15 August 2003, for immediate release
Thousands of people, from all over the world, are expected to travel to London in September to shut down Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEi), Europe’s largest arms fair, which is to be held at ExCeL, London Docklands from 9 – 12 September 2003.
During the 1990s, civilians made up 90 percent of all war casualties. The arms trade is an international political business made up of multinational companies that kill and maim for profit. These companies play a leading role in the unjust global economic system which causes poverty and abuse of human rights around the world.
The demonstrations at the ExCeL Centre will also serve as a European focus for protest in solidarity with those in Cancun, Mexico demonstrating against the World Trade Organisation which is meeting at the same time.
DISARM DSEi, an umbrella organisation currently representing over 50 groups, is co-ordinating a week of protest and resistance against the arms fair. Groups are organising demonstrations and actions against the arms fair, the companies that exhibit there, the buyers and the governments that pay for the whole show.
To contact DISARM DSEi:
Tel: 07817 061183
To contact supporting groups that are organising individual demonstrations:
Campaign Against Arms Trade Tel: 020 7281 0297
Destroy DSEi Tel: 07810 192 905
East London Against the Arms Fair Len Aldis, Flat 2, 26 Tomlins Grove, E3 4NX Tel + Fax: 020 8980 7146 Tel: 07796 571 017
Fluffy DSEi Tel: 07901 950 067
Globalise Resistance Amy: 07930 998 127 Nikki: 07815 998 127 John: 07734 466 970 Hugh: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for Editors
1. The full list of supporting groups of Disarm DSEi at this time: Anarchist Federation, Anarchist Youth Network, CAAT, Cambridge Students Against War, Camden STW, Cardiff Anarchist Network, Carnivalistas, CND, D10, Destroy DSEi, Disobedience, East London Against the Arms Fair, Espacio Horizontal contra la Guerra, Fluffy DSEi, Globalise Resistance, Global Women's Strike, Gluaiseacht, Hackney Refugee and Migrant Support Group, Hackney Socialist Alliance, Hackney STW, Hastings CND, Humlar Kultur, Leeds Coalition Against War, London Greens, London International Socialist Resistance, London Region CND, London Rising Tide, LSE People & Planet, Merseyside STW, National Young Greens, Nihilist Assault Group, Oxford People & Planet, Reclaim the Streets, Revo, Rhythms of Resistance, Sheffield Samba, SOAS People & Planet, SOAS STW, Socialist Alliance, Socialist Resistance, Stop the War Coalition, Surrey Anarchist Group, Surrey DISARM DSEi, Tower Hamlets STW, War On Capitalism, West Midlands Anarchists, Wicca UK, Wildfire, WOMBLES, Women in Black, Workers Power, Youth & Student CND.
2. DISARM DSEi will run from the 6 – 12 September. The arms fair itself will be held from the 9 – 12 September.
3. At the last DSEi arms fair in 2001 there were 664 exhibitors and delegates were invited from 68 different countries to buy guns, bombs, military planes, small arms, mines and tanks. It took place over 11th September 2001, the day of the attacks on New York and Washington in America. While many businesses around the world closed, the arms fair was not halted. For three more days, countries including America, Israel and 14 different Arab nations continued to shop, side-by-side, for weapons to attack each other with!
4. The arms business in the UK harms local communities. The London borough of Newham, where DSEi is taking place, is one of the poorest in the country. The people of Newham do not want this fair for weapons of death to come into their community. They want better education, health and job creation.
5. DISARM DSEi is an umbrella organisation and is not organising any of the individual protests. It exists to facilitate communication and co-ordination so that groups as diverse as the Quakers to the black bloc can work together to make DISARM DSEi the biggest ever protest against the arms industry.