A 3D Printed Arms Trade

I’ve been reading and thinking about 3D printers of late, and just how they are going to change the world.

The most scary aspect of this is just how it will impact upon the military and the arms trade.

Military Aircraft & War Ships.

Here is a summary of just what has been going on of late, and some of the thinking behind it.

Siemens plans to produce spare parts for its gas turbines.

BAE Systems are now starting to produce 3D printed Tornado Aircraft which are being tested by the RAF.

While the  ‘ U.S. Navy could soon use these popular tech tools to shake up traditional supply chains and revolutionise maritime strategy.’

The following article gives some more idea of just what the future might hold: –

“Print Me a Cruiser” : The Future of the US Fleet

Design, Print, and Kill local.

The  way 3D printers work means that anyone can scan existing weapons component parts, convert the info in to a software programme, and start their own local weapons industry.

Last year a working gun was made with a 3D printer, but that’s just the start of it all.

The use of 3D printers will make it very difficult to impose any international arms controls, and produce a lot of legal problems for those who wish to impose any prohibition on the export of weapons or weapon systems.

This is something which very few legislators will have ever thought about. Neither has there been any thoughts given upon just how to stop the military proliferation which this technology might cause.

It is possible to prohibit the sale of arms, and even the blueprints of specific weapons.

Yet 3 key questions do need to be examined: –

–  How can this be extended to weapons production software?

– Will that be enough to stop the proliferation of new small arm manufacturing?


– Just how do you stop anyone from scanning weapons, and reproducing them via a 3D printer ?

Here is one idea which has been proposed:

Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) is looking at how to regulate working guns made by 3-D printers.’

The Jobs Issue.

3D printing can be done at the point of need, and thus saves a lot of transport costs.

This in turn means less jobs for transport workers, and far fewer people involved in the manufacturing process.

Thus there will be less large arms factories, and a decrease in the export of weapons.

This in turn will result in a lot of job loses,  which is very difficult to quantify at present,
but it is something we should all be thinking about.

It will also weaken the case put by the arms trade that they promote manufacturing & thus job.

Though it might also mean that many more new weapons are in use around the world.

It’s the kind of issue which those involved in the Trade Unions and Anti-Arms Trade Campaigners  should start to study.

On the Plus Side.

– 3D food printers can create sweets and chocolates.

– 3D printers can produce artificial limbs.


– They can be used to make amazing works of art.

Japanese Worries.

The news from Japan is increasingly worrying.

This is aside from the ongoing diaster at Fukushima, and high level of radiation which are spreading out from the plant.

These worries are: –

– The increasingly dangerous military stand off between China and Japan about the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

– The continual dispute between South Korea and Japan about the islands known as Dokdo in South Korea and as Takeshima in Japan.

– The proposed to abolish Article 9 of the Japanese constitution, which would mean that Japanese troops could fight anywhere in the world.

– The threat to reintroduce conscription to Japan.


– The newly enacted Japanese secrecy law.

This is why we should all support the Article9 Campaign.

Next Destination – Antwerp

The Atlantic Cartier is now in European waters and sailing towards Antwerp.

Last week the ship stopped off in Liverpool,
and the following press release was issued by Merseyside CND.

Explosives and Uranium hexafluoride fire ship arrives back in Liverpool.

Steaming towards the Port of Liverpool at this very moment is the Swedish owned Ro-ro/container carrier, the Atlantic Cartier.  Questions hang over this ship as to  just how safe it is bearing in mind that on May 1st while in the Port of Hamburg it was seriously damaged when it went up in flames.

The ship’s cargo included 9 tons uranium hexafluoride ( UF6 ), destined for the Areva owned uranium-enriching plant at Lingen, Lower Saxony. Also included in the cargo were four tonnes of explosives, and 180 tons of flammable ethanol. When UF6 is exposed to moist air, it reacts with the water in the air to produce UO2F2 (uranyl fluoride) and HF (hydrogen fluoride) both of which are highly corrosive and toxic.

If the ship had exploded, then a cloud  of the uranium hexafluoride might have been released into the atmosphere with all sorts of damaging consequencies for the Port workers and surrounding neighbourhood.

Following on from the fire the ship was repaired, and went to the Port of Liverpool and then onto
Halifax,Nova Scotia, New York, Baltimore, and Norfolk, Virginia.

