Destroy DSEi | 13.09.2011 07:42 | Anti-militarism
Wave of actions planned for opening day of London arms fair
Activists dropped the banner from two cranes opposite the ExCel Centre in Newham,where the arms fair takes place. The DSEi arms fair is one of the largest arms fairs in the world, with over 1,300 exhibiting companies and 25,000 attendees1. The arms fair is co-organised by Clarion Events and the UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation2, and will be visited by Defence Minister Liam Fox.
The Stop the Arms Fair coalition has called a day of action on the first day of the fair3. Campaigners have highlighted government spending in support of the arms trade, at a time when Newham is facing cuts to public services of over £116 million. Local resident Paul Averick said “Newham was one of the most heavily bombed areas in World War II, and many in the local population have direct experience of the effects of the arms trade. I'm appalled that the fair is going on.”
The UK government has extended official invitations to over 60 countries, including Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Pakistan4. 14 countries on the official invite list are classified as authoritarian regimes in the Economists democracy index5. Previous years' DSEis have seen Libya, Egypt and Israel among official invitees6. This year, the fair will host a special demonstration of un-manned aerial drones, in addition to the displays of warships, weapons, armoured vehicles and military aircraft.
For further information on planned protests visit http://www.stopthearmsfair.org.uk/
For further information on the DSEi arms fair visit http://www.caat.org.uk/issues/armsfairs/dsei/