May 24 Riots Reframed - Documentary
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One of the more than two million emails from Syrian political figures, ministries and companies which WikiLeaks began exposing in June reveal that Finmeccanica, an Italian defense giant with extensive interests in Bristol, supplied communications equipment and expertise about helicopters to the Syrian regime, even after it had launched a violent crackdown on protests.
According to a report in the British Telegraph, the leaked emails appeared to show that Selex, a subsidiary of Finmeccanica, was selling radio communications equipment worth 30 million pounds to the Syrian police in May 2011, the same month that the European Union imposed an embargo on the regime, prohibiting the export of weapons and equipment that could be used for internal repression.
The Tetra radio equipment, including 500 hand-held VS3000 radios, was apparently destined for police deployed to a suburb of Damascus, the report said. The e-mails also appeared to show that as recently as February 2012 engineers from Selex travelled to Damascus to give training on the use of the communications technology, including how it could be installed in helicopters.
Chloe Marsh of BAAT said "Selex are morally bankrupt they are arming various different nations who have defied UN treaties including Israel, and now Syria, this is not the kind of company who belong in Bristol". Although it seems one of our local MP's would disagree this is Jack Lopresti MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke visiting Selex systems, Bristol Business Park, Frenchay. July 2011
His blog states that Selex are part of the Finmeccanica group, and employ around 200 people in their Bristol office.
Over the last few years the use of unmanned drones has grown and grown. Offering the controllers the ability to project force anywhere in the world without the risk of loosing any personnel, the attractions for the military are clear. Yet there is growing evidence that the drones are far from the surgical strikers the military claims they are, for example the operators often make mistakes which result in the killing of civilians.
The huge rise in their use has meant lots of dead bodies yet with little to no due-process or control of the assassinations. It has also meant rising anger in the regions blighted by their use. For example the US military admits that it targets people who simply pass by the results of an attack, claiming they must be linked to the original target, yet more often, they are not. The use of drones has gone from a rare military technology to commonplace in both military and policing circles. Questions need to be asked!
Bristol Against The Arms Trade Present – Down the Drones Conference – Sunday April 1st 2012 1pm - 6pm at the ARC bar/cafe Broad St Bristol
Free entry – all welcome
Stalls for Palestine information, Zaytoun olive oil and dvds
She will be speaking at a public meeting entitled “Resisting from Within” organised by the Bristol Palestine Solidarity Campaign on Tuesday 27th September at 7.30pm at Hamilton House, Stokes Croft (opp Jamaica Street) Bristol BS1 3QY. Free entry and all welcome.
This is the third in a series of articles I have written about my decision to travel to Libya, initially to support the rebels and then what I saw and heard over here (Benghazi and Misrata) that has led me to stay and help the Libyan people on a humanitarian level only.
They say a week is a long time in politics, over here in Misrata it definitely is. Ive been in this country for over 4 months now since about the 24 March and was just about to leave. I have my place booked on the World Food Programme (UN) boat to Malta , its the last one. But then in the last 4 days it all seems to be happening for the rebels Zlitan has fallen, Taurghas been overrun and now Tripoli is crumbling. I'm glad I'm still here to witness what surely must be the end to a bloody civil war.Full article | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | More Images
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