It is due back in Liverpool at approximately 3am tomorrow morning.

We wonder if the Port of Liverpool authorities are aware of the Atlantic Cartier’s potentially dangerous cargo and what measures have they put in place to inform and protect the workforce and nearby population.’

The last few days.

On the weekend the ship stopped over in Hamburg were it was welcomed with a demonstration.

When the ship left port it was under  ‘police protection’.

Unanswered Questions.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about just what has happened with the ship.

They include: –

– Just what kind of repairs took place on the ship?

– What kind of safety inspection & safety certification has it now been given?

– Have any modifications been made to just what the ship is allowed to carry on board?

– Just what kind of cargo does the ship now have on board?

– Will there be any need for the ship to be isolated from the main harbour when it arrives in port?

–  What kind of fire inspection has there been since May ?


– What kind of extra security is given to the ship if it carries such an deadly cargo on a regular basis?

What needs to be done.

Of course we only know about such dangerously mixed cargoes sailing around the globe because of the fire on the Atlantic Cartier.  We just don’t know how any others there may be.

What we really need is a ban on Uranium and explosive materials being carried on the same ships.

It’s time to tighten up the shipping regulations.

Following On From The Fire.

Following on from the fire upon the Atlantic Cartier in May.

The ship has been repaired.

Since then she has sailed to Antwerp, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and New York.

It recently put in to the port of Liverpool, but no one was aware about this until after the ship had moved on.

The ship is currently sailing back towards Halifax,  Nova Scotia, and will then continue to New York,  Baltimore,  and Norfolk, Virginia.

The Atlantic Cartier is owned by the Atlantic Container Line, and is classed as being a: ‘ Roll On Roll Off With Container Capacity.’

There are still many open questions about just what kind of goods the ship has carried in the past, or will be carrying in the future?

Up In Flames.


The ATLANTIC CARTIER is a Swedish owned Ro-ro/container carrier which was built during 1985.

At present it is in port at Hamburg, and was scheduled to be sailing on to Antwerp.

But . . . .

On May 1st the ship became seriously damaged as it went up in flames.

The ships cargo included 9 tons uranium hexafluoride ( UF6 ),
which was destined for the Areva owned uranium-enriching plant at Lingen, Lower Saxony.

Also included in the cargo were four tonnes of explosives, and 180 tons of flammable ethanol.

Explosions and Toxic Clouds.

If the ship had exploded, then a cloud  of the uranium hexafluoride might of been released in to the atmosphere.

Here is a quote from  wikipedia which will give you some idea as to what would of happen next:-

‘ When UF6 is exposed to moist air, it reacts with the water in the air to produce UO2F2 (uranyl fluoride) and HF (hydrogen fluoride) both of which are highly corrosive and toxic. ’

One can only speculate about just what else might of happened next – ? ? ?

As you might imagine there has been a lot of concerns about this issue both within Hamburg, and throughout the world.

It will be very interesting to read the inquiry report as to just how this accident came about, and just why the boat was allowed to carry such a mixture of dangerous materials.

On the High Seas – – –

In the meanwhile: –

Here is a link to the International Maritime Organisation ( IMO ) resolution upon  INTERNATIONAL MARITIME DANGEROUS GOODS.

While I’m left wondering just how many ships with such a dangerous mixture of highly dangerous cargoes are currently to be found sailing upon the high seas, and just which ports they visit on a regular basis ?

An Anarchist Perspective On Plebgate.

This morning I had one of those most enlightening conversations
which I tend to have with members of the Met Police Diplomatic
Protection Group.

The conversation took place while I was picketing outside of the Japanese Embassy.

We talked about the long term effects of nukiller power.

All very much of a scary set of issues.

I also got to chat with him about the Plebgate issue,
and  both agreed that the whole thing is very much blown up out of all proportion.

One point I did make to him on this issue: –
As an anarchist my sympathies are very much with the police.

I’ve always found members of the Met Police Diplomatic
Protection group to be very polite to me,
and why should they be any different while on duty at Downing Street?

Yet here is the bottom line: –

Plebgate revolves around the conduct of a tory politician,
who’s ever going to believe the word of  any former Conservative chief whip?

