Lockheed Martin and BAE are just two of the arms companies co-sponsoring British Legion Red Poppy events.
Another arms company, Thales, branded the entrance of Westminster tube station with a poppy-covered billboard.
The final anti-war section of the official Remembrance song “The Green Fields of France” has been omitted from the official ceremony. It includes the lines…
“Do those that lie here know why did they die ? And did they believe when they answered the cause, Did they really believe that this war would end wars ?”
The slogan “Never Again” has been replaced with “Shoulder to Shoulder with all who serve” – a clear and cynical attempt to drum up public support for current, and future, British military campaigns.
For it to survive and regain the widest possible public support, the Festival of Remembrance must be saved from neo-con militarism and return to being the less-hyped, but less hypocritical commemoration it was in the 1970s. That means saying No to arms company and neo-con involvement, No to censoring anti-war verses, but a very big Yes to ”Never Again.”
”The now-dominant approach is hypocritical because it co-exists with pursuing yet more war in today’s world. It promotes the idea that war’s victims are ‘heroes’, which makes it all seem justified.. It substitutes empty symbols and rituals for genuinely seeking to understand what happened. It cheerleads for nationalism. It focuses overwhelmingly on those who served in the armed forces, neatly obscuring the reality that nowadays most of those killed in wars are civilians.”
”There are no poppies for the children
Or for their mothers left to cry
They’re only for the ones who kill them
When the bombs and bullets fly…”