Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) will be targeting an arms industry dinner at a top London Marriot hotel – despite the location supposedly being a secret. It comes as multiple companies which will attend the event are complicit in Israel‘s ongoing genocide in Gaza.
The “prestigious” dinner for those complicit in genocide
Arms dealers will be have to walk through a gauntlet of protesters when they meet for their ADS Annual swanky dinner at the Marriot Grosvenor House Park Lane hotel on Tuesday 30 January. The full address is JW Marriott Grosvenor House London 86-90 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 7TN
Ticket prices range from £250 – £510 per head for a “prestigious event” that “brings together companies from across the UK’s aerospace, defence, security, and space industries for a delightful evening of entertainment, dinner and networking.”
Event sponsors include companies such as BAE Systems, Babcock, and Moog that are complicit in the genocide the Israeli government is perpetrating against Palestinian people in Gaza. BAE Systems is the lead partner in providing components for the F35 combat aircraft that are currently bombarding Gaza.
Previous dinners have been attended by some of the world’s biggest and worst arms companies. Although ADS have not revealed its speaker or guest list, in previous years over 40 MPs, including senior government ministers, have attended to schmooze with arms dealers.
Marriot: blah, blah, blah
The Canary asked Marriot for comment. It said:
We are a hospitality company that provides public accommodations and function space.
Acceptance of business does not indicate support, or endorsement of any group or individual.
In line with our guest privacy policies, we do not discuss details of our guests or the groups with whom we do business.
Clearly, Marriot hasn’t heard of BDS. Nor is it concerned with the UK arms industry’s appalling track record Gaza and the Occupied Territories.
The UK government: also complicit in Israel’s genocide
Since 2015, the UK has licenced over £487m worth of arms to Israel in single issue licenses. However, this does not include open licenses where companies can export unlimited amounts of specified equipment without further reporting requirements. One of these open licenses is for components for the F35 stealth combat aircraft that Israel is currently using to bombard Gaza.
UK industry makes 15% of each F35, and Campaign Against Arms Trade estimates the value of the F35 contract is at least £336m since 2016. These figures do not include licenses issued since October 7th due to a lag in reporting arms export data.
Foreign Secretary David Cameron recommended continuing arms sales to Israel on 12th December 2023 despite previous Foreign Office assessments stating there were “serious concerns” about breaches of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Israel’s commitment and ability to comply with IHL.
Cameron further accepted that Israel had a different interpretation of IHL.
On 26th January, the ICJ ruled there is plausible evidence Israel is committing genocide against Palestinian people in Gaza. The UK has a legal obligation to stop arms exports if there is a clear risk they could be used in violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), and under the Genocide Convention which places obligations on states to take action to prevent and punish genocide.
The protest, organised by London CAAT, will take place at 6pm outside the hotel.
CAAT media coordinator Emily Apple said of the Marriot-hosted dinner:
This is a vile event aimed at enabling arms dealers to sell more weapons and fuel conflict across the world.
Marketing this event as ‘delightful ‘is outrageous. There is nothing delightful about enabling genocide, and killing Palestinian children. The very people attending this dinner are complicit in war crimes. They are dining on the profits of genocide.
However, the protest will ensure the evening is far from delightful for these merchants of death, and will remind them of the consequences of their murderous deals.
Featured image via Hotels Catalogue – YouTube