FAO: Newsdesks - 19th July 2002
Farnborough 'Air Show' Protests Planned
The biannual Farnborough Air Show is taking place between 22nd - 28th July.
While the public days are championed as fun days out for all the family, the reality is very different. Farnborough is an arms fair and a very important date in the arms trade calendar.
Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has three protests planned:
1) PRAYER - PILGRIMAGE - PROTEST Thursday 23rd July 11am. CAAT Christian Network are organising a prayer and protest walk around London. We will meet at Westminster Abbey and there will be four prayer points on the route; the Department of Trade and Industry, the Treasury, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Downing Street. This procession forms part of our Call to Conversion campaign: "As Christians we are called to be peacemakers. Yet as a nation we are sowing the seeds of war around the world by exporting hundreds of millions of pounds of armaments."
2) Action against delegate's dinner Tuesday 23rd July - 7pm at Le Meridien Hotel, Grosvenor House, Park Lane W1. The Farnborough International Dinner is described as "the social event of the Air Show week" and is where the most important networking will be done. It will be attended by Jack Straw, giving explicit support to recent controversial defence contracts such as the BAE Systems deal with India to supply Hawk jets. Campaign Against Arms Trade will be outside to provide a noisy presence for the delegates as they arrive for their feast of death. Come and show that we will not tolerate the suffering
3) PEACE PROCESSION Thursday 25th July - A walk to the gates of the exhibition. Leaving Farnborough Rail Station at 10.30 am. Catch the 09.40 from Waterloo. Arrives Farnborough 10.24
Why protest against the Farnborough Air Show?
CAAT media co-ordinator Richard Bingley said, "What sort of country are we living in when we entice families and children to rummage around the same weapons that we see on television being used in the Israel/Palestinian conflict."
Some of what is exhibited at Farnborough is civilian aerospace equipment. Most of it is military kit which companies are exhibiting to attract foreign clients.
Richard continued, "We'll be looking at Lockhead Martin fighter jets, Boeing Apache helicopters and BAE Hawk jets and missiles - all of which have been sold to lethal regimes around the world. We are calling on all of these companies to exercise more corporate responsibility over their arms sales."
For press and media enquiries please contact Richard Bingley on +44-(0)-20 7 281 0297.