Chalked outlines of children, some with shoes, emphasising howArms Sales Kill, surrounded this week’s vigil. The row of shoes on the step symbolises the dead, who no longer need their shoes
Women in Black London deplore the UK’s continued role in the global arms trade. The UK is one of the 10 largest arms exporters, involved in the sale of weapons, military technology and military training to countries including Ukraine, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In its search to secure sales and boost the domestic arms industry, the UK hosts arms fairs and exhibitions. Last year, the bi-annual Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI), one of the largest arms fairs in the world, was held in London. In January of this year the Armoured Vehicle and Military Helicopter Conference was held at the Twickenham Rugby Stadium. This attracted 1000 delegates from over40 nations. Companies involved in the UK arms industry include BAE Systems, Raytheon, Elbit and Leonardo.
We mourn the loss of life and the destruction of homes, schools and hospitals that are caused by the use of these weapons. We refuse to accept an economy that profits from war. We urge our government to resolve conflicts by diplomatic and cooperative means, rather than promoting an industry that fuels wars through this continued trade in death.
Where are these weapons used?
- The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) report that since 2015, the UK has licensed over £472m worth of arms to Israeli forces. One of the most significant UK arms exports to Israel in the context of the current violations against civilians is Britain’s contribution to the US F-35 stealth combat aircraft which Israel is currently using to bombard Gaza.
- Since the start of the Russian Ukraine war, the UK has been a major supplier of arms and military equipment to Ukraine. Tragically this war has created a massive surge in global arms sales and is likely to continue for many years.
- For nine years we have sold weapons to the Saudi-led coalition, supporting its war on Yemen. This has created one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Hundreds of thousands have been killed and there is now a likelihood that this conflict will escalate.
What you can do
Share this leaflet with others: Scan the QR code and forward to others. Share our FB and Twitter posts. Copy and pass on. Display it in your window or on your door.
Find out more: Excellent resources on global arms transfers here. https://www.sipri.org/research/armament-and-disarmament
Support the work of CAAT: https://caat.org.uk/ and join their campaigns.
Write to your MP expressing your concerns about the UKs arms trade and its role in promoting arms sales through fairs and exhibitions in the UK. https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP
Download and print off the full leaflet here