Official statement about planned electronic warfare event in Liverpool

Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson and other Liverpool councillors have signed a statement objecting to the electronic warfare exhibition AOC Europe 2021.

It is proposed to come to Liverpool in October.

The official statement by Mayor Anderson is as follows:

I have made it clear that I am opposed to the Electronic Warfare Conference that is being hosted by the ACC Exhibition Centre in October. I know that many of us feel it is at odds with the socialist and peaceful values held by the council and that it raises moral and ethical questions.

However, as a council we are very limited in what we can do. This is because while there are strongly-held views on the issue, fundamentally it’s a lawful activity. Although we are a shareholder, we have no public powers to stop the event. I have explored every possible legal option but sadly, while we may want to do more, the position is that lawfully we can’t. I would also like to make it clear that the previous Mayor Joe Anderson did not cancel the event when it was first scheduled to happen. It was not in his power to do so.

However, we now have requested that the ACC develop and adopt an Ethical Charter as company policy and update their risk register to include risk embarrassment and negative association for Liverpool City Council. This will ensure that future potential events like this coming are considered in line with the fundamental values of Liverpool before being accepted.

Here is the motion raised by Mayor Anderson at Full Council on Wednesday 21 July. It was agreed by all councillors present.

Arena Convention Centre Group Limited by Mayor Joanne Anderson

This Council notes that “Electronic Warfare Europe” is a major warfare convention run by Clarion Defence, which organises several of the biggest warfare convention in the world. The Liverpool convention will cover components for a range of warplanes, missile systems and drones, and the technology behind weaponry used today. Electronic Warfare will bring many of the biggest global arms companies together with government and military officials from across the world.

Council further notes that a number of dictatorships and military-led Governments have historically and indeed continue to use military equipment and personnel to repress freedoms and human rights.

Council firmly believes that the “Electronic Warfare Europe” event at the Arena & Convention Centre Liverpool (ACC Liverpool) in October 2021 will showcase and display a wide range of armaments and military equipment is not compatible with and does not promote the peaceful socialist values of the Council and the wider City.

The ACC Liverpool Group Limited was established as a wholly owned subsidiary of the City Council in 2007 and trades as an independent entity. The Council has no power to interfere with bookings taken by ACC Liverpool, and has no member representatives on its Board.

Given the nature of the relationship between the Council and the ACC Liverpool Group, Council therefore requests that the ACC Liverpool Group develop and adopt an Ethical Charter as company policy and update their risk register to include risk embarrassment and negative association for Liverpool and the City Council.

Liverpool Waterfront