Challenging armed forces visits to schools
14 September 2018 by Mairi Campbell-Jack
The damage that the arms trade does is a root cause of so many of the world's problems. Quakers are working to end the arms trade.
The arms trade has a devastating impact on peace, human rights and security across the world. Large scale military procurement and arms exports only reinforce a militaristic approach to international problems.
We have to take responsibility in our own countries for the trade in weapons, which will continue unless we intensify our actions against it... Let us picture where Jesus Christ would be in this matter...He would be there, he would be working with us, he would be arguing and doing everything in his power to ensure that this trade, which is totally immoral, was stopped as soon as possible.
- Jo Vallentine, Quaker faith & practice 29.09
Quakers in Britain are a founder member of Stop the Arms Fair (offsite link): a coalition of groups opposing the Defence and Security Equipment International arms fair (DSEi) in East London every other year. We build resistance to the arms fair through protest, lobbying, witness, creativity and prayer.
Many Quaker meetings work to end the arms trade through support of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), the national NGO working on this issue and a key partner of Quakers in Britain.
Listen to Peace & Disarmament Programme Manager Sam Walton speak about organising the 2017 actions to stop the arms fair in this episode of the Q:witness podcast:
Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) have a wonderful page of petitions & pledges to sign up to. Currently the#StopArmingSaudi one is particularly urgent given that British weapons are being used in Yemen and the scale of the humanitarian crisis unfolding there.
Staff in QPSW are more than happy to advise you if you are interested in taking further action, or if your meeting has a concern in this area.
Image: A damaged UN school in Gaza city in 2012 (Wikimedia CC 3.0)