Activists protest Australia's role in arms trade, human rights abuses

Photo: Renee Lees

Residents gathered on June 3 at the site of two of the world’s biggest arms dealers — Thales and BAE Systems — to protest the global arms trade.

The Don’t Export Terror to West Papua action was organised as part of the Disrupt Land Forces protests in Brisbane. Activists expressed their solidarity with West Papuans and all communities being torn apart by the global arms trade.

Thales and BAE Systems supply of armed vehicles and fighter-bomber jets to the Indonesian military and its special forces unit Kopassus, that is implicated in the torture and murder of West Papuan human rights defenders and civilians.

Thales is reported to have supplied armed Bushmaster Infantry Mobility Vehicles, while BAE’s Hawk fighter bombers are reported to have been used against West Papuan villagers.

In March, the Thales Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Austal and Tropical Reef Shipyard to carry out work in Cairns.