PEACE activists held a protest at Boeing offices in London last night to oppose the the US-based aerospace transnational’s involvement in arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) accused Boeing — whose 2016 revenues totalled $94.6 billion (£71.55bn) — of profiting from the bombing of Yemen, which has led to at least 10,000 civilian deaths and a cholera outbreak of almost a quarter of a million suspected cases and about 1,000 deaths.
Some 14 million people — 60 per cent of Yemen’s population — are now relying on food aid, with seven million at serious risk of starving to death. More than 80 per cent of the population urgently need some form of humanitarian aid.
Yet Britain has licensed £3.3 billion in arms to the despotic Gulf state since the bombing of Yemen began in March last year.
CAAT lodged a judicial review to try and block further arms sales to Saudi Arabia but in July the High Court found the government had not acted unlawfully.
In May Boeing agreed the sale of Chinook helicopters, surveillance aircraft and guided weapons systems to the Saudi regime.
Campaigners used the demonstration to highlight Boeing’s presence at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair to be held at east London’s Excel centre in September.
London CAAT spokesman Phil McMahon said: “As the world’s second largest arms company, Boeing contributes to much harm around the world and has no qualms about selling weapons to countries with dubious human-rights records.
“It is particularly disturbing that they have profited from the bombing of Yemen by selling weapons to Saudi Arabia.
“They will be among those pushing their deadly wares on anyone who will buy them at the DSEI arms fair in a few months’ time. DSEI is a stain on the UK’s human-rights record and should not be darkening our shores ever again.”