Stop the export of tear gas and riot equipment to the US

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Last week George Floyd was killed by a policeman in Minnesota, igniting a series of protests across the country. Although most of these are peaceful, police have been using tear gas, rubber bullets, flash grenades and smoke bombs, injuring many protesters, a reaction endorsed by the president. This is a violation of human rights and an extreme response, especially when it is compared to the much less aggressive response to the violent anti-lockdown protests recently held.


The government grants millions of pounds worth of export licences for riot equipment to the US, contradicting government policy to refuse licences for exports potentially being used for “internal repression.” The UK has been sending tear gas, rubber bullets and riot shields to US police forces to be used against Black Lives Matter demonstrators. Despite the shocking misuse of this equipment the government is yet to clarify whether UK riot equipment is being used inappropriately. By continuing these exports we are supporting attacks on peaceful protesters and the repression of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The government must act immediately and suspend sales of riot gear to the US.