Fight War - Not Wars!
Others (some from the stall and some persuaded on the way in) hassled the arms stalls directly by asking them difficult questions about their lack of ethics and indiscriminate weapons selling, and in the case of E.on by pointing out their greenwashing of their environmental credentials in the light of being the second biggest CO2 emitter in Europe and planning a wave of new coal-fired power stations.
Several campaigners managed to go further and actively anti-recruited in the fair – with questions such as “Hi there, would you like to not work for this company?” aimed at potential recruits whilst giving out leaflets – and managed to stem the flow of potential employees to Lockheed Martin for around half an hour and also intercepted people heading for stalls for BAE Systems and AWE. After an hour or so University security, backed up with 2 police officers and a PCSO, asked the anti-recruiters to leave (or be made to leave), at which point they elected to do so and rejoined the demo outside.
Meanwhile, later on in the day a large protest at Bargate convened by Southampton United for Public Services (SUPS) was held to rally against the spending cuts announced by the Coalition government. Protestors included many public sector workers such as firefighters, teachers and librarians whose jobs and services are threatened by the cuts, as part of a wider set of protests across the UK. As a result of the national cuts announced on Wednesday, public sector workers will now face pay freezes or have their pension at risk, and up to 500 jobs are in the City Council’s firing line on top of 180 announced already so far this year. Hundreds of people turned up to support the protest and to express their concern over the Chancellor George Osborne’s cutbacks, and organisers promised that this and other protests nationwide are the start of a campaign to oppose the severity and hastiness of the proposed national cuts.