Action at Bristol

October 24, 2013
group of students standing in a grand university hall. Security guard in hi-vis jacket clearly visible standing by them.
Bristol students disrupt their careers fair ’13

Students at Bristol university disrupted their Careers Fair to protest the attendance of BAE Systems, Thales and EADS. Here’s their press release:

On the 22nd and 23rd of October a group of Bristol students took action against the presence of arms companies at careers fairs organised by Bristol university. This action took place at the University of Bristol’s engineering careers fair in the Wills memorial building. Across both days, we ran a stall to provide information that otherwise would not be given. The protest, organised by Bristol Left in association with Bristol Friends of Palestine society, culminated in a mass ‘die in’ on the final day of the fair (photos included).

We, as a collective of Bristol students, believe that the arms trade is a deadly and corrupt business. It supports conflict and human rights abusing regimes while squandering valuable resources. Further, it is hideously corrupt; BAE Systems, Thales, and EADS, all present at the fairs, have been variously investigated by the German police, the French finance ministry, the Serious Fraud Office, and the FBI in relation to insider trading on stock markets, bribery, corporate espionage, and general corruption.

By taking this action we hope to raise awareness of the issues surrounding the arms trade; moreover we consider the unchallenged presence of those who have a vested interest in unending conflict to be deeply wrong. Hopefully, this is the first step in removing these corporations from university space for good.

Across the two days of the fair we talked to students and handed out around 1000 leaflets in an attempt to engage and inform students on the damage that arms companies are responsible for. The ‘die in’ involved a large group of us entering the careers fair and simultaneously simulating death en masse in front of the BAE Systems stall. This form of protest was specifically chosen as it is peaceful and disruption to other stalls is minimal.

Well done to everyone involved!

If you’d like to disrupt a careers fair near you, check out our Ban BAE page or e-mail us at universities@caat.org.uk

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