02. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

Arms trade protestMore than 25 TRAKNAT members took banners and leaflets to demonstrate outside Vince Cable’s ‘Speaking Dinner’ with Baroness Shirley Williams at the Turk’s Head, St Margaret’s on 24 April 2014 to protest at his promotion of arms to human rights abusing regimes.

TRAKNAT members explained to Shirley Williams and guests, including Greg Dyke, Lord Oakshott and Geoff Pope that British made small arms and armoured vehicles were used to suppress democracy protesters in Bahrain and that British made helicopters were used against civilians in Egypt. The group explained that it is Vince Cable’s Business Department that is responsible for the promotion and sale of these weapons.

Shirley Williams listened carefully as group members explained that Vince Cable was critical of many aspects of the arms trade before taking office but now, in office, he lets arms brokers transfer unlimited quantities of arms. These include assault rifles, and combat shotguns to some of the world’s worst human rights abusers, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Libya and Egypt. A spokesman for the group explained that Vince Cable has reneged on a commitment to Parliament to require brokers to submit details of weapons transfers and for this to be made Public.

TRAKANT member Harald Molgard said “Vince Cable’s Business Department works hard to sell arms to countries where some of the world’s poorest live including India Bangladesh, Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa. He fails to see the moral case for not promoting weapons to countries with large populations of very poor people. He doesn’t seem to realise that weapons expenditure diverts resources from development. India, which has a third of the world’s poorest people and where only 30% have access to rudimentary sanitation, is a priority market for arms sales for his Department”.

Thanks to all who turned up to make the event such a success. Thank you to so many Amnesty members who came and also Ian and his friends from London CAAT. Martin’s banners were great — thanks for making and transporting them Martin. Roger’s great photos have gone with a press release to the Richmond and Twickenham Times who have promised to report on the event. Press publicity is everything and it’s great that we have a professional photographer in the group — thanks Roger.

Arms trade protest

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