Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

UK helps US keep cluster bombs

Cluster bomb ban would force issue - groups The News is ...
Raytheon Cluster Bomb Protest ! ... Cluster munitions or cluster bombs are air-dropped or ground-launched munitions that eject a number of smaller ...

Dear friends,
In the next 72 hours, 109 countries are negotiating to ban cluster munitions -- weapons that, like land mines, kill children long after wars have ended. Immediate pressure is needed, especially on the UK, so click below now to send your message to Gordon Brown:


Final negotiations are underway right now in Dublin, Ireland on a treaty to ban cluster bombs. Arms manufacturers are pushing governments to riddle the treaty with loopholes and delays -- and the final text will be decided in the next 72 hours.

Cluster munitions don't just kill during war. They scatter small, shiny, unexploded "bomblets" on the ground that hold their deadly charge for years. When children pick them up, they are often maimed or killed. Most governments agree that these weapons should be outlawed, but back-room pressure is rising to undercut a strong ban. We're hearing the UK delegation is one of the problems -- so we need to send an avalanche of messages from UK Avaaz members to Gordon Brown (we know his advisers personally and will forward your messages to the heart of Downing Street!)

If enough of us act before the treaty is signed on Friday, we can drown out the weapons merchants and convince our governments, the UK included, to ban cluster bombs once and for all. Click below to send a message, and then forward this email to friends and family:

The treaty to ban cluster munitions is the result of an inspiring, years-long campaign by citizens from around the world -- with victims and survivors of cluster bombs leading the way. One spokesman for the effort, Branislav Kapetanovic, lost his hands, legs, and some of his hearing and eyesight in a cluster-bomb explosion in his native Serbia. He is now in Dublin, pushing for the treaty -- but he took a moment to sent this message to the Avaaz community (you can see a video on the the Avaaz site):
Cluster bombs are one of the most dangerous weapons of today. The majority of their victims are civilians, affecting millions worldwide. They have absolutely no place in a conflict situation.

This week governments have gathered together in Dublin to outlaw this dangerous weapon. This is a historic meeting of the international community. Some governments are trying to undermine and weaken the treaty with loopholes and exceptions. They are trying to position the arms trade over the importance of lives of people like me.

Rich governments don't always listen to victims, but they will listen to you -- their citizens. Please send a strong message to your government now that calls for a treaty with no exception, no loopholes, and no delays.
Advocates like Kapetanovic have faced down enormous odds to reach this point, the brink of victory. Now, as citizens around the world, we can do our part, and raise a massive cry as the negotiators spar over the final text of the treaty. Watch the video, check out a map of countries that produce or use cluster bombs and send a message to your leaders, all from this link:

In 1997, the people-powered International Campaign to Ban Land Mines won a victory for humanity, earning a Nobel Peace Prize by ending the barbaric practice of laying mines in conflict zones. It would not have been possible without the efforts of thousands of ordinary people. This week, we can take the next step towards a more just, more peaceful world -- a world safer for children, and for generations to come.

With hope,

Ben, Pascal, Ricken, Galit, Graziela, Paul, Iain, and Veronique -- the team

PS: You can learn more about this issue at the Stop Cluster Munitions coalition website here:

And here are some news articles about the state of the negotiations:

Saturday, May 24, 2008

War is just a racket - stop the killing

War is Just a Racket: Take a Stand; Dismantle the War Machine; Demilitarize the World! The weapons industry led by the so-called Military-Industrial Complex in the United States and the “Big Money” racketeers that own or control them are the largest and the most powerful terrorist organization in the world. In the last two generations alone, their nefarious weapons have killed more people than were ever slaughtered in the previous 5,700 years.

Sign this petition to stop the killing: here

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Solidarity with the Raytheon 9! Kick Raytheon out of Wales

Palestine burns - Raytheon earns
Iraq burns - Raytheon earns Kick Raytheon out of Wales -
Kick Raytheon out of Wales - Show Solidarity with the Raytheon 9!
5.30 - 6.30, Tuesday 27th May, Transport House (T&G Building), 1 Cathedral Road, Cardiff information here

Called by Stop the St Athan Military Academy Campaign, supported by Cardiff Stop the War Coalition, Cardiff CAAT and other peace groups.

Raytheon - banned by Liverpool Council, the Norwegian and Belgian government, manufacturer of cluster bombs and lethal weapons - has been welcomed to Wales by our politicians with barely a murmer of dissent. They are a key part of the new, privatised UK Military Academy being built in Wales.

Let's be clear, Raytheon are directly implicated in war crimes: In 2003, a Raytheon device hit the Shu'ale market in Baghdad in 2003, killing at least 62 civilians. In 2006 a Raytheon device hit Qana in Lebanon in 2006, killing at least 28 civilians, including 16 children.
By welcoming Raytheon, our politicians are complicit with war crimes.
Rhodri Morgan, First Minister of Wales has defended Raytheon and attacked anti-war campaigners as liars.

