Farnborough “Air Show” Protest Planned

The biennial Farnborough Air Show is taking place between 22nd – 28th July.

A PEACE PROCESSION with hundreds of protesters is planned for Thursday 25th July to mark Britain’s largest weapons showcase this year. A procession will walk to the gates of the exhibition and remain there, leaving Farnborough Rail Station at 10.30 am.

While the public days are championed as fun days out for all the family, the reality is very different. Farnborough is an arms fair and a very important date in the arms trade calendar.

Questions over the arms trade are prominent at the moment as it was discovered last week that UK components were being fitted into US F-16 Fighter jets, which were then being exported to Israel. On 22 July, the latest attack by F-16s in Gaza ended with the fatalities of 15 civilians.

Martin Hogbin, Campaign Co-ordinator for CAAT, said: Companies attending the arms fair such as Boeing, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin actively seek to export weapons to conflict zones across the world. We are calling on them to exercise a lot more corporate responsibility in their work.

The action, organised by Campaign Against Arms Trade, highlights revelations last week that the UK has doubled arms exports to Israel over the last 2 years from £12.5 million to £22.5 million, including components for combat aircraft, helicopters and bombs, components for anti-tank missiles and military aircraft engines. Moreover, the UK licensed arms sales to over 120 countries last year.

UK arms sales also increased to Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

Also on display at Farnborough are Elbit Systems which upgrade Israeli Merkava tanks, combat helicopters and F-16s and Rafael Systems, Israel’s home missile manufacturer.

Mr Hogbin continued: While the Farnborough Airshow is marketed as a fun day out for all the family the reality is that it is an arms fair where deals in death do take place.

He continued: The F-16 deal is a classic example of the UK overriding the human rights of civilians for so called good relations with other countries, and more money for arms companies.

The Farnborough Airshow continues throughout this week, playing host to an expected 40,000 visitors. A mass peace procession has been organised for Thursday morning outside the fair.

Thursday 25th, 10.30pm, Farnborough Rail Station, Surrey. Peace procession to the gates of the fair.

More information: Richard Bingley @ CAAT, 020 7281 0297 or media(at)caat·org·uk

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