One would have thought that a city infamous for its gun crime would be a poor location for a warehouse full of guns. Not according to H&K, who do great business equipping war-mongers on any side.
Proud owners of H&K weaponry include the brutal militias of Darfur - the Janjaweed. Funnily enough, despite the outcry against the massacres in Darfur, they obviously weren't quite bad enough to stop selling weapons to the perpetrators. Even a recent arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against a senior Sudanese politician accused of selling H&K weapons to the Janjaweed hasn't seemed to stem the flow of H&K guns to a militia accused by everyone including the US of committing genocide. (H&K guns also fill the arsenals of the US Dept of Homeland Security, US Navy Seals & the FBI amongst others).
H&K have a 'strategic partnership' with the world's largest mercenary company Blackwater. H&K supply the guns to the Iraqi and Afghan puppet governments, and Blackwater provide the training.
There was a plan for H&K to produce special edition 'Blackwater' weapons - complete with the Blackwater logo on them. However, after Blackwater made the headlines for killing 17 innocent Iraqis (not the first time that Blackwater have killed innocent Iraqis, but the first time that it made the news in a major way), the plan was shelved.
Interestingly, local media also came under pressure; Trent FM, who had shown some enthusiasm about reporting these demos, received a word in their ear from both H&K's press office as well as the police, warning hacks that it would be 'irresponsible' to publish the fact that H&K has a warehouse full of weapons in Nottingham, as it may prompt criminals to try and steal them.
In response the campaigners pointed out to the radio station that H&K's address was published at Company House, as well as in several business directories. About the radio station being leaned on, the campaigners said that "If the security policy of H&K and Notts police relies on no-one finding out the company's location, then clearly it is they who are irresponsible, not our campaign and not the media. A large warehouse stocked with high-power assault rifles and submachine guns with inadequate security to prevent a robbery is clearly a significant danger to the public, and publicisng such a danger is very much in the public interest."
The H&K warehouse, located at Easter Park, Lenton Lane, Nottingham, is next to the 'Trent Vineyard', an evangelist church that held the funeral of Danielle Beccan, a 14 year old girl who was killed in a drive-by shooting. At her funeral service the then mayor of Nottingham said, "Guns have no place at all in our community - not in Nottingham, not in my city nor any other city in Britain."
One campigner said: "The arms trade relies on secrecy. Most people abhor the idea of factories and warehouse making and selling weapons around the world, and arms companies know this. By lifting the lid on the business, anti-arms protesters can make a put the pressure on the government/corporate killing machine to stop killing for profit." [schNews]
As you can see from the front board, Unit 3 is simply 'let'. One feels that they might just be a little embarrassed about their presence on the Easter Park Estate. Previous occupants had been the Royal Small Arms Factory. Even during wartime, they had a sign on the gate, saying who they were! Another example might be British Aerospace Works at Filton, Bristol. Again, they say who they are on the gate. This lot still remain shy of folks knowing of their activities. In my opinion, lights need to be shone into dark corners .
To highlight the link between the arms trade and refugees, Shut Down H&K and No Borders Nottingham held a demonstration on Saturday 29th November at 12:30 on Market Square in Nottingham called "FULL CIRCLE – from weapons to wars to refugees".
Full Circle Demo: From weapons to wars to refugees. Market Sq. Nottingham
There was a good turnout, in spite of the freezing weather. Leaflets handed out, drums banged, speeches made. and banners displayed. Further, to highlight their concerns, some folks held a "die-in" to help illustrate their worries for the violence attributed to the arms trade and its consequences.
Shut Down Heckler & Koch Campaign
Demos continue at Heckler & Koch weapons HQ in Nottingham
Further Demo at Heckler & Koch weapons HQ in Nottingham : Pix 1
Further Demo at Heckler & Koch weapons HQ in Nottingham : Pix 2
Another Demo at Heckler & Koch weapons manufacturers HQ in Nottingham
Demo at Heckler & Koch weapons manufacturers HQ in Nottingham
Surveillance at Demo at Heckler & Koch weapons manufacturers HQ in Nottingham
Protest at Heckler & Koch weapons manufacturers HQ in Nottingham : Pictures
'Die-In' at Nottingham University to protest at un-ethical investments
Nottingham University Student Die-In :: to protest at un-ethical investments
Photographer - Media: One Eye on the Road. Nottingham. UK
Member of the National Union of Journalists [No: 014345]
"It is not enough to curse the darkness.
It is also necessary to light a lamp!!"
Tash [alan lodge]
From now on there will also be a monthly mission to raise public awareness of H&K and the campaign against it. This will take place in busy public areas around Nottingham, and will involve leafleting, talking to the public, collecting signatures, etc. This will take place every fourth Thursday of the month, also from 12:30 to 14:00. For the first one, meet at the left lion on the steps of Nottingham Council House. Bring placards and wear Shut Down H&K T-shirts and badges (if you have them).
If you want to stay informed about demos against Heckler & Koch, sign up to the Notts Anti-Militarism mailing list by sending an e-mail to nottsantimilitarism-subscribe (at) lists.riseup.net. It's a low-traffic list that just carries announcements about local anti-arms-trade activism.
See you on the picket line!
Informationen zu Waffenproduktion und Rüstungsexporten
Auch im Dezember: “Shut Down H&K” in Nottingham
Am vergangenen Montag, 8. Dezember 2008, haben britische AktivistInnen der Kampagne “Shut Down Heckler & Koch Nottingham” ihren allmonatlichen Protest vor der H&K-Niederlassung in der mittelenglischen Stadt Nottingham abgehalten. Dabei präsentierten sie als Zeichen der internationalen Solidarität auch ein Plakat mit dem Logo des Deutschen Aktionsnetzes Kleinwaffen Stoppen (DAKS).
"Shut Down Heckler & Koch” in Nottingham by Roman Deckert
Translation from the newsletter of the German Action Network to Stop Small Arms (DAKS), 11/2008
On October 14th, 2008, activists of „Nottingham against Militarism and the Arms Trade” in the Mid-Eastern English city protested against the British subsidiary of the German small arms producer Heckler & Koch (H&K). About forty protesters staged a colourful demonstration at the gate of the industrial Eastern Park to demand: „Shut Down H&K”.
The Campaign „Notts Anti-Militarism” has been organising such protests for more than a year and is doing so now on a monthly basis. The presence of H&K in Nottingham causes particular outrage since the city is notorious for its high rate of gun crimes. It is all the more grotesque that the peaceful demonstrators are frequently confronted by a massive number of police equipped with H&K weapons. The activists react to the photo-surveillance that the „security forces” exercise by publishing photographs of the police observers on the internet.