Students Up in Arms
07 Mar 2006
Last October, a groundbreaking study by CAAT, the Campaign Against Arms Trade, revealed that at least 67 of the UK’s universities invested in the arms trade.
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Last October, a groundbreaking study by CAAT, the Campaign Against Arms Trade, revealed that at least 67 of the UK’s universities invested in the arms trade. Of the 152 institutions that were part of the study ñ which looked at shares held in the UK’s top six arms companies ñ 45 per cent were arms trade investors.
Following the publication of their report, CAAT launched their Clean Investment Campaign, urging students to take firm action and petition their universities to invest ethically instead. The campaign had remarkable early success: The School of Oriental and African Studies sold their arms shares within a week, citing both the report and student pressure as the reason for its decision. Since CAAT published its findings, student campaigning against arms investment has risen, with at least 28 UK universities placing pressure on their finance departments to change their investment policies.
CAAT’s Universities’ Co-ordinator, Jo Wittams, said: ‘While universities are ostensibly open and public institutions, staff and students are rarely kept in-formed about the investments made on their behalf, using their money!
‘We hope these figures will help university members get their institutions to divest from the arms trade.’
There are lots of ways to get involved in the Clean Investment’s Campaign. CAAT are looking for university staff and students to help co-ordinate action in their area.
If you want to know how your university invests its money, or would like to get involved with the Clean Investment’s Campaign, Contact: CAAT, 11 Goodwin Street, Finsbury Park, London, N4 3HQ. Tel: 020 7281 0297 Website: www.caat.org.uk
Photo: Students from UCL demonstrate against the university’s arms investments
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