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Exclusive: opponents of Liverpool weapons fair make legal move to force mayor to block event

Mayor told attempts to avoid responsibility for arms fair going ahead are ‘improper and unlawful delegation of powers’, says Public Interest Law Centre

The well known Merseyside Pensioners Association (MPA) has welcomed news of a legal challenge to Liverpool mayor Joanne Anderson’s refusal to take action to stop an electronic weapons fair scheduled to take place later this year at Liverpool’s ‘ACC’ venue, which is owned by the council.

‘Improper and unlawful’

Anderson had claimed that she did not have the power to cancel the event, but a 13-page letter sent to Ms Anderson by the Public Interest Law Centre (PILC) on behalf of an activist trying to stop the event warns her that her refusal to step in relies on an ‘improper and unlawful delegation of powers‘ – and that the group is seeking a Judicial Review of her conduct if she does not change course:

If the Mayor or Cabinet refuses to cancel the Electronic Arms Fair we ask that this letter is treated as a pre-action protocol letter for the purposes of Judicial Review proceedings.

Mark Jackson, the campaigner on whose behalf PILC is acting, said:

I’m appalled that a labour administration could countenance let alone allow an arms fair to be held. There is no room for weapons dealers in Liverpool. I want to know who initially thought an arms fair was a good idea [and] when it was discussed by the ACC board and when Liverpool City Council was aware of the arms fair.

Why didn’t the mayor veto the event early on?

Rather than veto the event, the city’s Labour group whipped councillors not to oppose the weapons event, although Anderson eventually put her name to an open letter signed by a cross-party councillors of more than sixty councillors against it.

The MPA, well known for its determined fights against injustice in the city and its readiness to oppose shoddy conduct by the council, has welcomed the legal move to stop the event. In a statement released today, the group said:

The Chair of the ACC Liverpool group, Max Steinberg has tried to market the arms fair as an event that will “allow the development of sophisticated systems used to make the world a safer place.”

However, unsurprisingly, the guest lists for arms fairs frequently include regimes that abuse human rights, and countries actively involved in armed conflicts – the Electronic Arms Fair in Liverpool will be no exception.

In July the MPA called for a national demonstration against the arms fair and working with trade unions and other groups. The demonstration will take place 11 September.

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2 comments

  1. “Sophisticated systems, used to make the world a safer place.”

    Got a few more of those here…

    “Illegal Israeli occupation and airborne bombardments. Done to save countless innocent lives and to spread joyfulness and hope”.

    “US International diplomacy, statecraft and CIA torture. Sowing hopeful seeds of peace and prosperity in naive, far flung corners of the world which require education, learning and investment”.

    “Halliburton, procuring clean money, investing the proceeds of conflict and using the profits to reach out and help through targeted, charitable solutions”.

  2. The USA were doing well in Cambodia,training Opposition parties in Washington and demanding the measly five hundred million dollars back(they loaned)to a puppet administration many years ago.Then the Chinese arrived to invest in infrastructure for the “Belt road initiative” that will connect Asia to Europe like the old silk road.Hun sen the popular leader decided that it was not right that the USA dropped millions of tons of bombs on the rice fields of Cambodia and then demanded money plus interest and military bases in a country struggling from the war ..Since the military bases in Ream on the south coast have been pulled down and destroyed by the Cambodian government we have seen a escalation in propoganda and infiltration by CIA sponsored NGOs and even so called democracy movements bought and paid for by Washington and trained by the CIA.The main target is China and the pretext of the ownership of the S.China sea which is a clue to who historically governs this area.At the moment US and UK…European navys are sabre rattling around our seas even into Cambodian waters off the coast.The only Asian participation is the former empire of the Sun Japan who have never given up their military ambitions in S.east Asia Pacific rim.and are now a so called allie.Cambodia never forgotten the Japanese occupation of South East Asia and many other countries in this part of the world that was used for slave Labour.and neither should the Europeans who were also given a one way ticket to Japan in their factorys especially the British in Singapore.were a old friend of mine (now dead)was transported from to Japan to work in the most appalling conditions.that even animals were treated better and lasted longer.

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