One year before one of the world's largest arms fairs is due to return to the UK, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has launched an arms trade map of the UK to enable people to learn more about the activities of the often secretive arms industry and to take action against the arms companies on their doorstep. A month of action will commence on 1 September.
The map enables members of the public to find within seconds which companies in their area were present at the Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair in 2011, where buyers included Bahrain, Egypt and 12 other authoritarian regimes. As more information about each company's activities is discovered, it is added to the map which is designed to be a growing resource.
The month of action signals the intention of campaigners to stop the DSEI arms fair, which is scheduled for 10-13 September 2013. Actions are planned in six locations so far, including a "critical mass" cycle protest between arms company sites in London, and protests at BAE Warton in Lancashire, EDO MBM Technology in Brighton, Heckler and Koch in Nottingham, Selex Galileo in Edinburgh and elsewhere. More are expected to be announced throughout September.
One group is planning a die-in outside the Great Yarmouth site of API Technologies, which supplies electronics for "smart weapons, military satellites, space vehicles and the latest military aircraft."
The action organiser says:
This company is shameless about profiting from these lethal products yet most local people know nothing about their activities. We want to draw public attention to these death-dealers in our town to show them that they are not welcome here.
Sarah Waldron, CAAT Campaigner, says:
Conflict, repression and destruction around the world are fuelled by weapons and components made all across the UK. One year before the DSEI arms fair is due to return, we want to let the arms companies on our doorstep know that their business will not go unchallenged.
For further information contact CAAT's Outreach and Campaigns Team, Anne-Marie O'Reilly or Sarah Waldron, on 0207 281 0287 or or mobile 07990 673 232 or email Anne-Marie O'Reilly.
1. Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) in the UK works to end the international arms trade. The arms business has a devastating impact on human rights and society and damages economic development. Large-scale military procurement and arms exports only reinforce a militaristic approach to international problems. Around 75% of CAAT's income is raised from individual supporters.
2. The map can be found here. The initial data focuses on the UK companies that exhibited at the 2011 Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI), one of the world's largest arms fairs, held biennially in London. Currently the map lists over 600 arms company locations but hundreds more will be added as more information comes in from the public and CAAT's own research.
3. Users can find out about companies' products and services, membership of trade bodies, attendance at arms fairs and on international sales missions, as well as details of international customers. Read more about the map here.
4. The growing list of events during the month of action can be found here. More information about Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair can be found here. The list of authoritarian regimes invited in 2011 to DSEI arms fair can be found here.