Protests Planned Against Malvern Arms Fair
Tomorrow Malvern becomes the latest town to dip their toe in the $100 billion a year industry that is the global arms trade. Whilst the Malvern Showground will be hosting the 3CDSE arms fair, protestors from far and wide will be working tirelessly to disrupt the day’s events and highlight the effects this industry has on billions of people acorss the globe.
The Arms Trade is big business for the U.K Government and a range of private interests. Britain’s role as the second biggest arms exporter in the world has had devastating effects around the globe.
For example, since 2015 the U.K Arms Trade to Saudi Arabia totals around £20 billion worth of business. This means that Britain has had a direct influence in the bloodshed we have seen in Yemen as the Saudi Arabian military bombard the country. The bombardment has both killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions more – leading to “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” An employee at BAE systems, a British multinational arms & security company, told Channel 4 that “They [Saudi Arabia] couldn’t do it without us.”
That it is why it is vitally important that we continue to protest against the exporting of arms in the U.K, and particularly Arms Fairs of this nature. Leading the protest in Malvern is Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), who are a UK-based organisation working to end the international arms trade.
The organisation’s priorities are as follows:
- to stop the procurement or export of arms where they might:
- exacerbate conflict, support aggression, or increase tension
- support an oppressive regime or undermine democracy
- threaten social welfare through the level of military spending
- to end all government political and financial support for arms exports
- and to promote progressive demilitarisation within arms-producing countries
Regarding the Malvern Arms Fair, the Three Counties CAAT group say:
“We are concerned that an arms fair showcasing some of the world’s largest arms manufacturers is to be held at the premier venue in our region, the Three Counties Showground. (Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire) The Three Counties Defence and Security Expo (3CDSE) is due to be held in November and is sponsored by BAE Systems, whose military exports to Saudi Arabia are implicated in thousands of civilian deaths in the civil war in Yemen.
“The arms trade often fuels conflict and oppression. Many churches, universities and others have withdrawn investment from companies engaging in harmful activities. To host an arms fair is not an apolitical act and this is not a straightforward third-party booking. Such a fair conflicts with the Showground’s charitable aim ‘to promote agriculture, rural crafts and conservation for the public benefit’.
They will be telling Three Counties Showground not to host the 3CDSE arms fair, with friends from Malvern Individuals for Peace and other concerned local groups.”https://caat.org.uk/events/no-to-malvern-arms-fair-3cdse/
Their plans for tomorrow’s protests are as follows:
Protest in Malvern order of events:
Demonstrators to be present in the lay-by opposite the Brown Gate (Three Counties Showground)
2.00 – 3.00
Vigil at Barnards Green, Malvern including Stroud Red Band
3.30 – 5.00
Demonstration in the lay-by opposite the Brown Gate (Three Counties Showground) with Stroud Red Band
To join the campaign, for lifts or transport, or for more information email Three Counties CAAT at email@example.com