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Laura: Tank Commander

Posted by Jamie Livingstone Head of Oxfam Scotland

28th Jun 2012

Scottish campaigner Laura Kerr describes her unsual day on the streets of London.

It's not everyday you get to drive in a 17-tonne tank round London!

Yesterday, I did just that to help highlight all that is currently wrong with the global arms trade.

Alongside other campaigners from the Control Arms coalition, we drove round central London delivering letters to the High Commission of India and South Africa as well as the embassies of the United States, Brazil and Kenya.

We asked those governments to stand up for the 1,500 people killed every day because of armed violence.

We want them to demand a robust Arms Trade Treaty at next month's final negotiations at the UN.

The treaty must include ammunition as well as all parts and components.


At the moment the arms trade is full of legal loopholes and weapons are easily traded - this ultimately undermines development, leads to breaches of international human rghts and humamitarian law, and costs lives.

With 14 billion bullets produced each year (2 for every person on the planet), and 26 million people displaced by armed conflict, we cannot let the opportunity to address these issues pass.

The letters we delivered were welcomed and the many people I spoke to on the street were enthusiastic about the fact something has to change.

Currently, there are greater regulations on the trade of banana's and postage stamps than there are on weapons.

Running towards Trafalgar Square alongside a tank certainly aroused a few puzzled glances but, for hundreds of thousands of people, a tank is not an unusual sight and it is for these people that we fight for a strong arms trade treaty.

Please take a few minutes to add your name to the thousands of people who are calling on governments around the world not to miss this opportunity to make the world a safer place.

Blog post written by Jamie Livingstone

Head of Oxfam Scotland

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