The protest is part of a build up to the Disarm DSEi (Defence Systems & Equipment international) series of protests scheduled to take place from the 6th to the 12th of September, at the ExCel Trade Centre, Docklands, London. A call out has been made to all activists to protest about the arms industry in the UK, which is mainly american owned. One activist called spike stated “because most of the companies are owned by global coorporations, any vote I make at the ballot box doesn’t affect these companies. If the British government decided to act against such organisations then they would simply shift production elsewhere. This is why we have been forced to resort to this sort of non-violent direct action.”
Smiths Aerospace are an exhibitor at the DSEi arms fair. Smiths Aerospace works particularly closely with the US, where it has played a key part in the development of flight systems for missiles, fighter aircraft and ‘unmanned’ attack systems. Smiths products would have been used extensively in the Iraq war.
Some of the activists are believed to be linked with Cardiff Anarchists Network. Others have come from as far afield as Manchester.
Below is the text from their Flyer
Smiths Aerospace make huge profits from the arms trade – an international political business made up of multinational companies who kill and maim for profit.
Like most of the major arms companies, Smiths operates on a transnational level – so it is difficult to justify its operations as ‘in the national interest’. Few major weapons systems are made on a purely national basis, so companies form conglomerates around the world. Smiths Aerospace works particularly closely with the US, where it has played a key part in the development of flight systems for missiles, fighter aircraft and ‘unmanned’ attack systems. Smiths products would have been used extensively in the Iraq war.
While Smiths develops its products with a few select partners, it is happy to sell its products almost anywhere. Aircraft and missiles with Smiths components are sold throughout the world, including potential war zones in Asia and Africa. Products such as their ‘multiple launch rocket system’ can end up (indirectly of course!) in the hands of some of the worlds most notorious regimes.
And as Smiths continues to make profit from developing nations, many of those nations descend increasingly into debt. Many of the issues surrounding global capitalism are intrinsically linked to the arms trade – debt, poverty and social instability.
Among the very many aircraft supplied by Smiths Aerospace are the BAE Harrier, the Apache helicopter and the F-16 fighter.
Customers of the F-16 alone include: Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan & UAE in the Middle East; Indonesia, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan & Thailand in Asia; and Greece & Turkey in NATO