Oxfam and Amnesty International campaigners staged a joint demonstration last week outside the Foreign Office to protest against Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's recent decision to change the rules on arms sales.
The protest secured attention in national newspapers and was timed to coincide with a House of Lords' debate on the Export Control Bill currently going through parliament. Amnesty International and Oxfam are part of the UK Working Group on Arms, an alliance of organisations working towards a more ethical arms trade. The other members are Christian Aid, International Alert, BASIC, and Saferworld.
The Working Group is calling for the House of Lords to protest against ministerial interference, and for stronger safeguards to be introduced when the Bill is fine-tuned in the autumn.