Skip navigation

Indymedia UK is a network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues

Birmingham University's investment in the Arms Trade

Divest now! | 30.06.2005 11:26 | Anti-militarism | Education | Birmingham

New Campaign Against Arms Trade figures regarding shares held by Birmingham University.

Did you know that your university heavily invests in the arms trade?

Figures accurate at time of writing (June 2005).

Pension Fund

1. BAE Systems 67630 shares

2. Rolls Royce 62277 shares

3. GKN 26000 shares

4. Smiths Group 50000 shares

We are trying to contact people who would like to take an active interest in our Clean Investment Campaign. We need you to help us stop universities such as Birmingham from investing in arms companies by writing to the person responsible for your university's financial policy.

In your letter or email, we would be grateful if you could ask whether they have an ethical investment policy and include a statement of your opposition to their current investment decisions. Mr T.G. Fuery, Assistant Director of Finance ( is responsible for the financial policy of your university. We would appreciate it if you could contact him to let him know your opinions on this issue and then send us the details of your correspondence.

It was the initiative of students backed by CAAT that eventually led to a decision on the part of the University of East Anglia to invest their charitable funds in two portfolios, both of which exclude investments in arms companies. By making your voice heard, you will be taking a first step towards getting the arms companies out of Birmingham.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or want to update us with any progress you have made.

Thanks for your time,

Jo Wittams and Tim Street

Why this is necessary:

Those who decide financial policy need to take responsibility for what their investment decisions mean in a wider global context. The arms trade has a devastating and destabilising effect worldwide, with institutions often investing in arms companies without the knowledge or agreement of the people they represent. We provide regularly updated information and analysis regarding the arms trade and its investors, allowing members of the public to challenge decisions made on their behalf and thus make institutions accountable for their investments.

Who are the arms companies?

The Clean Investment Campaign focuses on the six biggest UK arms companies. BAE Systems (fighter aircraft), VT Group (warships), Rolls Royce (engines/propulsion for military aircraft and ships), Smiths Group (gun pods, cockpit control panels), Cobham (missile components, electronic warfare products) and GKN (components for military jets and helicopters). These are all UK-based and in the top 100 arms companies worldwide. Their products can be sold to anywhere the government allows; this includes countries with oppressive regimes such as Indonesia, unstable areas such as the Middle East and countries in need of development such as South Africa.

For more information on these companies and the arms trade as a whole please visit our website at

We are contacting individuals and organizations for this campaign using email addresses found on public websites.

Divest now!
- Homepage: