Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/315/11617
Action Against Killing for Profit
LAST WEEK International Socialist Resistance (ISR) members took part in the protests against Britain's biggest arms fair, the Defense and Systems and Equipment International (DSEi), which is funded by the Ministry of Defence.
Every year the British government spends millions of pounds subsidising arms exports from Britain to corrupt and repressive regimes around the world. Under Blair, Britain has reclaimed its place as the world's second biggest weapons dealer.
Britain sells to 50 countries engaged in conflict.
The protests follow on from the immense anger amongst young people especially about the war and destruction in Iraq.
Public spending in Britain on education, health and other essential services continues to be cut while massive exports of weapons such as shotguns, rifles etc to countries like Israel and Zimbabwe is subsidised.
The arms fair, which one of the delegates described to us in an interview as "a healthy debate between nice people", cost over £1 million to police. Before we took out the dictaphone, the delegate that we spoke to told us that he killed people.
But the police seemed to think that the peaceful protestors were the dangerous ones - using the Prevention of Terrorism Act against some to prevent them from peacefully demonstrating.
The schools and colleges in the local area could have made much better use of that money. But Blair and New Labour prefer to ensure that arms manufacturers like BAe and oil companies like BP can make huge profits at the expense of workers and young people in Britain, Iraq and around the world.
The interview with the arms fair delegate from the US (he did not say what company he represented) made it clear that capitalism cannot be reformed or made nicer.
This man represented the ruthless capitalist class that will do anything in the pursuit of greater and greater profit.
Those who make fantastic wealth out of dealing in death will not be persuaded to stop. It is only by fighting to change the way the world is run that we can fight to have the immense resources of the arms trade, such as technology and skills, used for other things such as medical research.
It is only by fighting for socialism, which is a system based on need not profit, that we can hope for decent funding for education and health, an end to war and terror, for decent services and an end to low pay.
ISR has organised protests against BP and BAe over the last year and London ISR is planning to follow up these actions. If you would like to get involved in organising this or want some help organising a protest in other areas of the country please get in contact.
In The Socialist 20 September 2003: