In March 2016, eight anti-arms trade activists in the UK were acquitted by a magistrate in the UK, having taken direct action against the DSEi arms fair, including several members of WRI affiliated organisations. The Crown Prosecution Service – who originally prosecuted the group – attempted to appeal the decision, but that appeal has been rejected by a judge as “frivolous” and “misconceived”.
A protester was violently arrested at a pre-Anzac Day demonstration at the Ministry of Defence staged by Peace Action Wellington on Monday 18 April to mark the Global Day of Action on Military Spending.
The peaceful protest highlighted the government’s recent invitation of US warships to Aotearoa, and spoke out against out against military spending.
Police officers in Israel intervened in a protest outside the International Air Conference, after activists unfurled banners reading “War Starts Here!” in English and Hebrew. The conference was focussing on the purchase of 33 F-35 fighter jets by the Israeli military.
During her time working as an intern at War Resisters' International, Taya Govreen-Segal, a consceintious objector, delivered a talk to the “Britain and Palestine: Past History and Future Role” conference, held at Sarum College, Salisbury, UK, on 13th February. Below is a transcript, providing detailed analysis of the role of the arms trade in the ongoing occupation of Palestine.
On 19th May, peace activists in Belgium took direct action at the arms company Advionics in Oostkamp, They climbed onto the roof of the company, put up banners and set up their tents. With their action they denounced the export of arms to Saudi Arabia, and demanded that the Flemish government fixes the loopholes in the Flemish arms export laws.
On 3rd May, a group of 15 women and non-binary gendered people took direct action against the MBDA missile factory in Bedfordshire, UK. Below is a personal account from one of the activists involved.
We stayed overnight at a friend’s house near the Bedfordshire factory; slumber party style. We got up first thing (4am!), ate a quick breakfast, and headed straight to the factory. By 5.45am we had chains and locks around both gates, and two people locked on. The factory was shut down! Nobody could get in to work.
A coalition of peace and anti-war groups in Canada have held several protests against the CANSEC2016 arms fair held in Ottawa, May 24-26th. Three people were arrested at a sit-in at the Department of Global Affairs. The activists – from groups Homes Not Bombs, No War/Paix, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, Raging Grannies Otawa, Country Music Fans Against War and Repression, and Ottawa Peace Assembly - held several days of action against this large arms fair.
The 'Stop Blood Coal' campaign is run by PAX in the Netherlands, targetting the Drummond and Prodeco (the Colombian subsidiary of Switzerland-based Glencore) mining companies. The campaign aims to expose and challenge the links between paramilitary violence and coal mining in Colombia, support communities in their search for truth and reconciliation, and pressure European energy companies to take action against their suppliers accused of human rights abuses.