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Letter: Refuse to take part.

Byline: Tayo Aluko

THE views of war veterans like Cllr Colbert are crucial to the debate about disinvesting Merseyside pension funds from the arms trade (Debate, Dec 4) just as sailors' contributions informed the public about the slave trade in the 18th century.

The sailors not only revealed the horrors perpetrated against captive Africans, but the cruelty and death many of them (sailors) suffered at the hands of ship captains and the dangers they encountered in Africa and on the Atlantic. Ship owners and captains for their part argued that abolition would lead to loss of jobs and wealth in Britain.

Hundreds of British soldiers daily suffer terrible injury and death around the world, but for every one of those, there are literally hundreds of innocent local men, woman and children killed and maimed for the sake of our access to oil or other natural resources, or strategic control of certain geopolitical areas.

The arms trade is as lucrative as the oil trade that it tends to go in hand in hand with. The argument that it needs our continued investment is about as hollow and false as the suggestion that the slave trade benefited Africans by saving them from barbarism.

I expect that many of today's war victims see coalition forces as terrorists when they say that the "defence of democracy" or a "war on terror" gives them the right to destroy their environments and kill their people.

Hopefully, other cities in this country and the world, will follow Merseysiders' lead and refuse to play any further part in unnecessary death and destruction around the world.

Tayo Aluko, The Bisayo Group, Liverpool 1
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 19, 2007
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