The Fellowship of Reconciliation in England and Scotland has been following reports of the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. Today the charity joins with other organizations as they call on the UK government to halt exports of riot control weapons to the United States — until it can be clearly established that they are not being used for “internal repression.”
The following statement was issued by the chair of FoR England and Scotland:
We are deeply concerned about reports that so-called “less-lethal” weapons imported from the United Kingdom are being used indiscriminately against peaceful protesters, journalists, and bystanders in the United States — none of whom present a threat of violence to law enforcement officers.
We recently joined a new international campaign to “make peace the new normal” and are saddened to see values necessary to create lasting peace are being ignored or violently repressed, potentially with the complicity of the UK government through weapon exports.
Demonstrating compassion for poor and marginalized people, alongside accountability for violations of human rights and civil liberties, should be an essential part of rebuilding global society after the COVID-19 pandemic, but instead we see attempts to hide non-violent action behind riot shields and clouds of tear-gas.
Alongside other campaigners here and around the world, we are calling on the UK government not to be complicit in this escalating pattern of state violence and human rights violations.”
Since 1918, the Fellowship of Reconciliation has published the award-winning print magazine Fellowship. It is also now online, offering original grassroots analysis, movement research, first-person commentary, poetry and more to help people of faith and conscience build a nonviolent, compassionate world.
Waging Nonviolence partners with other organizations and publishes their work.