As the vibrant Fiesta for Life against death brought carnival out onto the streets of Canning Town, to charmingly disarm DSEi, the arms fair at the Exxcel Centre in East London today, one of the fountains in Trafalgar Sq flowed blood red.
Li'l Pinky, one of the Redhanded Activists, said 'In history books, war is always glorified, and our towns and cities are full of statues commemorating past battles, but the human cost of war is bloody and terrifying. War means millions maimed and killed, people dispossessed of their land, environmental destruction, communities shattered, entire populations displaced and forced into exile. How many people are forced to become refugees at the mercy of nation states who may well have been instrumental in orchestrating the conflict in the first place? This action was to make the connection between war and what it means in human terms to the people who live through it'
Thomasina Thumb added 'It is obscene that arms fairs, such as DSEi and Codex should be courted as a way to boost Britain's export trade. The military machine is the industry that enforces the dominant and destructive paradigm of globalised capitalism. Increasingly, around the world, governments are resorting to armed militia and state oppression as the only way to enact their repressive and inhuman policies, and external powers orchestrate wars and conflicts based on financial interests.
The thing we should be celebrating is the incredible resilience and resistance of ordinary people, who stand up for their right to live in peace, and the amazing grassroots efforts of communities to heal the huge scars left in the aftermath of war.
Everybody wants to live in peace - but it is not likely to be taken seriously in the political agenda, because you can't make a profit out of it. People around the world know that all governments stated wishes for resolving conflicts is just a sham for as long as they spend our money on arms instead of health, education and public services. They do not represent us, and they, like their rhetoric, are redundant.
For statistical analysis and police profiling, this action was carried out by women and cost £8.60 plus bus fares.
Li'l Pinky, Redhanded Activists