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BAE System Bofors

Book review: The Hammer Blow

“Every bomb that is dropped, every bullet that is fired, has to be made somewhere. And wherever that is, it can be resisted.”

Smash EDO

For anyone involved in anti-militarist campaigning, the Seeds of Hope action has almost mythical status. Not only as an extremely radical and inspiring action; but as an example of how a jury's verdict can be decided on moral grounds on the basis of trying to prevent a greater crime. I have been running direct action trainings for a few years and I don't think there's a single one where Seeds of Hope didn't get mentioned, and its reach extends far beyond the anti-militarist movement.

Tax evasion by arms companies; double cynical

Martin Broek

Defence-industries profiting of the Dutch tax laws are double cynical. Apart from ethical objections, the defence industry are evading the very taxes which are uses by their governments to pamper them, buy their product, subsidize their research and facilitate their exports.

In 2009, US president Obama put the Netherlands on his list of the world's worst tax havens. The Dutch government did its utmost to deny this allegation. But the issue was on the agenda and has never disappeared since.

Research, funding and the arms trade

A PhD student studying applied matematics at a university in Britain reflects on the links between academia and the arms trade.

When I started my PhD in applied mathematics around one third of my proposed funding plan was to come from BAE systems. Knowing very little about BAE and the arms trade in general I did some research, and was horrified at what I found. It soon became clear that there was no way I wanted their money or any involvement with them, which fortunately did not involve me dropping out of my PhD, just taking a funding cut. This move was a knee-jerk reaction; one which I have been trying to justify ever since. I do not struggle to justify standing against weapons research, but mathematical research by nature can have many unpredictable outcomes; a new technology that might seem like a genuine asset to humankind is only a couple of modifications from the latest killing machine, so even non-military research cannot be truly considered safe.

Nuclear Weapons and Militarisation in the UK

Militarisation in the UK generally

'Militarisation' means the ways in which the presence and approaches of the military (typically state armed forces and Defence Ministries) are normalised in a society. Military solutions are prioritised, and the military is privileged in various ways.

A society has to be militarised for a government to justify the development and maintenance of nuclear weapons to its citizens; militarisation creates a culture of acceptance. It popularises military euphemisms such as 'Defence', 'Security', and – particularly relevant to nuclear weapons – 'deterrant', and makes it hard to for those challenging these to be seen as credible.

Campaign of the Month: Don’t Bank on the Bomb

Tim Wright

Each year, the nine nuclear-armed nations spend a combined total of more than US$100 billion on their nuclear forces – assembling new warheads, modernizing old ones, and building ballistic missiles, bombers and submarines to deliver them. Much of this work is carried out by private corporations, which are financed by a vast web of financial institutions around the world.

Stop The Arms Fair: action against DSEi 2011

It's a Saturday afternoon, and inflatable kayaks are out on the River Thames. But these aren't just any boats- they're paddled by activists who are blocking the path of the HMS Dauntless, a huge warship on its way to dock outside the worlds largest arms fair. As the police chase down the boats, the battleship pulls into the Royal Victoria Dock in East London. This was one of many actions against the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEi) arms fair, and opened a week of creative action.

Campaign of the Month: Resisting the Rise of the Drones

For anyone with even just a passing interest in the military, it will have been hard to miss the recent rise of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) commonly known as drones. Over the past year, the Fellowship of Reconciliation England (FoR) and others have been working together to research and raise awareness of armed drones by the military, primarily the US, Israel and the UK.

Shareholder Actions

Albert Beale, from Peace Pledge Union (British WRI affiliate), and CAAT activist

Most major corporations in Britain are owned by shareholders who, between them, own millions of shares in the company. Sometimes even one individual shareholder will hold millions of shares - yet other people might only own one.

Who are these shareholders? The very largest ones tend to be other corporate bodies - such as pension funds, investment funds which invest money on behalf of lots of small savers, and other companies. Then there are rich individuals. Then there are well-off (but not very rich) individuals who have some of their regular savings invested in a company.

Disarming Swedish arms export

DisarmDisarmSweden has historically been a big weapons producer and exporter. For decades the Swedish peace movement have been working to end the Swedish weapons export. In spite of this the weapons export has dramatically increased lately. Since 2001 it has tripled and today Sweden is the second biggest weapons exporter in world per capita. Swedish weapons go to countries at war like the US, to dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and human rights abusers like Bahrain.

UK-Zimbabwe: BAE linked to Zimbabwean arms dealer

BAE Systems, the British arms manufacturer under investigation in several countries for alleged bribery, paid at least £20m to a company linked to a Zimbabwean arms trader allied to President Robert Mugabe, documents seen by the Financial Times show.

John Bredenkamp, who has indefinite leave to remain in Britain, has had a controversial career ranging from supplying military equipment to the Zimbabwean military to mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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