TRAKNAT is a network of local groups in the Twickenham, Richmond and Kingston area campaigning against UK arms exports. There is more explanation below and on the About Us page, where you will also find a list of the member groups.
Election Hustings 14th April 2015
An election hustings for the Twickenham Constituency was held on 14th April 2015 at Teddington Baptist Church, organised by the local United Nations Association (TRUNA), Amnesty International and TRAKNAT, with the support of other groups, including Stop the War Coalition, Kingston Peace Council/CND and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Five candidates attended, including all the major parties. A report is due to appear in Kingston Peace News in due course.
We have sent a letter to Vince Cable MP about the case of Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia, and the UK’s continuing promotion of arms exports to that country.
And we held protests at the International Armoured Vehicle conference at Twickenham Rugby Stadium on 26-29 January 2015, with a mention in the RTT.
Keeping in Touch
We now have a mailing list for occasional news items, like public meetings. Mail firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list. Also get in touch if you would like to be more involved and come to planning meetings, or to see the letters and documents that we have exchanged so far with Dr Cable.
TRAKNAT was formed in March 2012, with the initial aim of inviting people to sign a petition to be presented to Vince Cable MP at a public meeting at which the other local MPs would also speak. We collected about 1000 signatures, and presented them to Dr Cable at a public meeting on 29 November 2012. Unfortunately Dr Cable was the only MP able to attend.
We held a separate meeting with Zac Goldsmith at the Houses of Parliament on 13th May 2013.
Aims and Objectives
Our Voices are Important
As Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable runs a department which continues to promote and approve weapons sales to regimes which are using force to suppress democracy protesters.
TRAKNAT campaigns for Vince Cable to shut his arms promotion unit, the UK Trade & Industry – Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI-DSO), and stop underwriting loans through UK Export Finance which enable the sales to take place. Until the government stops promoting arms sales, it will continue to ignore its own rules which prohibit arms sales where they may be used for internal repression, or external aggression.
Some countries are still paying Vince Cable’s department for debts that were run up by the UK selling weapons to their former dictators. We call for these, and other unjust debts, to be cancelled. We also call for the withdrawal of export support for climate-wrecking fossil fuel projects and other projects which fuel climate change, result in human right abuses and third world debt.
UK exports overseas can have a massive impact either positive or negative, and the exports our government chooses to promote and support speak volumes about its commitment to human rights, environmental sustainability and social justice worldwide. TRAKNAT is campaigning for the UK government to support responsible, sustainable exports which demonstrate a respect for peace, human rights, and a safe environment and create positive, sustainable jobs in the UK.
We are calling on Vince Cable to:
- Stop arming repressive regimes. It’s time to end government support for the arms trade and close the DSEi arms fair.
- Substantially restrict arms sales to countries where this will divert resources from development and exacerbate poverty.