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Anita Roddick

There’s a sombre tone around the office today as so many of us are saddened by the loss of Dame Anita Roddick who died yesterday evening.

I’m sure Anita would have been one of the many people who would be dismayed to hear how many people can get hold of an illegal weapon, as Anita campaigned with us for tighter controls on the arms trade.

Apparently five million of us know how to get hold of an illegal weapon . And if you’re a man, you stand a greater chance of success in getting one, it would seem. Today’s survey for the thinktank Policy Exchange echoes a poll released last year by the Control Arms Campaign which showed that one in six Britons had seen an illegal gun .

Both surveys show that there is a real fear that more and more foreign guns are ending up on Britain’s streets, and also that the international community must push to stem the proliferation of weapons. This is why Amnesty and others will be calling on world leaders to speed up the implementation of an international arms trade treaty when they meet at the UN General Assembly in New York next month.

Speaking of guns, the DESEi Arms Fair starts at the London Excel Centre today . At another exhibition earlier this year, illegal electro-shock weapons were on sale , let’s hope that this doesn’t happen at this fair.

Back to Anita. She did more than just talk about seeking change, she actually put her time, energy and efforts into seeking justice and standing up for the oppressed and persecuted. The fact that within hours of her death so many people were on news channels to pay tribute to her is a testament to just how remarkable a woman she was.

Anita Roddick was a formidable and determined campaigner for justice and she devoted so much of her brilliance and energy to championing Amnesty’s work. The last blog entry which Anita wrote was about Amnesty International’s campaigning work.

Anita had a vivacious spirit and her support and work with Amnesty was invaluable, and I know that all of us will take heart from her incredible work and legacy. She epitomised the fact that one person can help to bring about sustainable and positive change.

Rest in peace, Anita.

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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