Campaign Against Arms Trade

Our May talk looked at the UK’s arms trade with Saudi Arabia.  Liam Geary Baulch from Campaign Against Arms Trade told us how the UK currently sells weapons to Bahrain, Saudi and Yemen where many civilians are being killed by these arms.

We have sold £2.8 Billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since it intervened in the Yemeni civil war. Yet despite overwhelming evidence of repeated breaches of international humanitarian law, with homes, schools and hospitals having been targeted during Saudi led air raids, our government continues to support Saudi air strikes in which thousands of civilians have died.

The UK arms trade makes up only a tiny proportion of our economy – around 1% - yet gets a disproportionate amount of support from the government.  Even the Royal Family are rolled out to help seal deals.

Campaign against Arms Trade (CAAT) is currently pursuing legal action against the UK government unless it stops arming Saudi Arabia and is making good progress.  It’s activists also disrupt arms trade exhibitions, where sometimes illegal equipment has been found on display.  Although some activists have been taken to court, it is encouraging that their cases have been thrown out, the judge recognising their actions were aimiedt at preventing a greater crime.

We had another good turnout for this important topic, with around 25 people listening to what Liam had to say.  As always, the talk was followed by a Q&A during which we were able to explore the subject further.