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25 August 2021

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Liverpool: Stop the arms fair!

Photo: Paul Mattsson

Photo: Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Roger Bannister, Liverpool Socialist Party

Disgracefully, Liverpool is set to host the AOC Europe 2021 arms fair in October, at the council owned Echo Arena. On display, and up for sale will be warplane components, components for missile systems, drones and other military hardware.

Representatives of governments from many countries, plus their top military brass, will rub shoulders with the merchants of death determined to make massive profits out of military conflict and human suffering.

Back in June this year, hundreds of protesters marched through Liverpool city centre against the arms fair. In 2019 an arms event at the Arena was cancelled by the council following a public backlash.

Despite promises of a fresh start for Labour in Liverpool, following the political demise of former Mayor Joe Anderson, the newly elected Mayor Joanne Anderson (no relation), and the bulk of the right-wing Labour councillors, are refusing to take effective action to stop this event.

The Arena is council owned, run by an arms-length (no pun intended) company called ACC. But all the councillors have resigned from its Board of Directors, leaving it entirely in 'non-political' hands. This allows the councillors to pretend that they are powerless to act against the arms fair.

Faced with Labour's cowardice, it was left to the Green Party to move an amendment to ban the event. Only four Labour councillors defied the party whip to support this ban!

Cowardice in the council chamber is now being mixed with hypocrisy, as Labour councillors who voted for the arms fair are campaigning with a petition against it!

The Socialist Party rejects this nonsense from the Labour Party, and demands that the arms fair be cancelled immediately!

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Article dated 25 August 2021

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