ACTION ALERT: International Month of Action against Arms Fairs

August 5th, 2016 - by admin

Against Arms Fairs & Campaign Against Arms Trade & Ewan Palmer / International Business Times – 2016-08-05 01:22:42


ACTION ALERT: War Starts Here:
International Month of Action against Arms Fairs
September 2016

Against Arms Fairs

(August 4, 2016) — On July 11-14, military buyers from Saudi Arabia and other murderous regimes were in the UK shopping for more weapons from companies such as BAE whose aircraft are bombing Yemen.

London’s Science Museum hosted arms dealers and military delegations at the official reception for the Farnborough arms fair. It was met with powerful protests including survivors of torture and conflict.

From London to Paris, Wellington to Seoul, groups around the world have been taking action against arms fairs. Arms fairs are where the deals that fuel conflict and repression the world over begin. #WarStartsHere . But that means we can also act to stop it here.

In the month “Urban Shield” takes place in the US and one year before the huge DSEI arms fair is due to return to London, take part in an international month against arms fairs to show them that we are everywhere!
* Take action at your local arms company
* Run a creative action training to plan future actions against arms fairs
* Organise a public event about how to take action against your nearest arms fair

Month of action called by Campaign Against Arms Trade (UK) & War Resisters International. Please let us know what you’re planning. Email

Military spending and bombing don’t make us safer. Join us in calling for a new approach to security, and for a shift from arms to renewables — a change that would create more and better jobs, and a safer world.

Campaign Against Arms Trade, Unit 4, 5-7 Wells Terrace, London, N4 3JU, Tel: 020 7281 0297, Email:

Stop Arming Saudi Arabia
Campaign Against Arms Trade

Mass executions, war crimes in Yemen, flogging of bloggers: what will it take to Stop Arming Saudi Arabia? The High Court has ruled that we can take the government’s decision to keep arming Saudi Arabia to a Judicial Review! The courts will now consider the legality of the UK’s ongoing arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Read more about what our judicial review means and how you can support the campaign.

Saudi Arabia is the UK’s biggest arms customer and most shameful relationship. One of the world’s most authoritarian regimes, its repression at home and aggression abroad is propped up and supported by UK arms sales.

Not only does it brutally repress its own population, it has used UK weapons to help crush democracy protests in Bahrain; now UK-made warplanes are playing a central role in Saudi Arabia’s attacks in Yemen.

The UK has continued to support Saudi air strikes in Yemen and provide arms despite overwhelming evidence of repeated breaches of international humanitarian law.

This is in clear violation of UK’s own guidelines on arms sales, and European and international law, and makes a mockery of the government’s claims to rigorously control arms exports.

The UK should never have been arming repressive Saudi Arabia in the first place. Our military support for the Saudi regime makes us complicit in its wrongs. The government refuses to act, so we have to.

In Spring 2011, UK weapons were used to suppress pro-democracy protests in the Middle East and North Africa. In September, the world’s arms industry arrived in the UK for a huge fair continuing their trade, arming repressive regimes and countries at risk of conflict. Join us on the last Monday of each month to discuss implications of the arms trade and what can be done to prevent further damage.

Activists Found Not Guilty on the
Grounds of Trying to Prevent a Greater Crime

Stop the Arms Fair

(May 25, 2016) — The eight activists from Peru, Chile, Bahrain, Belgium and the UK who were arrested for taking action at the DSEI arms fair last September were found not guilty on the ground of trying to prevent a greater crime.

The judge delivered the verdict at Stratford Magistrates Court after concluding that throughout the trial, “clear, credible and largely unchallenged evidence from the expert witnesses of wrongdoing” at DSEI had been presented.

The Crown Prosecution Service tried to appeal the decision; and yesterday it was announced that the judge had rejected the appeal.

– from the statement by the defendants
Win or lose, we have throughout remained wholeheartedly at peace with our actions to try and shut down the fair. We choose to remain on the side of history that rejects the facilitation of torture and mass indiscriminate killing for corporate profit. As ever, our only regret is that we didn’t stop the arms fair. As fresh evidence continues to emerge of the suffering caused by arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and other brutal regimes, the UK government’s position grows increasingly untenable.

