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Green councillors urge Mayor Anderson to be bold and bar arms dealers from the city

Green councillors urge Mayor Anderson to be bold and bar arms dealers from the city

Green councillors today (Wednesday July 21) urged new Labour Mayor Joanne Anderson to be bold and back a ban on an international arms fair planned for October in the council-owned Exhibition Centre.

They welcomed the Mayor’s recognition that Electronic Warfare Europe is a major arms fair bringing together weapons merchants and ‘some of the most repressive and human rights abusing governments in the world’, but urged her to go further and use the council’s ownership of the centre to act.

The issue will be debated at the full council today - Wednesday July 21 - , with Mayor Anderson’s proposed motion falling short of action to bar the arms fair.

Green Group deputy leader Lawrence Brown said: ‘It is clear Mayor Anderson is embarrassed by her predecessor’s failure to live up to his promises on the twice-postponed arms jamboree and she now recognises the enormous damage holding it will do to our city’s reputation.

'We urge her to have the courage of her convictions and use every power at the council’s disposal to support the broad-based local and national campaign to force the Exhibition Centre to act.’

Mayor Anderson’s motion recognises ACC Liverpool Group Limited, which runs the Exhibition Centre is ‘a wholly owned subsidiary of the Council’ but claims ‘The Council has no power to interfere with bookings.’

Cllr Brown said: ‘It seems the council is writing a blank cheque for the Exhibition Centre to invite anyone to our city regardless of the damage they might do to the city and its reputation. That can’t be acceptable.

‘We urge Mayor Anderson and all councillors to back our amendment that would send the arms dealers and their weapons packing.’

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. Current Motion and Proposed Amendement:

Current Motion

This Council notes that “Electronic Warfare Europe” is a major warfare convention run by Clarion Defence, which organises several of the biggest warfare convention in the world. The Liverpool convention will cover components for a range of warplanes, missile systems and drones, and the technology behind weaponry used today. Electronic Warfare will bring many of the biggest global arms companies together with government and military officials from across the world.

Council further notes that a number of dictatorships and military-led Governments have historically and indeed continue to use military equipment and personnel to repress freedoms and human rights.

Council firmly believes that the “Electronic Warfare Europe” event at the Arena & Convention Centre Liverpool (ACC Liverpool) in October 2021 will showcase and display a wide range of armaments and military equipment is not compatible with and does not promote the peaceful socialist values of the Council and the wider City.

The ACC Liverpool Group Limited was established as a wholly owned subsidiary of the City Council in 2007 and trades as an independent entity. The Council has no power to interfere with bookings taken by ACC Liverpool, and has no member representatives on its Board.

Given the nature of the relationship between the Council and the ACC Liverpool Group, Council therefore requests that the ACC Liverpool Group develop and adopt an Ethical Charter as company policy and update their risk register to include risk embarrassment and negative association for Liverpool and the City Council.

 

Proposed Amendment:

Delete all after 'wider City' and insert:

Council recognises that, as the freeholder of the ACC, including the Exhibition Centre where the weapons convention is scheduled to be held, it has a role to play in regard to the events held at the venue. Where such events are considered to be abhorrent on the grounds of their content, as is the case in this instance, Liverpool City Council should take all possible steps to stop such events from occurring, including reviewing the terms of the agreement between the ACC Liverpool and the Council.

Council also notes the unanimous decision of the meeting of the City Council in 2019 and the intervention made by the Mayor of Liverpool, which led to the cancellation of the Great British Shooting Show; this demonstrated the Council's determination to oppose events which it identified as abhorrent and the leverage that it has with ACC Liverpool in having such events cancelled.

Council therefore requests:

  1. The Mayor, Cabinet, Chief Executive and Senior Management Team carry out a comprehensive review of all options available to the Council with a view to having this event cancelled.
  2. The Mayor and Chief Executive write a joint letter to ACC Liverpool condemning the decision to allow a booking of a warfare convention to be made and requesting that no such event, involving the marketing of weaponry, should be allowed in future.
  3. The Mayor, Chief Executive and Senior Management Team compile an ethical charter covering all City Council owned buildings, including the ACC buildings, at the earliest opportunity with a view to preventing such abhorrent events from taking place in any Council owned building in the future.

 

Amended motion to read:

This Council notes that “Electronic Warfare Europe” is a major warfare convention run by Clarion Defence, which organises several of the biggest warfare convention in the world. The Liverpool convention will cover components for a range of warplanes, missile systems and drones, and the technology behind weaponry used today. Electronic Warfare will bring many of the biggest global arms companies together with government and military officials from across the world.

Council further notes that a number of dictatorships and military-led Governments have historically and indeed continue to use military equipment and personnel to repress freedoms and human rights.

Council firmly believes that the “Electronic Warfare Europe” event at the Arena & Convention Centre Liverpool (ACC Liverpool) in October 2021 will showcase and display a wide range of armaments and military equipment is not compatible with and does not promote the peaceful socialist values of the Council and the wider City.

Council recognises that, as the freeholder of the ACC, including the Exhibition Centre where the weapons convention is scheduled to be held, it has a role to play in regard to the events held at the venue. Where such events are considered to be abhorrent on the grounds of their content, as is the case in this instance, Liverpool City Council should take all possible steps to stop such events from occurring, including reviewing the terms of the agreement between the ACC Liverpool and the Council.

ENDS

One thought on “Green councillors urge Mayor Anderson to be bold and bar arms dealers from the city

  1. Thanks to Green Councillors for this amendment and for your determination to see this Arms Fair cancelled. I am a members of the Labour Party and I am pleased to see that more Labour Councillors have declared their opposition. Surely with a majority of Councillors now declaring their opposition this Fair can be cancelled. I will support the demonstration and any other activities planned.

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