Yesterday, 30th October 2017, the University of Nottingham (UoN) Left Society staged a protest at the East Midlands Conference Centre during the 2017 Science and Technology Fair.
The fair focused on internships and graduate employment opportunities for students studying STEM subjects- science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Thus, the careers fair was host to numerous companies, including BAE Systems.
The protesters, who covered their faces with masks, protested the involvement of BAE Systems in the fair, due to their alleged involvement in “funding wars [that] commit horrific human rights abuses.”
In a press release sent to Impact, the society claims that BAE Systems “are playing a central role in arming the House of Saud for their airstrikes in Yemen, and have been indicated in bribing scandals.”
They state that “arms companies [such as BAE, Lockheed Martin and Rolls Royce] have no place coming onto campus […]”
On a Facebook post, they further explained that “allowing BAE systems to use disingenuous advertising to lure in students (many of who will have no idea what war crimes BAE systems are involved in) is a failure upon the University’s duty towards students.”
Speaking of the protest, they wrote that despite “protest[ing] peacefully, they “were met with aggression from (what we assumed were) unidentified security who made us, as students, feel threatened and unsafe on our own campus.”
This protest signals the launch of UoN Left Society’s ‘demilitarise Nottingham campaign’.
Yesterday’s focus was on BAE Systems. They have, however, stated that they are “coming for” the other arms companies involved with the University.
A student who was at the fair told Impact that the society had “absolutely nothing worth listening to.” However, he “wholeheartedly defends their right to say whatever they like, so long as it’s within the law and does not incite violence.”
Featured images courtesy of ‘Shamraze/Nuhaize’ via Flickr.
Images courtesy of Hannah O’Hanlon.
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