Right of Reply: Gideon Burrows
The joint co-ordinator of the Campaign Against Arms Trade replies to David Aaronovitch's article on the dangers and hypocrisy of the British defence industry
Monday 13 September 1999
Moreover, peace campaigning can be very effective, especially when it is sustained - not only in putting pressure on the Government and raising public awareness, but in the most direct cases, such as when four women disarmed an Indonesia-bound BAe Hawk jet in 1996, stopping the delivery of the weapons altogether. As a result of peaceful protest the Copex private arms show has been forced to change venue three times. In 1997 more than 1,000 protesters descended on a British armed-forces-sponsored arms exhibition. Few are now willing to deal with the bad publicity involved in hosting arms shows, let alone, perhaps, the guilty consciences.
If everyone who not only wanted Britain to stop selling arms to the Indonesians, but who also wanted us to stop our other extensive dealings with regimes such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka, made it clear to the Government that they cannot continue to "deal in death" in our name - perhaps by joining our protest outside DSEi in Chertsey and Docklands - then they wouldn't be able to get away with it for much longer.
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