Anti-militarist activists have begun taking action against Europe's largest Arms Fair, Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEi), which returns to London's Excel Centre from the 8th to 11th of September.
Actions to date include a mass action launched from Climate Camp against Barclays Bank the largest backer of the global arms trade, attacks on branches of HSBC and RBS, a picket of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Trade Fair, a pixie action against Brighton based arms manufacturers EDO MBM/ITT, and pickets of an Armed Forces recruitment centre and DSEi's new organisers Clarion Events.
A local paper has reported that military staff were drafted in to support the 3000 police who secured the last DSEi, which is held every two years. Policing costs are likely to be even higher this year, as Disarm DSEi has called for the mass action on Tuesday 8th September to take place in the City, where investors and backers of the Arms Trade will be targeted. The action will be a test of post G20 policing strategies. Disarm DSEi which campaigns against the Arms Fair has refused to negotiate with the police. Past actions have been the subject of major repression, and searches and kettles have been used frequently. This year was the first time that the Forward Intelligence Team (FIT) were not photographing people attending the public meeting.Past coverage: 2001 | 2003 | 2005 | 2007
Links: Disarm DSEi | Space Hijackers | Smash EDO | CAAT | London CAAT
Other actions scheduled for the week include noise demos against a pre-DSEi Conference on Monday 7th September, and the Arms Dealers Dinner in Mayfair on the evening of Thursday 10th September. Local campaign East London Against the Arms Fair (ELAAF) are calling a musical protest on Saturday 5th September, 2-5pm, Western Entrance to the ExCeL Centre.There will also be a Fourth Plinth Flashmob against the arms fair - “Never mind the art. Disarm the arms trade!” – meet on steps of St Martin in the Fields Church on the North-eastern corner of Trafalgar Square, 8:40am Monday 7th September, and a candlelit vigil for victims of the arms trade, 7th September, 6:30pm, Royal Victoria DLR station. Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT)will be organising a demo against UKTI DSO on Tuesday 8th September, and a 100 hour fast during the Arms Fair.