Liverpool Arms Fair Protests

An Arms Fair on Liverpool City Council Premises.

In June 2014 Clarion Events hosted the annual UDT [Underwater Defence Technology] exhibition at the Liverpool City Council owned Arena and Convention Centre.

There was a small protest outside the event which I was involved in organising.

Here it might be noted that the UDT events take place at different venues each year.

After protests about the UDT event in Glasgow during 2018, the Glasgow City Council decreed that it would no longer support arms fairs in any of the premises it owns.

The Arms Fair Postponed

During 2020 it become known that another arms fair would be taking place at the Arena in Liverpool.

This was the Clarion Events organised AOC Europe 2021 (previously Electronic Warfare Europe) arms fair.

AOC [The Association of Old Crows] is ‘an organisation for individuals who have common interests in Electronic Warfare ‘.

Due to Lockdown this event was postponed.

Following on from an outcry about this event, Mayor Joe Anderson stated that he and the Council would develop a policy to prevent such events taking place in Liverpool in the future. Unfortunately he was unable to pursue this policy, as shortly afterwards a scandal about the way the City Council operated resulted in him resigning his post, while a police investigation in to this matter continues.

Then with the ending of lockdown it was announced that the Electronic Arms Fair would go ahead in October 2021.

Protests during 2021

What happened next was that the Merseyside Pensioners Association

organised a series of lobbying pickets and demonstrations both outside various Council meetings and at the Town Hall.

That culminated with a national Protest March which attracted several thousand people, and finally a rally in the city centre.

Here it might also be noted that a large number of the City Councillors signed a statement calling for the arms fair to be cancelled.

With the announcement that the arms fair would go ahead, the musical group Massive Attack cancelled a concert at the venue in protest.

Yet despite all of these protests the Liverpool City Mayor Joanne Anderson said there was nothing she could or would do to have the arms fair cancelled.

On the day that the Arms Fair started there was a large demonstration outside the Arena.

Campaigning for an ethical policy

There is now a campaign calling for the City Council to instigate an ethical policy, and to change the articles of association of the Arena company in order to prevent any further arms fairs happening in the future.

The next AOC Europe is scheduled to take place in Montpellier, France during May 10th to 12th 2022

Observe And Take Action.

Have You noticed ?

We are now living in a Dystopian nightmare where image is everything, but reality is hard to see.

Time flows in different ways while the booze flows.

For politicians who get drunk on their own self delusions the long term effects of this kind of thinking are very heady stuff, but we all have to suffer from the results.

While we all buy in to some form of referral to brand names, or Kapitalist propaganda, as it is constantly thrown at us via the ‘Mass Media’.

Paid to act for.

Anyone who lives within Brexitland will be very familiar with how politicians are making a nice living as advisers or sit on the board of various companies.

That is on top of the previous Cash for Question scandal of a few years ago, which should be classified with what is otherwise colloquially know as ‘Rent in Kind’.

None of these observations are in anyway new.

Only one thing is new about it all, is just how many of these scandals have, or rather are, coming to light within such a short period of time.

In a just or more egalitarian society all of this would be regarded as absolutely shocking, but the citizens of Brexitland are well used to learning such things about elected politicians.

It all flows in to us developing a very high appreciation of hard bitten satirical humour.

Where our attention should really be focused upon.

Meanwhile in the real world, and away from the Westminster Village, there are other more important issues to deal with. All of which I keep repeating time and time and time and time again.

What is now becoming really obvious is the way in which Greenwash exasperates many of the problems we have.

Moving from extreme energy [ petrol and diesel personal vehicles to battery powered ones is not going to solve the urban mess, or encourage people to walk more.

Neither is spending tax payers money on an infrastructure to support them going to help finance all the tram and train networks which we so desperately need.

While the idea which is currently being flogged that Nukiller power is the solution to stopping climate change can only be described as ill founded.

Nukiller power is a cause of global warming.

Yet again it is a case of not properly focusing upon both the issues and realistic solutions.

Radical Orthodoxy

That is the name for a series of articles which I have in mind to write.

This starts from the perspective that the focus of any radical perspective must come from how we might create a more just, and balanced ecologically sound world.

That must include what is by Its nature radical Orthodoxy.

