Protestors and police are ready
EXCLUSIVE By NICK JURY
MORE than 40 organisations will protest against a massive weapons fair due to be held in Newham next month.
Defence Systems Equipment International (DSEi), organised in association with the Ministry of Defence, will bring around 1,000 exhibitors to ExCeL in Canning Town from September 9 to 12.
A frigate and minesweeper will also be moored at Royal Victoria Dock alongside the centre.
Thousands of objectors are expected to take part in protests at ExCeL and locations in the City. Campaign Against Arms Trade are one of the main protagonists against the event along with Disarm DSEi.
Spokesperson for CAAT, Matt Hogbin, said: "Almost one third of the world's countries will be attending this international arms bazaar.
"Our Government likes to project itself as a force for good, but the reality is that by hosting this arms fair the UK has become an international force for hypocrisy."
Police say they are ready for the hordes of anti-war campaigners. Scotland Yard rather than local police will be in charge of security at the event – the planning of which has taken a year.
The last time the fair was held at ExCeL, in 2001, there were huge demonstrations.
The security bill reached £1 million as police organised a 'ring of steel' to contain hundreds of protesters and there were clashes with officers.
Scotland Yard's Public Order Branch will control policing this time. Extra officers will be drafted in from across London.
Secretary of Newham CND, Gordon Attfield, said their members intend to hold a peaceful demonstration.