war in Yemen.

This war has been responsible for the world's worst humanitarian crisis. More than 24 million people need urgent assistance. Now the people of Yemen are facing the challenge of coronavirus, with 1 million cases predicted in a country where the health system is on the brink of collapse, making it extremely difficult for humanitarian workers and local communities to save lives.

The UK Government championed earlier peace talks and is sending generous amounts of aid to help people in need. However, continued arms sales are fuelling the war and destroying chances of peace.

Click here to monitor the manufacture of armaments in Hastings

HASTINGS AGAINST WAR CONGRATULATES THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST ARMS TRADE ON
THEIR NOMINATION FOR THE 2021 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE