Protestors blockade St Leonards company, General Dynamics

Protesters outside General Dynamics
Protesters outside General Dynamics

ANTI-WAR protestors staged a demonstration outside an engineering company’s offices this week.

The group blockaded General Dynamics in Castleham Road, St Leonards, as part of a campaign against the Defence Equipment Services International (DSEi) arms fair in London, which finishes today (Friday).

General Dynamics is one of the firms showcasing its products at the fair.

The activists, while blockading the entrance, stopped cars from entering and leaving, and handed out leaflets to employees and passers-by.

One of the protestors, 82-year-old John Lynes, who spent a week in an Israeli prison earlier in the summer, said: “The arms trade should be abolished. So long as our Government continues to support this blood-soaked business ordinary people have a responsibility to take action and do what we can to end it.”

Peace campaigner Maya Evans, who was also in the demonstration, said: “I’m sympathetic that General Dynamics employs people in a town which has few jobs.

“But these university graduates and skilled individuals should be enabled to transfer their expertise to other light industries such as developing alternative sustainable energy devices.

“This would be a far better use of their talents.”

The blockade was part of a national protest organised by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) against the DSEi arms fair where the world’s arms industry display weaponry and other military equipment such as fighter jets and battleships.

General Dynamics supplies hi-tech communication systems to the Army, as well as electrical equipment for aircraft used by the RAF, related to communications.

A spokesman for the firm said: “We are not in the arms trade at all.

“We provide essential communications equipment for the Army and RAF.

“We also provide a lot of jobs in the Hastings area, which are well-paid and important to the local economy.”