Despite the unethical and harmful nature of such links with the arms trade, universities continue to take funding and turn a blind eye to the suffering caused by their actions.
The York SPEAK group along with members of the local Amnesty and Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) groups protested on University of York campus last week after it was revealed ‘blood money’ had been used to fund research. Four major arms companies – BAE Systems, MBDA, Rolls Royce and QinetiQ – were named as substantial research funders across three departments at the University.
The University of Southampton has just appointed Helen Alexandra as its new Chancellor. Alexandra holds a role on the board of one of Britain’s largest arms companies and has angered human rights campaigners who see it is as a furthering of Southampton’s links to the arms trade.
Also, in Manchester last week students chased BAE Systems staff off campus that had come to take part in an ‘industrial maths workshop’. Protesters first handed out leaflets criticising BAE and their presence on the campus, before blocking the entrances of the intended seminar room by lying down with placards displaying information about the arms trade shaped like tombstones. BAE has been heavily criticised in recent years with allegations of corruption and bribery from groups such as the Serious Fraud Office.
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