8 May 2007
Christian activists pledge to support BAE protest
Members of the Christian Network of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) will join a public protest tomorrow at the AGM of BAE Systems. The demonstration will call for the reopening of a corruption inquiry into BAE's arms deals with Saudi Arabia. Demonstrators will insist that Government intervention to end the inquiry is a blatant example of the undemocratic power enjoyed by arms companies in the UK.
The CAAT Christian Network has called on all Christians to support the campaign to end BAE's influence. The demonstration, which will be strictly nonviolent, will begin at 10.30am tomorrow (9th May) outside the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London. The BAE AGM will begin in the Centre at 11.00am.
CAAT Christian Network Co-ordinator Alun Morinan said:
"As Christians we are called to be peacemakers and that means ending the arms trade. We are protesting against our Government's support for Britain's largest arms company, BAE Systems and their dealings with Saudi Arabia, a regime with an appalling record of persecuting Christians and other faith groups."
BAE's arms deals with Saudi Arabia will also be the focus of this year's Arms Trade Day of Prayer, to be marked throughout the UK on Sunday, 10th June.ENDS
1. Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) works for the reduction and ultimate abolition of the international arms trade. CAAT has support from people of all faiths and none. The CAAT Christian Network is a grouping of Christians, from many backgrounds and denominations, who support CAAT's aims.
2. On 14th December 2006, the Serious Fraud Office and the Government announced that they were suspending an investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in its arms deals with Saudi Arabia. CAAT and the Corner House have lodged grounds for a judicial review of this decision.
3. This demonstration is organised by CAAT as part of its Control BAE campaign, which calls for the Saudi corruption inquiry to be reopened.
4. Spokespeople for CAAT, and for the CAAT Christian Network, are available for interview before, during or after the AGM.
5. Photographs of the demonstration will be available on request. Photographs of previous CAAT protests against the influence of BAE can be found at /SFOjudicialreview-pics.php. Media are welcome to use these photographs, if attributed to CAAT.
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