The first of these is about council tax which came in to being after the struggle to abolish the poll tax. Yet council tax is a grossly inequitable burden upon both single people and pensioners. So should we not be looking at a more just version of the poll tax ?

The 2nd issue is about how we might better move goods by rail rather than by road.

After which we can also start to pull down the motorways. Yippy !

In order to do so we will need to extend the rail network, and better use the existing railways. This includes supporting the building of HS2 and HS3.

I know that both of these ideas will produce a lot of criticism way before the articles are written.

Yet we do need to look at these issues with a lot of fresh critical thinking.

So which radical periodical would like to publish either of those pieces ?

Soviet Afghanistan War Protest

On the 12th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, fellow pacifist activist Albert Beale and myself picketed the embassy of the then USSR about the war.

It being just after Gloom Day no one else was willing to join us with the protest.

Of course the embassy was closed that day, but we did manage to hand in a letter of protest.

It might also be added that for several years such protests had taken place in Denmark.

Given the current situation in Afghanistan, I wonder just how much different things would be right now if more activists had taken up the issue at the time.

Rail Atlas – An Activist Review

S.K.Baker

Rail Atlas    Great Britain & Ireland.

Crecy Publishing Ltd – Manchester

15th edition 2020     First published in 1977

152 Pages               ISBN 978 0 86093 681 7

There is something about maps which we all find fascinating, both as works of art, or as geographical representations.

Yet they are also very important reference works.

The Rail Atlas

Unlike most maps or rail passenger maps, this work includes the following: –

– Private lines and depots.

– Proposed railway lines.

– Heritage Railway lines.

&

– Ferry routes with the names of the shipping lines.

That includes both passenger and freight shipping lines.

It also includes an Electrification Map.

Across the Channel

The Rail and Ferry connections across the English Channel are very detailed.

This includes the following: –

– The Channel Tunnel lines at Ashford and to the north of Folkstone.

– The Various Ferry routes from Ramsgate and Dover.

&

– All the various lines around Calais.

Of Particular interest to Activists

MOD Lines

What many individuals do not realise is just how many MOD [military] railway lines and depots there are.

These include such places as : –

– Ludgershall [ Tidworth ]

– Longtown

&

– Glen Douglas

There are also the better know line in the Devonport dockyard near Plymouth.

Nukiller Waste

Anti nukiller power activists are concerned with the movement of highly radioactive used fuel rods transported by DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] along the main railway lines.

This includes the branch lines which go to the various reactor sites.

There is for example a short line in to Torness, a Goods & Nuclear Waste Terminal to the south of Thurso in North East Scotland, and the Ashford to Dungeness line.

DRS has depots at both Crewe and Carlisle.

Yet the most interesting and least well known line is from Sellafield to the ‘Low lever’ nukiller waste dump at Drigg in Cumbria.

While the Sellafield / Windscale plant has a number of sidings which are shown in the atlas.

Anyone

Anyone who is interested in knowing more about all the various rail lines which could be better used for the carrying of passengers, and goods, should have a copy of this atlas.

At £20 it is extremely good value for money.

The Brexitland Song.

To the tune of  Who Wants to be a Millionaire ?

—-

Who wants to live in Brexitland ?

  I Don’t !

Who wants to live in Brexitland ?

  We Don’t !

  WE Don’t !

Who wants to live in the EU ?

  We do !

  WE DO !

Who wants to live in a repressive state ?

  A repressive state, is something we hate!

Who wants to live in the EU ?

  E Do !

  WE DO !

  For that’s all E just want to do.

——-

Now keep singing this until Brexitland becomes a part of the EU once again.

Recent Activities

Despite Lockdown and the continuing difficulties which we are all experiencing, it has been possible for me to continue working upon various projects. This is a brief summary of some of the them.

Anti Nukiller Power

I recently put together the latest issue of Countering Capenhurst.

This contains a lot of information about DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] which transports Highly Radioactive uses fuel rods and other nukiller waste.

What I now have is enough material and written pieces to produce a pamphlet on the issue, but it is never wise to edit ones own articles .

Thus I am looking for someone to work on it with me.

5 Cale Road

The 5 Caledonian Road Project website has just been launched.

The subtitle of being 60 years of books and activism.

