The Usual Suspect: Science Museum to host Farnborough reception again next week.

Amy Clark-Bryan writes about the upcoming protest against the Science Museum.

Picture with No2 arms dealers in the Museum and the CAAT logo

For the second time the Science Museum will be hosting the official Farnborough International reception. The last time the Science Museum hosted the reception for the arms fair in 2014 it was met with activists with one clear message – arms dealers out!

Activists with banners, placards, science-themed costumes and messages of peace greeted arms dealers as they arrived and called for the Science Museum to end it’s ties with arms.

Activists gather outside Science Museum with security and police

Activists in science-themed costumes point out arms dealers entering the Science Museum The museum has had the cheek to invite arms dealers back again to wine and dine for their reception this year. Here’s why we need to resist that happening…

The reception kicks off the whole air show and is the main networking event for arms dealers so let’s stop their event running smoothly. Museums are for public use for enjoyment, education and as a meaningful expression of our past, present and future. The museum should be focusing on research into renewable technologies, rather than hosting arms dealers and providing them with the platform for securing arms deals.

A new exhibition has just opened in the Science Museum commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care explores the injuries and casualties from the battle that killed so many and the medicine that was used to treat people. The exhibition makes a point of highlighting the long term impacts and horrors of war, which seems incongruous with the fact that the museum is hosting the official reception for an arms fair which is fueling conflict and repression.  At least 6,400 people have been killed in Yemen since the conflict begun. Saudi Arabia will be attending the arms fair, as well as its weapons suppliers. By hosting the Farnborough reception, the Science Museum is legitimising the arms trade and the deals that take place. We will be exposing the actions of the Science Museum to make them see the hypocrisy in their behaviour.

We know our actions work – a campaign against the Natural History Museum hosting arms dealers in 2012 was followed by a refusal by the museum to host the Farnborough reception in 2014. It’s time the Science Museum followed suit.

Success! Natural History Museum turns down arms trade booking. Activists dress in animal costumes

There are lots of ways to get involved.

This Thursday hear from campaigners from across Europe working to end the arms trade.

Join in the gathering on Sunday 10th July to share more stories of resistance and plan creative action against Farnborough.

On Monday 11th July we will be taking action against Farnborough and the devastating consequences of arms deals. There will be creative actions going on throughout the day, so join in whenever you can:

  • 8am at the Waterloo Action Centre for a briefing and action
  • Noon outside Downing Street
  • 6pm outside the Science Museum for the official Farnborough “welcome reception

A summary of all the events and more details on them here.

Farnborough 2016 – let’s stop war where it starts!

Follow #StopArmingSaudi and #WarStartsHere for updates throughout the day.

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