The ethics of arms trading


“This week, the London Arms Fair opens at the ExCel centre. Alongside guns, tanks and killer drones, you might also find offers for illegal torture equipment – we have in 2005, 2007, 2011 and 2013. Unsurprisingly, the UK government wants to keep this quiet. So we’re running the ad campaign they never wanted you to see…

Demand the UK government stops the trade in illegal torture equipment once and for all.” This quote outlines amnesty International’s standpoint on this years Arms Fair in London.

Interestingly a group of artists calling themselves the Special Patrol Group have formed a collective to support Amnesty by designing and posting a range of billboard posters to raise awareness.


Key questions

  • Is it ethical for arms to be manufactured and traded freely like any other business.
  • What is the responsibility of the citizens of the UK when they know this is going on? Are the culpable?
  • Is direct action to bring a halt to these fairs justified?
  • How can Art have an impact with issues like this?
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