Anti-militarists disrupt careers fair.

Sheffield Activist Network
Anti-militarism | Sheffield

Sheffield anti-militarists dismantled the stalls of prominent research companies in the arms trade and army recruiters at the Spring graduate recruitment fair.

Remnants of the Rolls Royce Stall
Sheffield Activist Network Images from the action 29.04.2009 21:24 Remnants of the Rolls Royce Stall Rolls Royce kicked to the curb.


29th April 2009

Sheffield students today targeted military recruiters and arms dealers at the University’s careers fair, demanding they have a say over who is allowed on campus. The stalls of QinetiQ, Rolls Royce, the Army and the Navy were all dismantled with protesters bagging up materials from the stalls and removing them from campus.

Today activists from Sheffield university continued what is now a growing line of actions highlighting the university’s links to arms companies and military recruiters. The careers fairs held in university buildings are events run by private companies for a profit and often include employers such as the Army, Navy, Rolls Royce and Quinetiq. Rolls Royce is renowned for its arms deals providing billions of pounds of weapons to countries across the world every year. Students also protested about the military, including the Army and Navy, being allowed on campus. These institutions whilst advertising a nice safe job to graduates continues with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and lures graduates in with promises of free further training which is in fact given in return for years of service. Rolls Royce is one of the top investors in the university, investing in research which ultimately is used in weapons manufacture, students attacking the company felt our students’ education and expertise should not be used for arms companies purely because they are willing to pile money into it! Students and staff should have a say in how money is spent and where funding comes from in this university instead of the university being run as a business in the interests of profit, especially when it comes to careers fairs selling our graduates on to employers such as Rolls Royce. The university has repeatedly refused to listen to the large body of students at staff who wish to end the university’s ties with the military and arms trade, and when students occupied in desperation to get the university to listen they were taken to court!


1. For more information and quotes contact 07872166911
2. For information on the arms trade at Sheffield university see -

Sheffield Activist

Leaflet text
30.04.2009 12:21
Here's the text of a SAN leaflet that was given out during the event:


We are protesting against today's careers fair because we are opposed to our campus being used as a space for private companies to persuade students that getting a job in a faceless corporate bureaucracy is a good way to spend their working lives. We believe that universities should be more than conveyor belts and training grounds for the (often low-paid) workers of tomorrow.

Within this framework, we are targeting some specific exhibitors to protest at our university's links to, and endorsement of, the military and the arms trade. If you think Rolls-Royce just manufacture ridiculously overpriced cars, think again. In 2006, 25% of their revenue (nearly £2 billion) was generated by the sale of military hardware. QiniteQ hardly even bother with civil production; military sales represent 83% of their revenue.

Links between arms manufactures and our university is nothing new. The University of Sheffield ranks 4th in the UK in terms of financial involvement in the university by the arms trade. It received nearly £42 million as part of a joint BAE/Rolls-Royce project that sees research produced in the Mechanical Engineering, Electronic and Electrical Engineering and Automatic and Control Systems Engineering departments effectively sold to BAE/Rolls-Royce to help them produce better and more effective weaponry, that they can in turn sell to the world's governments. We do not believe Sheffield students' academic research should be used to make capitalist war machines more effective, and we do not believe education should be subordinated to the interests of military-corporate profiteering.

We also oppose the presence of direct military recruiters at university careers fairs. The army, the navy, the air force and the police are the armed wings of the British state – unaccountable, undemocratic and specifically organised to protect the state's interests. The use of army personnel and vehicles to break strikes (such as the firefighters' strikes, in which army fire engines, driven and operated by soldiers, were used as scab labour), and the utter brutality of the police during the recent G20 protests make very clear that the state will use its military and police force against its own citizens if its interests are meaningfully threatened. University should provide students with the opportunity to develop ideas to help them change the world; we should not be encouraged to work for organisations whose entire reason for being is to violently defend the status quo.

Students should have the right to jobs where they won't be working to make it easier for capitalist governments to kill innocent people. If you want to join the struggle for a university that isn't hand-in-glove with arms manufacturers and the military, and doesn't see students as workplace-fodder to be herded into jobs at whichever corporation fancies paying for a stall at the careers fair, contact Sheffield Activist Network to find out about upcoming events.

Sheffield Activist