Challenging the arms trade on its home turf

By Symon Hill
May 22, 2014

This evening, I’ll be speaking about the arms trade on the edge of Farnborough – the home town of the multinational arms company BAE Systems.

The talk will be at 8.00pm in the Chapel in Ash Vale, which is on the edge of Farnborough (just over the country border in Surrey). Many thanks to St Mary’s Church, Ash Vale for organising the event.

Lots of the local people work in the arms industry. This is not surprising; many people have little choice but to take what jobs are available.

I’ll be engaging in discussion with people who disagree with me. I’ll also be challenging the arms industry’s claims about providing jobs. For years, BAE and others have talked about the jobs they offer, only to move thousands of jobs out of Britain when it suits them to do so. Rather than rely on the whims of arms dealers, we need an economy that provides meaningful, long-lasting and socially useful jobs so that the skills of those currently working for BAE can be put to better use.

The talk is also an opportunity to challenge the Farnborough Air Show. This biennial event combines a trade fair (for both the arms industry and the civil aviation industry) with a much more fluffy public air show. This year it will take place from 14th-20th July.

The event this evening is open to the public. More details can be found at http://www.caat.org.uk/events. I’m looking forward to it.

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(c) Symon Hill is a Christian activist and writer and an associate of the Ekklesia thinktank. He was recently acquitted of aggravated trespass at the London arms fair.

For links to more of Symon's work, please visit http://www.symonhill.wordpress.com.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.