Belgium

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.

CMI (“Cockerill Maintenance & Ingénierie”) Defence is a Belgian company, building a wide range of artillery systems for light and medium armoured vehicles, as well as related services and training, including simulation systems, maintenance and repair, and upgrades.

Actions are taking place in Brussels this week against in the run up to the NATO summit. Yesterday (23rd May), a group of peace activists occupied the offices of the European Commission. With their action they denounced the steps the European Union is taking to start a military research programme carried out by the arms industry. They set up tents, and were in place in all morning.

See a video of yesterday's occupation of the European Commission here.

 

Sarah Robinson

In early November over a hundred activists from several European countries blockaded the entrances at the annual conference of the European Defence Agency in Brussels where arms manufacturers were meeting European policy makers behind closed doors.

The conference was invite-only but the activists turned up without an invitation to let the arms dealers know that they were not welcome.

War Resisters' International sections Vredesactie and Agir pour la Paix were joined by activists from across Europe earlier this month in a blockade of the annual European Defence Agency conference being held in Brussels. Arms dealers were meeting with policy makers to lobby for subsidies and to push the European Union further down the road towards militarisation. Using lock-ons, human chains, ribbons and banners to stop the arms dealers from getting inside, protesters succeeded in causing major disruption to the conference and bringing greater public attention to an issue of growing concern.

See more photos here.

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.

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.

Militarism is guns, armored tanks and drones, but it’s also a state of mind. Militarised mentalities have permeated many police forces and amplified dramatically the force of police violence against our communities.

Bombspotters on trial

Placheolder image

In 2012, 7 activists entered the SHAPE military base where NATO makes strategic nuclear weapon decisions. The group called themselves 'the bombspotters', and they took their act of civil disobedience to denounce the presence of nuclear weapons on Belgian soil as part of the NATO Game Over/Bombspotting campaign. They were arrested, and three and a half years later have been put on trial. The seven appeared in court on October 26thand are now awaiting the verdict of their trial. It is possible to send an email in support from this website: https://bomspotters.wordpress.com/nous-soutenir/

Stephanie Demblon

“Europe is at war against an imaginary enemy” - this is Frontexit’s campaign slogan regarding the respect of migrants’ human rights at the borders of the European Union. Usually addressed from a humanitarian angle (guilty of negligence to basic migrant rights) or a political one (the question of migratory flux management and distribution), the subject is rarely connected to the European arms market. And yet…

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