Blog Archives

Media 68: social media militarising the young and pacifying the attacked: ‘a vital tool for the armed forces’

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AKA Hell’s kitchen?

The blurb: “Social media has become an increasingly vital tool for the armed forces in the 21st Century.

“Not only in order to reach out to a wider and younger audience globally for recruitment and information purposes but as a new front in warfare. What soldiers, airmen and sailors post online can be crucial to winning the hearts and minds of local populations, weakening the enemy’s narrative and as an instrument in the proliferation of cyber warfare”.

The SMi PR group held its 6th Annual Social Media Within The Defence and Military Sector in the Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury earlier this week. 

Their programme:

  • to present the latest concepts and ideas on how to enhance the outreach of the military in the digital sphere,
  • the integration of social media activities within the whole spectrum of operations conducted by the military both at home and abroad,
  • to hear from some of the leading voices of social media within the industry and NATO and allied militaries,to focus on the effects of social media on and off the battlefield through training and application,
  • to learn from the commercial sector on how to create an effective social media strategy,
  • to learn from the military about how they are utilizing digital media channels to project their activities to a wider audience,
  • to discover how social media is intertwining with other aspects of warfare to create a multi-levelled war zone both in the real world and the virtual one
  • and to discover how popular social media brands operate with militaries in a defence environment

The only named sponsor: Thales, the French multinational company that designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, ground transportation and security market.

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COMING SOON, SMi CONFERENCES ON MORE OPEN OPPRESSION

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Future armoured vehicles – used to quell dissident or invaded populations

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And military airlift and air to air refuelling – to facilitate bombing them

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Media 38: limited coverage of activists’ closure of Glasgow drone factory

In response to years of drone action and Israel’s recent military assault on the besieged Gaza strip, killing over 2,000, at least 75% of whomwere civilians (UN estimates):

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Tightlipped BBC and Scottish television gave only a few lines to Tuesday’s blockade and shutting down of Thales UK, Govan Glasgow-based weapons manufacturer, to protest at the company’s role in producing drones used by Israel against Palestinian people.

The Common Dreams website adds more detail. The protestors from Glasgow Palestine Action, were able to halt the work of the factory from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Scottish TV News reported that there had been four arrests, two men and two women. The first three arrests were over alleged aggravation charges, with the final man being arrested over allegedly obstructing the police in the execution of their duty.

Fiona McDermot, one of the people who occupied the roof of the factory, said:

“Drones are a key part of Israel’s military arsenal. By allowing this factory to export drone components and other arms to Israel, the UK government is providing direct support and approval to Israel’s massacres.”

From a statement released on Tuesday by the protesters:

watchkeeper drone thales“Thales UK works with Elbit Systems on the next generation of ‘Watchkeeper’ drones based on the Hermes 450, documented killing Palestinian civilians in Gaza in 2008-2009. The drones are marketed as ‘field tested’ – which means they have proven effective at killing Palestinians.”

To Glasgow Council – as SNP membership swells by more than 32,000

“This is a message to Glasgow City Council who fly the Palestinian flag on our City Chambers while simultaneously arming Israel with the weapons they need to bomb Gaza. The UK government, by allowing Thales to operate with Elbit systems, have blood on their hands. Last year alone the UK government had 381 extant arms licences to Israel, worth almost £8 billion.

“We demand that the Scottish government puts pressure on the UK government to end arms sales to Israel. And also takes active steps towards ending the production of weapons systems in Scotland that are connected to apartheid, colonialism and genocide.

“Another Scotland is possible!”