News and other Busyness
Half BAe Shareholders Protest Against Arms
BAe directors shouted down by protestors during AGM
Squall 15, Summer 1997, pg. 6.
HALF the shareholders attending British Aerospace's AGM in April were thrown out by security guards - because they were protestors.
Seated behind glass panels, the directors of the transnational arms company, which wants to become the world's biggest, were shouted down by 122 shareholders at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in Westminster.
The disruption began when three of the Ploughshares women who successfully and legally disarmed a Hawk jet bound for Indonesia, stood up and demanded that BAe stop the sale of fighter aircraft to the Indonesian regime.
The protestors, who each bought one share in the company, chanted "stop selling arms to Indonesia" as they were carried out.
According to the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), who organised the disruption, a journalist who tried to film proceedings was assaulted by security.
Learning from past disruptions the directors, including New Labour peer Lord Hollick - who also owns substantial shares in the Daily Express newspaper, were protected from the shareholders by two rows of plants, with a space between patrolled by security guards.
A remaining corp of CAAT protestors took up the rest of the meeting demanding answers to detailed questions about the arms trade. Outside about 250 protestors took part in a "die in".
The action prompted calls from top business people for new laws to tackle such disruptions.
Tim Melville-Ross, director general of the Institute of Directors, said: "The law needs strengthening to keep these disruptive people out."
Campaign Against The Arms Trade - https://www.caat.org.uk