Raytheon Nine trial set to start The trial of the “Raytheon Nine” anti-war activists started this week in Belfast, and will last for up to six weeks.
The nine anti-war protesters, occupied and shut down the Derry offices of Raytheon, the fifth biggest arms manufacturer in the world, on Wednesday 9 August 2006 during Israel's war on Lebanon.

The action was part of a wider protest at Raytheon’s complicity in the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon and the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rush messages of support to
For background see:

Unmasking the System - Exposing Welsh Politicians lies about Raytheon

'Who has the power to frame reality-- the power to describe things as they really are, the power to make clear the power relationships in a community, family or country?
To unmask the truth of a situation is to expose the fraudulence of the glowing phrases, the lofty claims, and the false promises of oppressive authorities and to make clear the human rights, the community obligations and the just relationships which the reality of the situation requires'.

Mark Steel's censored Raytheon article By Jim Jay(Jim Jay) Can be found here. The Independent decided not to print it -

Raytheon 9 Trial has finally started (Reibiliun) Here is a brief outline of the day: The trial of the Raytheon 9 finally got underway today at Laganside Court in Belfast. The day started well with about 50 people congregating outside the Courthouse. 28 of them carried placards with ...

Raytheon Nine trial set to start - The trial of the “Raytheon Nine” anti-war activists is set to start this week in Belfast, and last for up to six weeks. The nine anti-war protesters, ...See all stories on this topic

Raytheon poisons folk!!
Raytheon Class Action LawsuitIf you are one of the many residents of St. Petersburg, Florida who have been affected by the Raytheon groundwater contamination, then it is vital that you contact Joe Saunders, at Saunders -

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Human rights breached by photographing

Police 'spying' powers challenged BBC News, 1 May 2008Andrew Wood, from Oxford, claims he was harassed by the Metropolitan Police for campaigning against the arms trade. He says they breached his human rights ...

Surveillance 'breached human rights'Oxford Mail, UK - 1 May 2008

Campaign Against Arms Trade member Andrew Wood was photographed while attending the annual meeting of publisher and arms fair organiser Reed Elsevier, ...
...Mr Wood says that when he left the meeting officers from the Metropolitan Police breached the Human Rights Act by photographing, questioning and following him and six other campaigners.

And he says they committed further breaches by storing the photographs on police computers even though none of the protestors was arrested or charged with any offence.
"The behaviour of the police was oppressive, bordering on harassment," Mr Wood said.
"A police surveillance operation like the one I experienced risks a real prospect of a chilling effect on democratic participation."

Perhaps you would like to give evidence from the st athan campaign and complain about police surveillance and the right to protest and human rights and military training and schools propaganda
EHRC Human Rights Inquiry -
Y dudalen yma yn Gymraeg
Claim they are carrying out an inquiry to find out how human rights works in Britain, in line with our powers under section 16 of the Equality Act 2006. The inquiry was launched on 21 April 2008 and we expect to complete the process by December. We are now at the stage of gathering evidence for the inquiry.
RSS feed: Human Rights Inquiry
On this page
Purpose of the inquiry
Gathering evidence
Terms of reference
How will the inquiry be carried out?
Purpose of the inquiry
For the Commission, this inquiry represents the starting point for our remit on human rights. Our goals for this work are to:
promote understanding of the importance of human rights
encourage good practice in relation to human rights
promote awareness, understanding and protection of human rights, and
encourage public authorities to comply with the Human Rights Act (section 9 of the Equality Act).
We hope that by the end of the inquiry we will have:
a reliable set of findings about the state of human rights in Britain, and recommendations to move the human rights agenda forward.

Gathering evidence
We will be gathering evidence for the inquiry using a number of methods. We are calling for evidence from individuals, organisations and service providers, based on their experiences, positive and negative. We are commissioning research on specific areas that we have identified will help with the inquiry. We also expect to use other methods, like inquiry panels to hear evidence from witnesses.
Find out more about our call for evidence
Find out more about the planned research
Read our press release about the call for evidence

Back to top^
Terms of reference
When we launched the inquiry the first thing we did was to consult people about the terms of reference for this inquiry. We had a good response to the consultation and the terms of reference have now been finalised.
Read about the terms of reference, the issues raised through consultation and how we will address these issues.
Back to top^
How will the inquiry be carried out?
We have appointed Dame Nuala O'Loan to chair the inquiry. She was formerly Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland, with experience of leading other investigations. Find out more about Dame Nuala O'Loan.
Francesca Klug is the lead commissioner representing the Commission. We are delighted to announce that Sir Bert Massie and Neil Wooding have now joined the inquiry as commissioners, to guide the inquiry process alongsite Nuala and Francesca..but can Neil be objective?

