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Taking Action for an Arms Trade Treaty

New video !

Over the last few months, the Manchester group has teamed up with Oxfam to raise awareness about the upcoming Arms Trade Treaty negotiations in New York and to campaign for a robust and effective treaty. We organised a range of events to both lobby politicians and to bring the general public’s attention to this issue.

On Friday 25 May there was a publicity event at the Manchester Museum. Tony Lloyd MP and his co-worker Lucy Powell gave statements in support of the ATT. James from Sierrra Leone and Amro from Syria (both now living in Manchester) gave personal testimonies of the tragic effects of violence resulting from arms getting into the hands of dictators. The message delivered in front of the museum's enormous Tyrannosaurs Rex was: "There's international regulation for dinosaur bones - but none for arms transfers!"

Read more about it on mancunian matters and hear more about it on BBC radio (check in at 1:50.22).

On Saturday, an Oxfam campaigner lobbied Tony Lloyd MP and is working to get him to sign up to a global declaration, as well as to ask a question in Parliament.

On Sunday 27 May we took over St. Anne's Square to show we are literally dying to get a bullet proof arms trade treaty. A mock graveyard was set up, with each grave displaying the fact that 1,500 people are killed every day by arms. At 2 o’clock, and upon the sound of a “bang”, all the campaigners “dropped dead” and lay on the ground, to the shock of the surrounding crowds. We managed to get 159 petition signatures plus about 60-80 signatures on two giant cards to David Cameron in support of the campaign from the public.

See the photos here and listen to our second BBC radio interview about it (at 2:05 in).

Then at the end of June, local members of Oxfam and Amnesty International met with John Leech MP and obtained his strong support for a robust Arms Trade Treaty. John has written a very good blog about the need for the treaty.

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