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Extinction Rebellion's peace activists blockade entrance to arms dealer's office

Six protesters were arrested after protesting outside BAE Systems' central London headquarters

CLIMATE change activists were arrested yesterday for blockading the entrance to BAE Systems’ central London office in protest against sales of British arms to Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

The six protesters from Extinction Rebellion (XR) Peace group were arrested under Section 69 of the Criminal Justice Act and for aggravated trespass.

BAE Systems is a multinational aerospace company which made a profit of £16.82 billion last year.

One of the activists arrested was Dr Diana Warner, a GP from Brighton, who said that war and weapons add to greenhouse gas emissions as well as suffering and death.

Ms Warner said: “British arms industries are fuelling war and can potentially drag us into conflicts we don’t want to join.

“My work is to promote health and this action is entirely consistent with that.

“I have now retired in order to [participate] full time with XR with the aim being to prevent climate catastrophe and save lives.”

Faslane Peace Camp’s Willemien Hoogendoorn from Scotland, who was also arrested, said: “BAE Systems are contracted to build the new Trident replacement submarines.

“They signed a deal to provide support to Turkey for stealth jet fighters in 2017 [and] they have a long-term contract to provide fighter jets to Saudi Arabia.

“This week we’ve seen Turkey bombing civilians in Syria, while the Saudis have been relentlessly attacking civilians with BAE fighter jets since 2015 in a war that is causing the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe.”

XR Peace is a coalition of peace groups including Trident Ploughshares, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Stop the War.

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