The inquiry will initially be restricted to England and Wales. Once the Scottish Commission for Human Rights is operational, we hope to extend the inquiry to Scotland.
The inquiry will investigate:public attitudes to the Human Rights Act
how the Human Rights Act is working how it is used by public authorities and other organisations where appropriate.

Monday, May 12, 2008

More Militarisation of Wales

£6bn Piranha deal will bring new jobs boost???
ic Wales - 09 May 2008
... UK Government to award a multi-billion pound armed services training facility contract at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan to the Metrix consortium. ...
May 9 2008 by Sion Barry, South Wales Echo
THE economy received a major boost yesterday when after the Ministry of Defence awarded a £6bn contract for a new generation of rapid response military vehicles to a South Wales-based company.

US-owned General Dynamics, which employs 1,000 in the area, mainly at Oakdale and Newbridge, was last night named as the preferred bidder for the Piranha V, which will replaced the Army’s Saxon and FV430 rapid response battlefield transportation fighting vehicles.
General Dynamics, which also works with Cardiff University on its research, is now likely to create a significant number of jobs, but it cannot yet say how many.

General Dynamics is also in the running for two more FRES contracts, both worth around £6bn, which have yet to be awarded. If secured they would be another major boost to the Welsh defence sector.

Yesterday’s announcement follows last year’s decision by the UK Government to award a multi-billion pound armed services training facility contract at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan to the Metrix consortium.

General Dynamics has been operational in South Wales since 2001, when it won a contract to supply the MoD with a new state of the art battlefield communication system known as Bowman.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan said: “This announcement will not only help safeguard the future of the highly skilled employees at the company's state-of-the-art facilities in Wales, but sends a clear message that Wales has the skills and the infrastructure to produce high quality and internationally competitive products.”

Is this the only answer for Wales - is the only vision we have for Wales - more military
business -

Monday, May 5, 2008

Politics of cluster bombs

The politics of cluster bombsAsia Times Online - Kowloon,Hong Kong
Guarantees of low failure rates given by big cluster munitions manufacturers, including the US's Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Textron, Gen Corp, ...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cluster bombs for the British Armed Forces

May 1, 2008Use of Cluster Bombs Missiles and Bombs The Guardian has reported that cluster bombs are to remain a part of the armoury available to the British Forces. Read More...Apr 21, 2008

Netherlands Destroying CBU-87 Cluster-BombsMissiles and BombsThe Netherlands are destroying their CBU-87 cluster-bombs. Defence Minister Eimert van Middelkoop has told the Lower House that they can cause too much unacceptable human suffering. Read More...Apr 10, 2008

US accused of pressing nations over cluster bomb treatyMissiles and BombsA leading group working on behalf of disabled people accused the United States Wednesday of pressuring European and African countries not to join a new treaty next month banning cluster bombs. Read More...

wreath Laying outside The Guildhall in Derry
The bomblets from each Raytheon made CBU-87 are typically distributed over ... have called for a global moratorium on use of cluster bombs because they have - 15k -

Cluster bombs are amongst the most lethal and indiscriminate of the arms made by Raytheon. Prior to their use in Iraq, they have killed civilians from Kosovo to Afghanistan. Each Raytheon-made CBU-87 cluster bomb contains 202 individual submunitions, also called "bomblets," Each bomblet has an antitank and antipersonnel effect, as well as an incendiary capability. The bomblets from each Raytheon made CBU-87 are typically distributed over an area roughly 100 x 50 metres. Human rights groups have called for a global moratorium on use of cluster bombs because they have been shown to cause unacceptable civilian casualties both during and after conflict.

EDO MBM' s Cluster Bomb Connection Indymedia UK - In all, ALM IPT manages some 14 major weapons projects or equipment groupings and following the partnering contracts with Raytheon, MBDA, ...See all stories on this topic

Backgrounder: Cluster Bombs in Afghanistan (Human Rights Watch ...
During the first week of the campaign, it is believed that Air Force B-1 bombers dropped 50 CBU-87 cluster bombs in some five missions. CBU-87 cluster bomb - 39k -

CBU-87 Combined Effects Munitions (CEM) - Dumb Bombs
The CBU-87 is a 1000-pound, Combined Effects Munition (CEM) for attacking ... During Allied Force the US dropped about 1100 cluster bombs, and most of these - 8k -

[PDF] Top Ten Taglines
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTMLThe Air Force still has CBU-87 cluster bombs containing more than 20 million ..... Raytheon plans to replace the older, unreliable BLU-97 with a -