osters urging Londoners to become “suicide bombers” have been appearing at bus stops across the capital.
On first glance the posters appear to be unusually-worded recruitment advertisements for the Royal Navy; they feature the naval force’s branding, and the text directs people to the website royalnavy.org.uk for information about joining the crew of a nuclear submarine.
“The crew of our nuclear submarines are on a suicide mission,” the posters claims. “To launch their missiles means death is certain, not just for them, but for the millions of innocent people those bombs will obliterate, and for the rest of us too.”
The spoof posters, installed by a ‘subverting organisation’ known as Special Patrol Group, were designed by British artist Darren Cullen, whose work has previously featured at Banksy’s Dismaland exhibition and at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
They were conceived as a protest against Britain’s nuclear weapons programme, Cullen telling the Telegraph: “The inspiration for the project came from finding out that the crew of a nuclear submarine would not survive the deployment of Trident.
“I’d never heard this discussed before. When we think about Trident we don’t tend to imagine the crew out on a suicide mission.
“It struck me as another example of the ethical double standard we have in the West when it comes to which types of violence we condemn.
“We see terrorist suicide bombers as depraved, which they undoubtedly are, but we don’t see our own depravity in building and operating nuclear suicide bombs that have the potential to murder millions and end human civilisation in the space of an afternoon.”
— Darren Cullen (@darren_cullen) February 2, 2017
A TfL spokesperson said: “This is not an authorised advert. It is fly posting and therefore an act of vandalism which we take extremely seriously. We have instructed our contractor to remove any found on our network.”
The campaign has sparked anger among commenters on social media.
Peter J wrote: “‘Become a suicide bomber’ in bold and red crosshairs on military personal (sic). What kind of message does that send 2 a passer-by?”
The account NavyLookout described the posters as “gross, childish distorted propaganda and insult to brave servicemen,” adding: “Whatever your views on Trident no one is laughing at a sick ad that says ‘become a suicide bomber.'”
Cullen said: “Some people have seen this as an attack on the sailors, but what I’m actually attacking is the military apparatus which is prepared to sacrifice sailors lives and actually destroy the world if Britain were to lose a war.
“On the other side, I’ve had a lot of support from people who see the British establishment’s obsession with nuclear weapons as a dangerous, expensive and potentially catastrophic expression of national insanity.”
Former Royal Navy weapons engineer-turned-whistleblower William McNeilly supported the premise of the posters, telling RT: “It is well known on board nuclear submarines that the Trident submarine on patrol will be the prime target in a nuclear war …They are ready and prepared to be suicide bombers.”
H/t reader squodgy:
“Just got to love this.”
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