February 26, 2010

“Jesus would oppose the arms trade,” students claim

by David Masters

Christian students took part in a national day of action this week aimed at exposing the links between universities and weapons manufacturers.

Members of the Student Christian Movement (SCM) said they’d taken part in the action because “Jesus would oppose the arms trade”.

The day of action on 24 February saw student organised events across the country campaigning for an end to arms companies funding university courses and research, and for them to be banned from university careers fairs.

Students at York University held a vigil for victims of the arms trade, whilst Lancaster University students hosted a talk about the arms trade in a building funded by BAE Systems.

“University research departments should be properly funded by the government,” said Hilary Topp, SCM’s national co-ordinator.

“The arms trade causes untold suffering around the world and should have no place in Higher Education”.

Rachel McCarthy, a student a Lancaster University, added: “If we reflect on the message of our faith, I believe we must stand up for what is right, and follow the path of love taught by Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

“The arms trade inflicts harm on others, and the reality of killing, revenge and profit are disguised by the myth of defence.”

Weapons manufacturers such as BAE Systems sponsor a large number of university courses, mainly in engineering, but also in science and management.

A study in 2007 found 26 of the UK’s top universities had received funding of at least £725 million over six years in sponsorship from arms companies.

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