Decrying ''Unacceptable'' Brutality, UK Lawmakers Join Half a Million Britons in Calling to Halt Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets Exports to US
-"We should not be helping Donald Trump repress his own people," said Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn.


(Protesters attend a Black Lives Matter demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy in central London, United Kingdom on June 7, 2020.)


More than 600,000 Britons by Monday had signed a petition demanding a suspension of tear gas, riot gear, and rubber bullet exports to the U.S., calling on the British government to avoid complicity in "a continuous breach of human rights" as protests across America against police brutality and racism continue to be met with violence from law enforcement.


The petition at amassed the signatures in less than a week, with the goal of reaching one million supporters.


"By continuing the sale of these items, the U.K. is choosing profit over human rights and is unacceptable," the petition reads.


"The brutality now aimed towards protesters and reporters across the country is unacceptable," the letter reads.


Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn added on social media that the U.K. "should not be helping Donald Trump repress his own people."


The letter was signed by the MPs after U.S. Attorney General William Barr reportedly personally ordered the tear-gassing of protesters near the White House last week, to clear the way for Trump to walk to a nearby church for a photo op.


The petition points out that the U.K.''s own criteria for exporting military equipment stipulates that the supplies must not be sent abroad if there is a "clear risk that items might be used for internal repression."


Amnesty International agreed that the U.K. must halt its equipment exports to the U.S. until it can confirm its supplies are not being used against Americans exercising their right to protest.


"Given the evidence emerging from numerous U.S. cities, there''s a very real risk of U.K.-manufactured tear gas or rubber bullets being used against George Floyd protesters in dangerous and highly inappropriate ways—something that ministers need to respond to," said Oliver Feeley-Sprague, Amnesty International''s military, security and police program director.


The U.S. is one of the world''s largest buyers of British weapons, and since 2010 has imported $22 million in ammunition, including rubber bullets, tear gas, and other weapons currently being used at the protests.