War Profiteers

WRI activists disrupting the welcome dinner at the ADEX arms fair
WRI activists disrupting the welcome dinner at the ADEX arms fair

Economics is one of the key causes of war - wherever there is a military conflict, someone is profiting from it. We call this "war profiteering".

WRI looks at war profiteering in a broad sense - we consider all companies and initiatives that benefit financially from military conflict as war profiteers, in some sense. This includes the arms trade and companies profiteering for the privatisation and outsourcing of the military, but also those extracting natural resources in conflict zones, financial institutions investing in arms companies, and many others.

WRI publishes a quarterly magazine called War Profiteers' News (in English and Spanish), and organises events to bring campaigners and researchers together to share strategies against war profiteering. In 2017 we will gather members and friends of the WRI network in London, for a seminar called “Stopping the War Business”. Campaigners will share experiences and strategies of countering the arms trade and other war profiteers. The seminar will take place at the same time  as the DSEI arms fair, where we will also take nonviolent direct action together. In 2015, we organised a similar event in Seoul, South Korea, which took place at the same time as the ADEX arms fair.

In the United Kingdom, campaigners have been resisting arms fairs being held in their cities. In Glasgow, dozens of activists held noisy protests outside the Undersea Defence Technology exhibition and conference, held at the cities Scottish Events Campus (SEC). In Farnborough and London, activists protested against the Farnborough International Airshow - biannual, week-long event, combining a public air show with an international trade show attended by military delegations from all over the world.

In Paris, activists from across Europe joined with French protesters to take action against the Eurosatory arms fair, a biannual event that in 2018 saw over 1,700 arms companies exhibit their products to 57,000 individuals from over 150 countries, including military delegations from across the world.

In Paris, activists from across Europe joined with French protesters to take action against the Eurosatory arms fair, a biannual event that in 2018 saw over 1,700 arms companies exhibit their products to 57,000 individuals from over 150 countries, including military delegations from across the world.

Former South African President Jacob Zuma is scheduled to appear in court on July 27th on 16 charges (and 783 counts) of racketeering, corruption, money laundering and fraud relating to South Africa’s long-running and convoluted arms deal scandal. Long time anti-arms activist Terry Crawford-Browne gives his take on the South African arms trade scandal.

The trial of six ex-employees of German weapons manufacturer Heckler & Koch has begun in Germany. The six ex-employees are accused of illegally exporting 4,500 assault rifles and other guns to Mexico, where they ended up in states effected by violence subject to a ban by the German state.

After many years of campaigning by local activists, the Sterlite copper plant in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu has been permanently shut down by local officials, days after 13 people were killed by police gun fire, and over 100 injured during protests that turned violent on 23rd May.

A new report from the Transnational Institute exposes the huge impact of the European Union's “border externalisation” policies, the companies that profit, and the huge numbers of people impacted. Expanding the Fortress explores how migration control has become a major part of the EU's foreign relations, with externalisation policies requiring neighbours to “act as Europe's border guards”.

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