Health Campaigners take on the arms company

Wednesday 26th September saw anti – arms trade campaigners handing out leaflets to those attending a health conference that was being held next door to Heckler and Koch, the arms company. The conference, discussing health and wellbeing in hard times took place at Trent vineyard church on Easter Park part of the industrial park in Lenton Lane. The unmarked unit 3 is where submachine guns and assault rifles are manufactured and is next door to the church.

The campaigners took up position at the gates to the industrial park and the car park of the church where they offered the attendees their leaflets. No one was aware of the goings on next door with most being disgusted and shocked by the revelation. A passing minicab driver stopped and praised the campaigners, saying that he thought there was far too much killing and violence being committed in the world and expressing his dismay at the people being allowed to sell guns in such a way. He took many leaflets to hand out and was still in disbelief as he drove away.

One campaigner confirmed that the taxi driver had renewed their faith. They said that it could be hard when there were only a few people picketing but continued that it was amazing how few Nottingham residents were aware of the arms dealers and their profiteering from destruction and death that was going on under their noses, and that they need to continue to raise awareness.

Some of the occupants of Trent Vineyard expressed their concerns that the campaign was disrupting their business and they asked the campaigners to move on, but they held fast. The church leaders do not support the campaign and whilst it was thought that most of those that attended the church would support the campaign the church do not purely because some of the congregation are made up of soldiers and policemen and the church were not willing to stand against them.

Danny Dorling, Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sheffield opened the health conference by voicing his initial apprehension about the campaigners when he first arrived at the venue for the conference. However he stated that once he was aware of their reasons for being there that he agreed with them whole heartedly and found it ironic that a conference specifically on health and wellbeing was being held next to an active arms warehouse.

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