XR Peace Blockades BAE Systems London

Making links between UK Arms sales to Turkey and Saudi Arabia, Nuclear Weapons and the Climate Emergency

Update: All 6 were released around 4.30am and are under investigation for Aggravated Trespass. In response the six asked for BAE to be investigated for being complicit in war crimes.

Six Extinction Rebellion rebels belonging to the XR Peace affinity group were arrested this morning after blockading the entrance to BAE Systems central London offices in protest against UK nuclear weapons, the sale of fighter jets and other arms to Turkey and to Saudi Arabia – making the links between the arms trade and the climate emergency.

The six are arrested under Section 69 of the Criminal Justice Act, and for aggravated trespass.

Dr. Diana Warner, 60, a GP from Bristol said: “I’m here with the XR peace group because war and weapons do not work for peace, they add to greenhouse gas emissions, suffering and death. British arms industries are fuelling war and can potentially drag us into conflicts we don’t want to join. My work is to promote health and this action is entirely consistent with that. I have now retired in order to take part full time with Extinction Rebellion with the aim being to prevent climate catastrophe and save lives.”

Sylvia Boyes, 75, a Quaker from Keighly said: “We are calling on the government to stop illegal arms sales to Saudi Arabia because the weapons are being used in clear violation of international humanitarian law in the war on Yemen. BAE Systems profits from death and destruction. The F-35 strike fighter jets that BAE is licensed by the UK to sell to both Saudi Arabia and Turkey produce 100 times the greenhouse gas emissions than a passenger jet, while these same jets are being used Saudi Arabia to intentionally target civilians in the war in Yemen.”

Another rebel, Peter Wickenden (75), of Kentish Town, said: “BAE Systems is profiting from death and contributing to the climate emergency worldwide. The government must stop licensing arms sales to countries such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia who are likely to use them in violation of international humanitarian law, and it must act now to address the climate emergency.”

Willemien Hoogendoorn, (56) of Faslane Peace Camp, Helensburgh, Scotland said: “BAE Systems are contracted to build the new Trident replacement submarines. They signed a deal to provide support to Turkey for stealth jet fighters in 2017. And they have a long term contract to provide fighter jets to Saudi Arabia. This week we’ve seen Turkey bombing civilians in Syria, while the Saudis have been relentlessly attacking civilians with BAE fighter jets since 2015 in a war that is causing the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe.”

Brian Larkin (59), from Howgate in Scotland said: “Nuclear weapons are the twin existential threat to climate change. If 100 nuclear weapons were used they would cause a global famine leading to the death of 2 billion people. The government should use the resources currently going to Trident to address the climate crisis and sign the nuclear weapons ban treaty.”

Jane Tallents (61), of Howgate in Scotland said: “Climate change causes war and war causes climate change. About 6% of global carbon emissions are from military activity. As the climate crisis gains pace there will be increasing tension. If countries continue to resort to war as a means of solving conflict we will not be able to avert climate crisis. All people of the earth face the twin existential threats of nuclear weapons and the climate emergency. To avert catastrophe we must find new ways of thinking and work together to save our shared home.”

Posted by Brian Larkin on Monday, 14 October 2019