Campaign Against Arms Trade Christian Network and Pax Christi
FAO Newsdesks - Friday 4th June 2004
Christians take to the Streets of Westminster in Pilgrimage of Prayer-Protest against the Arms Trade Friday 4th June 2004
To mark International Day for Children as Victims of War on 4th June, the Campaign Against Arms Trade Christian network and Pax Christi, the international Catholic movement for peace, are organising a pilgrimage of prayer and protest to Government departments involved in the global arms trade.
Becci D'Cunna of CAAT Christian Network said: "As Christians we believe we are called to be peacemakers. In light of this, we are here to challenge our government's policy towards the arms trade, which is causing countless deaths and fuelling conflict worldwide."
Pat Gaffney, general secretary of Pax Christi said: "Armed conflict, fuelled by the arms trade, continues to have a tragic impact on the world's most vulnerable - children. According to UNICEF 2 million children have died as a result of armed conflict in the past decade."
The action on 4th June will take supporters from the Memorial to the Innocent Victims of War at Westminster Abbey to the Department of Trade and Industry, the Treasury, the Foreign Office and Downing Street. Prayers will be offered at each place and letters will be presented at each Department, calling for an end to government subsidies to arms export companies, the tightening of the government's arms export controls and the creation of a National Conversion Fund to re-orientate companies from military to civil production. At Downing Street over 2500 signatures will be presented to Mr Tony Blair.
This activity is part of the on-going Call to Conversion Project, launched by CAAT Christian Network and Pax Christi in June 2002 to engage Church leaders and communities in critical reflection and action to challenge government policy on the arms trade. Sunday 6th June is the Arms Trade Day of Prayer promoted by the two organisations. Churches across the UK will be including prayers for victims of the arms trade and for peace in their Sunday service.
For more information contact:
Beccie D'Cunha, CAAT on 020 7281 0297
Picture Editor Notes
There will be a photo opportunity at 12.45 when the petitions are handed in at the door of Downing Street. Representatives from CAAT and Pax Chrisiti will be present with Placards showing children in war situations with the words 'Let children live in peace'. High Quality digital images are available upon request.