Members of VFP London are working with other anti-war and LGBTQI+ activists to keep the Red Arrows and the arms industry out of London Pride 2016. The campaign is called No Pride in War.
The Red Arrows serve two purposes; to promote recruitment into the Royal Air Force, and to promote British arms sales internationally for BAe Systems and other arms companies. The Red Arrows sell a saccharine version of the RAF to the public that is completely removed from the violent reality of their work.
BAe Systems is currently playing a major role in the Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen. Supplying everything from air-to-ground cluster munitions, to providing operational support for BAE Typhoon and Tornado fighter bombers flown by the Saudi Air Force, thousands of the company’s employees are stationed in the country, and play an active role in the country’s war efforts.
Pride is being used within a wider public relations strategy that aims to capture the imagination of the public whilst concealing the brutal nature of warfare and the gruesome trade of the arms industry.
Here is a video of an action carried out last week at the headquarters of BAe Systems in London.
On Tuesday evening people from a wide range of groups attended a vigil at City Hall whilst the Pride committee held a public consultation. You can read a report on the Campaign Against the Arms Trade website.
There is a meeting next week in London to plan further action in the run up to Pride 2016. If you want to get involved please do come along.
Wed 1 June | 6.30-8.30pm | Friends House Euston
Please sign the petition to the organisers of London Pride demanding the cancellation of the Red Arrows fly past and the removal of BAe Systems from the march.