25 October 2010
More protests expected as BAE Systems continues campus recruitment efforts
Careers fairs across the UK are likely to be targeted by anti-arms trade protesters in the coming weeks as student activists oppose the recruitment efforts of companies like BAE Systems, the world's largest arms producer.
Following a wave of recent actions at graduate recruitment fairs in Bristol, Edinburgh, London and Southampton, which saw campaigners staging "die-in" protests in front of BAE's stalls forcefully removed by security staff, Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) is encouraging students to continue demonstrating everywhere that arms traders attempts to recruit.
CAAT has compiled an initial list of dates when BAE is visiting universities. They include events at universities in Bath, Brighton, Bristol, Canterbury, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Hertfordshire, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Northhampton, Nottingham, Oxford, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Swansea and York.
BAE Systems, which has been dogged for years by persistent allegations of bribery and investigated by the Serious Fraud Office for corruption, is keen to recruit university graduates, especially in engineering and sciences. Each year they spend thousands of pounds on recruiting staff to research, design, build, market and sell the next generation of killing equipment.
CAAT's new Ban BAE campaign is designed to complement the clean investment campaign - calling for universities to divest from the arms trade for ethical reasons – and ultimately aims to sever the links between education and the arms trade entirely.
For further information on the Ban BAE Campaign please contact Abi Haque, CAAT's Universities' Network Co-ordinator, email the universities co-ordinatoror ring 020 7281 0297. For information on CAAT please contact CAAT Media Co-ordinator Kaye Stearman email the press officer or ring 020 7281 0297 or 07990 673 232.
1. Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) works for the reduction and ultimate abolition of the international arms trade together with progressive demilitarisation within arms producing countries. Around 80% of CAAT's funding comes from individual supporters and CAAT is strictly non-violent in all its work.
2. CAAT has released a new action guide for students and activists, Disrupting Arms Company Recruitment, available to download from CAAT's website, together with a BAE Counter-Recruitment Campaign Pack. Further information on the campaign and the Universities Network is available here.
3. According to the Stockholm International Peace Institute (SIPRI), BAE Systems is the world's largest arms producer. It makes fighter aircraft, warships, tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery systems, missiles and munitions. Its foremost overseas markets are Saudi Arabia and the United States, with large sales also to Australia, India and South Africa. In February 2010 BAE agreed to plead guilty to “accounting irregularities” in a 1999 sale of radar equipment to Tanzania and was fined £30 million, while being simultaneously fined $400 million by the US Department of Justice for conspiring to defraud the US and for making false statements under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.