On March 21st, as part of an International Day of Action Against the Arms Trade - called at the 'Destroy the Arms Trade' session at Beyond ESF to coincide with the second anniversary of the start of the second war on Iraq, groups and individuals took part in a number of actions against companies involved in the arms trade.
In Brighton, the Citizens Inspections Agency (CIA) team demanded access to the weapons manufacturing facility at EDO MBM, which manufactures release mechanisms for the Paveway series of bombs as well as other military hardware. Around 20 inspectors, clad head to toe in white overalls, attempted to inspect war-profiteer EDO MBMs factory, although police and private security seriously obstructed their efforts [Pictures].
In London 6 companies involved in the arms trade had their offices targeted. Paint was thrown, slogans sprayed and locks were glued. All of the companies exhibit at DSEi the worlds largest arms fair, due to be held this September at London Docklands. DSEi is organised every two years by Spearhead Exhibitions, part of Reed International.
In the Netherlands, Onkruit decorated the Dutch head office of Reed with slogans and glued their locks. Reed Exhibitions are the organisers of Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEi) which proclaims itself as "The World's Largest and Fastest Growing International Tri-Service Defence Exhibition". For details on how to resist DSEi see Disarm DSEi.
In Reading people gathered for a noise demo at Raytheon Systems offices - the home of Raytheons Javelin Missile Project (an anti-armour missile used to devastating effect in Iraq and elsewhere). Drums were banged, whistles blown, music played and leaflets distributed. An attempt by some activists to occupy the premises was unfortunately foiled by security and a quick response from the cops, however the noise demo continued for over two hours. Some activists also broke away from this demo to pay a visit to Thales Research and Development building at Worton Grange near Reading, where the gates were shut and a banner hung. Thales are up to their eyeballs in the defence industry as well as attempts to introduce ID Cards [Report].