A resolution on St Athan we’re taking to Stop The War conference

Cardiff Stop The War Coalition meets this Thurs, 18 Oct, 7.15, Mackintosh Institute, Roath. PR supporters will be proposing the following motion to go forward to the UK conference on 27 Oct – come and give your support if you oppose the Academy of Death (see article below).


Resolution on the St Athan Military Academy

This coalition notes:

The MOD’s decision to both centralise and privatise its training at a new complex at RAF St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan, to open fully in 2013.

The award of a £14bn government contract for this to the Metrix consortium, involving among others Qinetiq, a privatised wing of the MOD led by ex-MOD John Chisholm, and Raytheon, manufacturer of the cluster bombs and depleted uranium weapons that have killed and maimed civilians in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere.

The lack of public consultation on the project and lack of criticism or even debate in the mass media, or from supposedly anti-war MPs Welsh AMs, or the Welsh TUC.


This coalition believes:

That the new complex, on a scale hitherto unseen in the UK, will be the site of training of all branches of the armed forces for the “War on Terror”; in other words, for further war on the nations of the Global South and for the suppression of protest and civil liberties in the UK and throughout the world.

That the complex will represent a significant militarisation of the Welsh economy with a major impact on the lives of South Wales residents.

That the Welsh Assembly government has sold this package on the promise of jobs for South Wales, but (a) most jobs at St Athan will involve the redeployment of skilled workers and teachers from elsewhere, leaving low-paid unskilled work for the local labour force, and (b) the closure of training centres throughout the UK will actually lead to greater unemployment overall.

That it is contradictory to oppose imperialist wars, or the assault on civil liberties, if we do not equally oppose the training for these under the pretext of our ‘defence’.


This coalition resolves:

To oppose the creation of the St Athan academy.

To organise a mass protest at the site of the academy and to facilitate events throughout the UK educating people about the reality of the academy.

To win the support of trade unions, student unions and activist groups in building an international campaign; to call on MPs, MEPs and AMs to support this.

To call on the UK government to solve the problem of unemployment in South Wales and areas affected by MOD closures by instead investing in socially useful jobs in health, education, construction etc, and the development of peaceful and environmentally friendly technology.

Proposed by Permanent Revolution



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3 Responses to A resolution on St Athan we’re taking to Stop The War conference

  1. Andy Williams says:

    This is a really good proposal that covers all the main reasons why the St Athan Academy should be opposed. One slight addition might be to re-emphasise opposition to the privatisation agenda in the ‘This coalition believes’ bit, but I’m not too experienced with writing motions like this, so maybe it’s not appropriate.
    It’d be great if this is passed to have somebody from the STWC down to the next meeting of the campaign group that’s been set up against the St Athan plans. Things are just starting to get going with that group – we’ve hired someone to administer the campaign and do some of the lobbying, etc, and we’re trying to get as many groups on board as possible to build a broad base of opposition. Key to this is getting the PCS to affiliate, but I also think it’s important to try and stir up some local opposition by doing some awareness-raising leafletting and maybe organising a public meeting near St Athan itself.

  2. permanentrevolution says:

    The motion’s gone forward now, but we will certainly be stressing the consequences of the privatisation of MoD training when motivating it. We’ve already won Wales FESC (UCU section) to supporting it (nb the Open University is part of the Metrix consortium). PCS should certainly be an aim; winning branches could be step towards getting agreement at Wales or UK national level.

  3. Paul Bemrose says:

    PCS organises the largest element of public sector workers that are effected by the privatisation of defence training. Training in phase 2 and phase 3 is delivered by teachers who are either Instructional Officers (PCS members)- teaching trade subjects, and Burnham Lecturers (Prospect members) teaching academics. UCU members are not included in the footprint.

    PCS Instructional Officers Group has started to look at joint work with Cynefin Y Werin and would be happy to link up with STW on activities that raise the issue of this privatisation and job relocation from areas which have relatively high unemployment. But if you are serious about working with Trade Unionists in the MoD, then you might want to look at the phrases you are using. “Death Academy” or “Murder Academy” are useful soundbites from your perspective, but are insulting to our members who deliver all sorts of training to service personnel.

    The PCS IO committee will be debating this matter in a couple of weeks and we want to work with you. It would be a pity if your aspiration of working with the trade unions was undermined by intemperate language.

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