Date(s) - 9th July
10:45 am - 11:45 am
VIGIL: 10:45 for 11
For press release click here.
So Church House conference centre is at it again: yet another arms-sponsored event. A venue in Westminster owned by the church and raising revenue for the CofE. The church investment policy rules out the majority of the sponsors, yet if they possibly can profit from these companies, they will. All this whilst ejecting disabled protesters from their land. Not much of a message of peace, huh?
This time, BAE, Lockheed, Finmeccanica et al will fund a conference of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a military think tank. The “brains of the MoD” as someone put it. In an article in the Church Times (27 June) about FoR and Pax Christi’s recent vigil outside the last arms-sponsored conference held at Church House just last month, the CofE, in an act of very poor impartiality, said that,
“The RUSI is a long-established and respected independent think tank. As a research body and policy forum, it provides independent thinking and objective analysis on issues relating primarily to security and defence.”
This is not independent thought. This is facilitating better and more contracts for arms dealers. This is preparation for war.
It is cause for concern when the church defends an institution which goes hand-in-hand with arms trade sponsorship. Saab sponsor their Land Warfare events. Thales fund the Sea Power conferences. Missile makers MBDA and drones manufacturers BAE sponsor Air Power conferences.
The conference is 9th-10th July, starting at 12pm. We’ll have a vigil of resistance for an hour during registration on the first day (Wednesday), while people in military uniform are walking in to cosy up with arms dealers in Church property.
MEET OUTSIDE METHODIST CENTRAL HALL AT 10:45 to split into two groups.
Bring your friends. Bring your dog. Bring people you haven’t seen for a year but know they too want arms dealers out of the church.
If there are enough of us, we’ll gather then split into two groups to cover (prayerfully, not blocking) both entrances: one opposite Methodist Central Hall, the other round the back on Great Smith St.
Bring banners! No need to keep them polite but nothing abusive – we’re all about the nonviolence, yo.
Sign the petition, which will go to Justin Welby, here: http://act.caat.org.uk/lobby/churchhouse
More info including for a copy of the press release email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01865 250781
If you have facebook, indicate that you’re going on the event page.
For help on the day: 07522 370839