At approx. 1:45 pm this afternoon, a group of Lancaster University students entered the Great Hall on campus in order to protest the inclusion of weapons manufacturer BAE Systems in this year's careers fair. Two students flyered in the foyer of the building with leaflets detailing BAE's dealings with repressive regimes around the world, it's close ties with the British government, the collapse of Serious Fraud Office investigations, and it's increasing involvement in education. A further four students entered the hall and stood in front of BAE' s stall with a banner reading 'Get a career in killing with BAE Systems'. They handed out leaflets and talked to students around the stall. The demonstration was peaceful, and the students left after approx. 15 minutes inside the hall. The banner was then dropped above the foyer and the group vacated the building. The group then moved to Alexandra Square, one of the busiest parts of campus, and held a 'die-in' around a banner reading 'BAE Systems: A job to die for'. Many students stopped to ask about BAE and the protest. Shortly afterwards, two students re-entered the careers fair and dropped the banner from a balcony overlooking the fair.
While it was clear to the group that many other unethical companies were present at the fair hoping to recruit students, BAE Systems was chosen because of it's close ties with Lancaster University. The university holds shares in BAE Systems, and the Management School offers students the 'BAE Systems Certificate in Management', a course funded by and ran in conjunction with the company. The group hopes that today's fun marks the beginning of a sustained campaign against the university's investment in BAE Systems.