National Campaign against “Land Forces Arms Expo”

Land Forces 21 is a bi-annual arms expo held in Australia to promote the arms industry and the major multinational arms manufacturers.  It is part of the Federal Government aim of making Australia the 10th largest arms exporting country in the world.  It will be held in Brisbane in June this year

Here is an explanation of the campaign to disrupt this event, by one of the Brisbane activists involved.

Note that there are public meetings about the campaign in Lismore, Melbourne and Brisbane (see below)

Dear friends of peace,

Most of you won’t have met me before. My name is Zelda Grimshaw and I am a weapons campaigner with Wage Peace. I’m writing to you about a new campaign, Disrupt Land Forces, set for May 28 – June 3 in Brisbane this year. Wage Peace and other groups are organising to resist Land Forces 21 expo there, with a focus on weapons companies selling to Indonesia for use in the war on West Papua. Australian branches of Thales and Rheinmetall are implicated, as is EOS.

No doubt Land Forces 21 is already on your radar, as a major site for the trade and promotion of weaponry and military technology.  I’ve been following the campaign to end EOS sales to Saudi and UAE; thank you to all who have been doing this work. The same Remote Control Weapons System (RCWS 400) shipped to UAE and Saudi has been sold to Indonesia, where it is installed on Thales Bushmaster vehicles for use by Kopassus, Indonesia’s notorious special forces.[1]

Yesterday a dozen activists visited EOS subsidiary EM Solutions in Brisbane and stood at and above the entrance from 8-9am, with banners that ensured staff arriving for work were made aware of our objections to the export of terror to West Papua and Yemen. Perhaps you noticed this action on Wage Peace or on Make West Papua Safe platforms, eg here.

Yesterday’s action is building towards the much larger protest we are planning at the Land Forces Expo. The reason we chose the name ‘Disrupt Land Forces’ for the campaign is that we don’t believe we will be able to cancel or stop the expo – at least not this time! – whereas we are confident we will be able to disrupt it.

A coalition of refugee, feminist, peace, first nations and climate groups is already forming. We are open to any kind of participation. Protesting at the venue, letter writing, theatrical interventions, divestment actions – we are really encouraging everyone to participate in ways that feel possible to them. We have a website up, with lots of campaign resources, including a petition to Defence Export Controls and a letter to the Defence Minister.  Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts are up. Public meetings are planned from mid-April.

We would love to have your collaboration and input on the campaign to Disrupt Land Forces. The website is disruptlandforces.org

Facebook @DisruptLandForces

Public Meetings

Lismore April 10  https://www.facebook.com/events/438945443885115

Melbourne April 20  https://www.facebook.com/events/610283429928173

Brisbane April 30 https://www.facebook.com/events/147402263901848

 Contact

There is a dedicated email account for the campaign info@disruptlandforces.org
Replying directly to me is also fine zelda@wagepeaceau.org
Please call me on 0407757367 or email to let me know how you and/or your organisation might get involved.

I can’t wait to hear your ideas
Peace
Zelda