This is a project which I was interviewed for. You can hear a little of this interview under Small Scale Demonstrations on the website.

The ongoing Spycops Public Inquiry

Aspects of being a CP [Core Participant] in the Undercover Policing [Spycops ] Public Inquiry are still taking up a lot of my time.

Of particular interest to me is a 1980 Special Branch report describing the development of the anti-nuclear movement in the UK

Sorting out my various collections

One of the side effects of such a long lockdown has been that I’ve had the chance to go through and properly sort out my various collections.

I’ve done the same with my various documents which are now ready to be put to an archive.

I would never of been able to do this if there were a lot of meetings and events to attend.

Soon

Soon it will be possible to start organising some more proactive campaigning.

That is something which I am looking forward to doing.

Changes

Changes In Our Thinking

As a individual I want to change the kind of world we live in, but first of all that requires a little rethinking from everyone about how this might be achieved.

For example: –

I think discipline is needed – Self Discipline.

While we need to move away from think in terms of consumerism, so that it becomes more about the quality of life.

Just as we need to stop thinking about profits, but think in terms of environmental gains.

While also stopping to refer to the military as defenders. That is because it is health workers who help defend us from ill health.

Changes In What They Should Do

It is so very easy to create a list all ecological and social problems which we need to address, and then produce an even longer one of what needs doing to solve them.

Yet even those who get to understand some of these problems land up creating even more of them.

This is well illustrated by the daily media coverage of politicians who talk about solving out ecological problems, while they continue dinning out on lamb and salmon.

These same politicians pontificate about global warming.

Yet they still continue to promote a technology which causes both global warming and many other forms of pollution.

e.g. Nukiller Power.

Or trade unionists who go on about protecting their members and creating jobs, while at the same time promoting the arms trade.

Never mind how they keep promoting the nukiller power industry, rather than promoting the building of wind farms which will create many more safer jobs.

Neither do we just need to focus our criticism upon the above, as so many individuals who get involved in campaigning take an almost nihilistic back to an illusionary better past in to a better future approach to campaigning.

An Educational Failure

Though in many ways what we have is a failure of the educational system which causes the above, and in particular a failure on basic education.

A society which has so many functionally illiterate, and scientifically illiterate individuals, will always have a problem with people understandings statistics, economics, demographic changes, or be able to criticise bad science.

To that list must be added a failure to teach linguistics and ethical education in our schools.

One only has to glance at the Brexitland press in order to illustrate just how things really are right now.

Looking Back – Looking Forward

Yet for all the criticisms about what is wrong about ill informed so called leaders, politicians, trade unionists, capitalists, and so forth,

we still are left with our own To Do list.

I’ll not repeat this list as I would just be repeating myself, and a To Do list is no use in isolation of an even longer how to achieve changes list.

I’ve always said that the most important job of radicals, be they anarchist pacifists or no, is to identity what needs to be done, initiate campaigns, and then move on when these become main stream concerns.

All of this is doable if we apply a little clear thinking.

Though there is a immense mess to clear up which is not going to be achieved without about what needs doing 10, 20, or 30 years in to the future

—- and yet —

It is possible to improve the education system right now,

but this can only be done by putting more effort in to creating much better Adult Education.

—- and yet —

There are some issues which will take many lifetimes of campaigning to solve.

 

Think Before We Speak

Ideologically Unsound

There is a really strong correlation between what are real insults, and that which is ideologically unsound.

This is why we need to think before we swear at people.

Description not insult.

One of the problems with so called swear words is that most of them are either descriptions of body parts, bodily functions, or pleasurable activities.

Yet there are other ways of showing our contempt.

Problem wording

There are some words or expressions which convey the problems we have.

For example: –

– Management

– Brexit

– Organisational Restructuring

– Driver

– Spycop

&

– Investor

True insults.

While the following are descriptive words which may be used to show our true contempt.

– Butcher

– Militarist

– Manager

– Kapitalist

– Nationalist

&

– Authoritarian

Compliments

In contrast here are just some of the compliments which we should all be using more often.

– Anti Militarist

– Ecologist

– Vegan

– Activist

– Pedestrian

– Anarchist

&

– Pacifist

Last word

There are lots of other word examples which I could give, but I will just conclude this with another expression which might be added to all of the above.

Be Imaginative