France

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.

WRI affiliates and friends are calling for direct actions against Eurosatory – the Paris arms fair – and the NATO summit that will take place in Brussels in July. Eurosatory is one of the world's biggest arms fairs, and takes place every two years in Paris. It features over 1500 arms companies displaying all the weapons, equipment and technology needed for waging war.

Thales is a French company, part owned by the French government, that builds a vast range of radars, sonars and electronic surveillance satellites, tactical communication systems and combat management systems, drones, helicopter avionics, armoured vehicles, mortar systems and missiles.

For many years, it looked like obligatory military service was on the way out. But in the last five years, the picture has changed: Norway has extended conscription for women; Sweden has reintroduced conscription for all; Ukraine, Georgia, Lithuania and Kuwait have reintroduced conscription for men after short hiatuses; Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have introduced conscription for the first time. We look at why governments are turning to compulsion in filling their armies, and what this means for pacifist movements.

From 11 to 15 September, Geneva will be hosting the Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty. The world’s third largest purveyor of armaments, France has a privileged relationship in this area with Saudi Arabia and its allies. According to hitherto undisclosed data revealed to Orient XXI by the Observatoire des Armements, the French government used a contract for weapons ostensibly meant for Lebanon to prepare for the Kingdom’s war in Yemen and speed up delivery at the height of that conflict.

WRI's Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns is now available in French! The translation was completed by friends at the Union Pacifiste de France, collaborating with WRI staff on the design work – to get a copy of the book, please email andrew@wri-irg.org.

MagForce (or Mag Force) International is a manufacturer of military equipment based in France, with head offices in the Paris suburb of Aubervilliers. The company sells equipment and vehicles to militaries and the police forces around the world, including uniforms and other clothing, armoured vehicles, and crowd control weaponry. The company’s website includes various water cannons, riot shields, and chemical weapons such as mace.

The eviction of the Calais "jungle" migrant camp took place in early November 2016, and saw thousands of migrants who had gathered in the port town moved across France. The camp had become one of the best-known examples of how free movement in Europe is only an option for some, and shows us how a militarised border regime functions. New research by the Calais Research Network has found over 40 companies profiting from security guards, walls and fences, border technology, deportation and detention systems, police support, and police weaponry.

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