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Protest against international arms fair in Glasgow

By Fabian Van Onzin |
June 28, 2018
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Protest against arms merchants in Glasgow, Scotland.
Protest against arms merchants in Glasgow, Scotland. Protest against arms merchants in Glasgow, Scotland.

Glasgow, Scotland - A group of major military weapons producers organized an international arms fair in Glasgow that included over 50 companies and over 1000 delegates. One of the major sponsors of the Underseas Defense Technology conference is BAE Systems, which produces fighter jets in factories on the Clyde that are sold to the Israeli government to continue their war against the Palestinians. Other sponsors of the event include Leonardo, an Italian weapons corporation that sells weapons to the Turkish government, which are used in their war against the Kurdish people. Some referred to this arms fair as a 'supermarket of death.'

A large group of people from groups across Scotland protested outside of the Scottish Exhibition Centre, June 26, to protest the arms fair. Carrying Palestinian and Kurdish flags, they shouted at the arms dealers as they entered, "You're not welcome in Glasgow!' and "Shame on you." A few protesters tried to blockade the entrance of the arms fair, but the cops quickly removed them and one protester got arrested.

A few leaders of the Scottish National Party (SNP) were present and expressed outraged that the Glasgow City Council would allow such an event to happen in Glasgow. Scotland has a proud history of opposition to militarism, which can be seen at Celtic games in which Palestinian flags are present, as well in the large SNP-led campaign to shut down nuclear arms-producing factories in Scotland. Therefore, it was shocking to many peace-loving Glaswegians that such an event would be held in Glasgow.

Kate Nevens, of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade said, "People in Scotland are appalled that such a terrible event is taking place, and that Glasgow City Council is supporting it. Many of the companies in attendance have armed and supported human rights abusing regimes across the world. War, repression and injustice are fueled by arms fairs like Underseas Defense Technology. It’s time to shut it down for good."

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