FAO Newsdesks - 2nd May 2001
CAAT Challenges BAE Systems on Day of AGM
Date:Thursday 3rd May, 10am onwards
Venue:QE II Conference Centre, Westminster
Activities:9.00 a.m. - meeting outside QEII conference hall, 9.30 a.m. - shareholder questions and challenges, afterwards - peace vigil, answering press enquiries, peaceful direct action.
CAAT supporters will be travelling to London to coincide with BAE Systems' Annual General Meeting. Many protesters who own token shares will be attending the meeting and challenging BAE over export projects.
Richard Bingley of CAAT said: "This year, due to increasing arms projects and company mergers, there are more questions than ever that BAE need to answer. The acute lack of accountability and responsibility within the arms trade generally seems to be exploited by BAE, despite their empty assurances to the contrary."
Despite issuing a profit warning in January, BAE is the world's largest military contractor with an annual revenues of over $20 billion. To increase business volume BAE seems to have gone 'diversification mad'. Aside from continuing the regular trading 'chesnuts' of exporting Hawk Ground Attack aircraft to Indonesia, and over-stocking 'public health crippled' South Africa with Hawk advanced jet trainers, BAE now seeks - in 'partnership', of course - to develop the 'RATTLER' program. Such issues provoke many questions which CAAT urgently seek answers to.
Other topical items BAE will, arguably, wish to clarify will relate to landmines, China, Morocco, Depleted Uranium, and many more. Please find enclosed a 'press pack' outlining just a few of the issues CAAT will seek clarification around. Richard continued: "perhaps by asking about BAE's involvement in these very serious issues we might awaken, at least, a stir of ethics within the BAE board."
CAAT calls on BAE to stop the export of military equipment to areas of tension and to areas in need of intensive social development. CAAT continues to welcome any successful BAE projects of civil production.
For any information relating to the issues in the press pack, or other arms issues, please contact Richard Bingley or Robin Oakley on +44 (0)20 72810297 or +44 7947 230426. Alternatively contact press(at)caat·org·uk.