When asked, they say they are having to do this, since even after a year of protesting at the company gates, the local media still are not covering this as an issue.
The campaign holds regular monthly demonstrations, [These are normally held on the 2nd monday of every month]. This month was the year anniversary of these activities and to mark this event, comedian Mark Thomas joined the picket / demo while he was here in Nottingham to present his show at the Playhouse.
It was a nice day and with the entertainment on offer, numbers where well up on some of the previous events there. People had initially gathered at a wooded area a short distance from the factory. Mark entertained the assembled throng with the usual mixture of funnies and then telling all of some of the facts of concern about the arms industry at large. With his speech obviously well received he said: "I've been to a lot of demonstrations against arms companies and normally it's kind of me and about three Quakers and a dog and a couple of crusties. I really hope the campaign can grow and grow and actually get a result here".
People then got themselves together, plackards banners etc, and held a short march to the gates of the UK headquarters of Heckler & Koch, based within the Easter Park Industrial Estate on Lenton Lane, Nottingham. [NSAF Ltd, Unit 3, Easter Park, Lenton Lane, Nottingham NG7 2PX, in fact]. Map: http://tinyurl.com/cywx8x
It is hoped that with the 'boost' provided by this event, that more people will add this to their calender of things to do, and hence keep up the momentum on this issue.
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 campaigner 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 .
Next month: 8th June
12.30pm Spread the Word, stall flyering etc in Market Square
4.00pm Picket at the gates of Easter Park Industrial Estate, Lenton Lane
7.00pm Campaign meeting @ Sumac Centre for those who would like to get involved
Campaigning against Heckler & Koch Weapons in Germany and the UK ]feature]
and ..... on German Indymedia at:
Shut Down Heckler & Koch Campaign
Poster / Flyer PDF of H&K leaflet
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]