I of course think that there is nothing wrong with being called a pleb,  or one of the people,  but elitist politicians do have a tendency to forget the people whom they are supposed to be

Enough said for now – – – – .

Going Underground Or Just Going Missing ?

A couple of years ago I put together a few notes for an article
about people who have to go and live underground,
or just go missing.

The idea of this article was to examine just how people might live
this way within an increasingly networked society.

In my notes I referred to Bob Robinson as B,
although I now know that his real name is Bob Lambert.

I never got much further than penning these few notes.

It is highly unlikely that I will ever complete this piece,
but you might find these notes of some interest.

– – – – – – – – – – – –  — — – — – — – — —

The Networked Society.

What ever happened to B?

We can all tell stories about people we spent some time with in ones younger years, but with whom we have lost contact.

B was someone that I knew as a political activist over a
quarter of a century ago. Over time I moved on and lost
contact with him.

Continue reading Going Underground Or Just Going Missing ?

Setting The Standards

There are some things which just annoy me,
those which worry me,
and others which really alarm me.

Fire extinguishers being used to prop doors open,
a failure to appreciate the importance of regular fire equipment
missed fire drills,
the failure to hold regular health and safety surveys combine all
of the above for me.

It is not because I’m worried about all the fire or Health and
Safety regulations as such.

It is not because I’m worried about complying with the legal
requirements to do so.

My concerns are far more fundemental than that.

It is because failing to deal with these things can result in either
someone being either killed or seriously injured.

Failures in the past.

It was a failure to deal with the dangers of fire in the past which
resulted in the kind of fire regulations which we now have in place.

For example: –

The Triange fire.

The Kings Cross fire.

The Tooley Street fire.


That at the Alhambra Theatre which resulted in the creation of theatre fire curtains.

It was also as a result of trade union action to save peoples lives
that these health and safety regulations came in to place in the first place.

This is an ongoing campaign.

Setting the standards.

We should not be forever going on about it’s a nuisance,
or costs too much money and time to do.

We should not just be complying with the various fire,
or Health & Safety standards.

We should  setting our own much higher standards.

This goes hand in hand with campaigning to improve what are in
the building regulions.

As radicals we should be working to create living spaces which
go way beyond the regulations,
and show just how this can be done.

Meanwhile in Cumbria.

Which brings me on to the very latest job vacancy for the
Civil Nuclear Constabulary.

It’s for a Health and Safety Officer based at Windscale/

The best line in this ad being:

‘ We help keep the nation safe. You keep our people safe.’

Now how’s that for an interesting way of thinking?

Resisting the Olympics – A Resource List.

The 2012 Olympics are currently being built up by an
unprecedented media hype.

Yet there are many major objections as to how the event is being
run,  and just as many campaigners who are working to stop the
long lasting damage which it will create.

Background information and Resources.

This summer an army of occupation will take over the East End of

I refer to the army of  10,000 ‘security guards’,   7,000 military,
and the  large  number of extra police which will be in place
during this years Olympic event.

There are also many concerns about the way that this event will
both destroy many locally important ecological sites,
and how it will impact upon the civil rights of those who live in
the East End

Resisting the Olympics.

The good news is that there are now a growing number of groups
and organisations which are countering the Olympics.

Here are a few links to these networks: –

– Games Monitor  – debunking Olympics myths.


The New Lammas Lands Defence Committee


NOGOE (No to Greenwich Olympic Equestrian Events)

Resistance to the Multinational Sponsors.

The other really perturbing aspect of the Olympics is that it is
being sponsored by some of the worlds largest & most
irresponsible multi-nationals.

Rather that list them all:
here is a list of some campaigns which are working against them.

On BP – The UK No Tar Sands Network

On EDF –  Boycott EDF

On RTZ – Partizans (People against Rio Tinto and its Subsidiaries)

On Coca-Cola – No Sweat

On Muckdonalds – McCruelty


On Dow Chemical – The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) have also protested against this Dow sponsorship.

The 2012 Olympic games will be a disaster, and we should support all of these campaigns.

Vancouver 2010

There was also a lot of resistance to the
2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver BC Canada.

There is a lot of information you can find online about just what happened during this event.

These include: –

No One Is Illegal Vancouver!


Resisting the Olympics Resources