Demo against arms manufacturer – 17th October
National demonstration against a Manchester factory
Manchester residents have called a national demonstration against a local factory which they are concerned may be manufacturing equipment that has been used to commit human rights abuses in Gaza, the West Bank, Afghanistan and Iraq. The demonstration, on Saturday 17th October, will be at the site of the Brimar factory in East Manchester, and will include music, speakers and food. Manchester residents will be joined by concerned citizens from across the country.
Brimar manufactures visual display units that are used in a range of military vehicles, including Apache helicopters, tanks and F16s. Brimar directors admitted in 2006, during the war in Lebanon, that the company supplied components used in Apache attack helicopters sold to the Israeli military.
On Monday, 5th October, citizen weapons inspectors visited the factory seeking information on possible connections between Brimar's products and human rights abuses. The visit coincided with the release of a research dossier detailing the concerns of campaigners, which include the possible use of Brimar equipment during 'Operation Cast Lead,' the invasion of Gaza by the Israeli military in December 2008 and January 2009.
Campaigners allege that there is also evidence that products developed during a research collaboration between Brimar and the US Marine Corps were deployed with Marine tank battalions in Iraq in 2004-5, including with forces directly involved in the Second Battle of Fallujah in November 2004. Concerns have also been raised that Brimar products may be incorporated into helicopters currently being used to fire thermobaric missiles in Afghanistan.
The Target Brimar campaign is calling on the company, which is owned by private investors and has a significant financial relationship with the Bank of Scotland/Lloyds Banking Group and therefore with the British taxpayer, to return to its historically peaceful manufacture of specialist screens and viewing equipment, and on the British government to review its arms export policy and to cease its immoral and economically distorted subsidising of the arms industry.
More information and details of the demonstration are available at www.targetbrimar.org.uk.