Corruption fears drive protests against naval arms bazaar

Media Release 6 October 2013

Protest:  Sydney Convention Centre

Monday October 7th 11 am

“We are protesting against the Pacific 2013 arms bazaar because the arms industry is poorly regulated, secretive and corrupt,” said Denis Doherty, National Co-ordinator of the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition.

“The arms industry corrodes democracy, weakens already fragile states and undermines the security it purports to safeguard.

“The arms trade accounts for 40 per cent of the world’s corruption,” Denis Doherty continued

“Any doubts about this should be dispelled by the recent scandal of Glenn Marine bribing elements of the US Navy in Singapore for information. This is a real life NCIS story.”

According to Dr Peter Wigg, a former Medecins Sans Frontieres aid worker: “There is more regulation of world trade in bananas than the arms trade”

“Hidden among civilian maritime exhibits at the expo are sophisticated weaponry for military use, including naval weapons systems and platforms, maritime defence equipment and systems and unmanned and autonomous systems (drones),” Denis Doherty stated.

“Among the sponsors and exhibitors are notorious armaments corporations such as Raytheon, Thales, Lockheed Martin and BAE systems.

“Weapons production creates mega-profits,” Mr Doherty said.

“In 2011, defying the global recession, world arms sales reached US$401bn. In the same year, Lockheed Martin alone made US$26.5 billion in profit.

“Arms manufacturers have traditionally over charged for arms and often after long periods and obscene amounts of spending produce items that are unusable or simply are not delivered,” he said.

The Obama administration says arms sales are an increasingly critical and cost-efficient way to defend US corporate interests.

“Why should Australian taxpayers underwrite US economic interest in our region?” Denis Doherty asked.

“Its time our governments took an independent stand and defended Australia’s interests.

“The arms trade is about making super profits and not for genuine defence needs. That’s why we will be protesting outside Pacific 2013 at DarlingHarbour on Monday 7 October,” he concluded.

For more information
Contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

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