As we start 2024, all of us at CAAT would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of you – our supporters, members of local groups, funders, and partners. Together, we have achieved a great deal this year. We would not be able to have the impact we do without your support – whatever form that takes. Whether you’ve written to your MP, made a donation, shared a post on social media, picketed an arms fair, spoken to friends, or helped in another way – thank you!
We’d like to share a few of the highlights as a reminder of all that you help us achieve:
DSEI Arms Fair
CAAT supported several hundred Stop the Arms Fair activists taking action against the DSEI arms fair in September. The arms fair continues to bring together arms companies, official delegations (often from repressive regimes) and UK Government ministers. CAAT helped campaigners with logistics and welfare, publicising the actions in the press and social media, plus an onsite staff presence before and during the fair. Although, sadly, we did not succeed in stopping the fair this time, the resistance was determined – there were around a dozen arrests, and vehicles were backed up for a mile at some points.
The campaign continues! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be part of the continued resistance.
Israel and Palestine
The horrific scenes that we have watched coming out of Gaza from Israel’s genocidal assault and siege, following the appalling attacks by Hamas on October 7th, have caused global outrage. At the time of writing, Israel’s attacks have killed over 15,000 people in Gaza, including more than 6,000 children, while Hamas’s attacks killed around 1,200 people in Israel. Yet, despite overwhelming evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity, Israel has been unconditionally supported by most western governments. The US remains Israel’s strongest supporter and leading arms supplier, but is closely followed by the UK, which also supplies significant quantities of military equipment to Israel.
CAAT has joined with the global movement standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people. We’ve called for a ceasefire and the release of hostages by Hamas and Palestinian prisoners by Israel. And, of course, we’ve been opposing arms sales to Israel. In collaboration with allies and partners, we have exposed the details of UK arms supplies to Israel, and the companies and factories involved – making this information as widely available as possible (including through our recent fact sheet – which you can find on our website). CAAT’s data on arms sales has been widely cited in the media. CAAT supporters across the country have organised and joined protests and solidarity actions as part of the broader movement.
Saudi Arabia and our Court Case
This year in January CAAT took the government back to the High Court with our second judicial review challenging the government’s decision to resume arms sales to the Saudi-led Coalition that was bombing Yemen. Despite being disappointed by the result, we remain defiant over challenging the arms sales. The judgment exposes the flaws in the UK export licensing process, and we remain committed to achieving justice for the Yemeni people whose lives have been devastated by the Saudi-led coalition’s bombing campaign.
Along with the court case itself other campaigning activities included the thousands of CAAT supporters who wrote to your MPs urging them call for a suspension to arms exports to Saudi. 73 MPs signed CAAT’s motion in parliament calling for a halt to exports and an international investigation.
CAAT’s Annual Report on UK Arms Exports
We produced CAAT’s second Annual Report on UK Arms Exports in 2022, setting out data and trends in UK arms exports from multiple sources, and exploring some of the most problematic cases, such as Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Türkiye, as well as discussing the various issues involved in the supply of arms to Ukraine. We launched the report in October with a hybrid event at CAAT’s offices and online.
You can watch a recording of the event online.
London CAAT Merchants of Death Tour
What could be a better tour than to visit the absolute worst bits of London: arms company HQs! London CA
AT with around sixty people visited BAE Systems, Boeing, L3 Harris, and Leonardo, explaining how the warplanes, attack helicopters, and surveillance tech made by these companies spread death and destruction around the world, not least in Yemen, Syria and G
aza. They did not ignore UK complicity either, explaining how Buckingham Palace and Government department UKDSE help these companies sell their deadly weapons.
Get the “tour brochure” from email@example.com.
CAATs parliamentary and policy work towards the end of 2024 has focused on the horrific and ongoing bomb
ardments of Gaza and the UK’s role in arming Israel. We have an e-action for people to contact their MPs, please visit the website (www.caat.org.uk), take action, and share! We are calling on MPs to support a motion immediately halting arms exports to Israel – 66 MPs have already signed. We supported MPs in speaking at the Westminster Hall debate on 12th December. (The transcript is available here and video here.) We also wrote a letter to the Foreign Secretary, with our partners at War on Want, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International UK calling for an immediate halt to arms exports and licences from the UK to Israel. We are still awaiting a reply.
Welcome to new members of CAAT’s team
We were joined at the start of the year by Emily Apple as CAAT’s new Media Co-ordinator and Charles Wright as Support Development Manager. Hopefully, you’ve seen Emily popping up on your TV or in your newspaper, and you may be one of the hundreds of supporters who Charles has been in touch with personally.
Looking Backwards and Forwards…
In November 2024, we will be marking 50 years of CAAT’s struggle and activism against the arms trade. We’ll be marking this throughout the year, looking back at how CAAT started, its achievements, and involving some of the people who have made such a difference from the very beginning.
As part of our 50th anniversary, we have been invited by the LSE Library (The British Library of Political and Economic Science) to be part of an exhibition on the theme of peace and solidarity movements. This will use the LSE’s archives including items from CAAT’s own archive, which was moved to the LSE in 2022. The exhibition and a series of talks will take place in late February or March – we’ll publish details on our website and in our email updates once they are confirmed.
Thank you, once again, for all your support during 2023 – CAAT would not exist without you. If you are able to (and don’t already), the best way to support our work financially, is with a regular donation by direct debit – you can sign up on our website.
Wishing you a peaceful 2024.
Amber, Charles, Emma, Emily, Jon, Katie, Kirsten, and Sam
The CAAT staff team.
P.S. We really are so grateful for your support – every donation made, every letter written, every placard waved, takes us one step closer to a world without the devastating effects of the arms trade.