Government Support for Arms Fairs
Campaign Against the Arms Trade

The UK government has a department dedicated to promoting weapons sales: the UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO).

UKTI DSO is an essential part of UK arms fairs, organising the presence and itinerary of overseas military delegations. It also plays a major role in promoting UK arms producers at overseas arms fairs. It facilitates high-level UK delegations, takes exhibition space and even provides serving members of the UK armed forces to demonstrate arms companies’ weaponry.

UK Arms Fairs
There are three major defence and security exhibitions in the UK where UKTI DSO escorts and guides international delegations around the event. These are:

* Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI)
* Farnborough International
* Security & Policing

International Arms Fairs
Around the world groups are taking action against arms fairs like DSEI:
* England: Stop the Arms Fair, London
* France: Pas de Salon de l’Armement, Paris
* New Zealand: Stop the Weapons Conference, Wellington
* South Korea: Stop ADEX, Seoul
* United States: Stop Urban Shield
* Wales: Stop the Cardiff Arms Fair, Cardiff
Any others? Email

DSEI Protests:
‘Week of Action’ Taking Place
Ahead of World’s Largest Arms Fair

Ewan Palmer / International Business Times

(September 7, 2015) — Several days of protests are due to take place against Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEI), one of the world’s biggest weapons exhibitions due to be held in east London. The DSEI, which showcases the “biggest and best kit on offer in the defence sector”, will feature displays from hundreds of companies showcasing land, sea and air defence weapons capabilities.

The event is held every two years at the ExCel centre in London’s Docklands and this year is scheduled to be held 15 – 18 September, with tens of thousands of visitors, speakers and military personal expected to attend. The last event in 2013 attracted more than 30,000 people with a total of 121 countries represented.

Ahead of the arms fair, a coalition of protest groups will be staging a demonstration every day from Monday 7 September to Saturday 12 September outside the ExCel centre against “companies profiting from conflict and repression”.

Each day, hundreds of activists will be holding protest events under different themes during Stop the Arms Fair’s “week of action”, including Stop Arming Israel, (Monday 7 September) Welfare not Warfare (Thursday 10 September) and a “big day of action” due to take place on the final day of protests on Saturday 12 September.

The protest will include music, theatre, workshops, discussions, an event Campaign Against Arms Trade describe as an “exorcism” as well as other actions taking the place during the week of DSEI.

2016 Events
August 9, 2016 — Court solidarity for Farnborough arrest.

Tuesday, 9 AM, Hammersmith Magistrates Court, 181 Talgarth Rd, London, W6 8DN. Join us on Tuesday 9th August to show solidarity with Isa, who was arrested for protesting at the Welcome Reception of the Farnborough Arms Fair. At 9am we will be holding a solidarity demo outside the court to show our support as well as further shame the Science Museum for hosting an arms fair reception.

Regular Events
Weekly — Peace Vigil In Luton
Every Saturday 2-3pm near the Luton War Memorial
For more information email Luton for Peace at or call 07810 025818.

Fortnightly — Anti-drones vigil outside General Atomics, London
Friday 4.30pm-6pm, 25 Old Broad Street near Bank station.
For more information, see London Catholic Worker.

Monthly — Vigil and leafleting of the workers at the BAE Systems site in Warton (Lancashire)
First Monday of the month, between 5-6pm
This vigil has been happening for about ten years. All are welcome to join in. Please contact Jan Harper on or 0151 263 6578.

Monthly — East London Against the Arms Fair (ELAAF) meeting
Second Wednesday of the month, 7-9pm at The Garden Café, 7 Cundy Road, London, E16 3DJ
Help campaign against the return of the DSEI arms fair in East London – all opposed to Arms Fairs welcome. For more info see the ELAAF website or email or call 07513 792705.

Montlhy — CAAT London Group Meeting
Third Tuesday of the month at 6.30pm at the CAAT office, Unit 4, 5-7 Wells Terrace, Finsbury Park, N4 3JU (30 seconds from the Wells Terrace exit of Finsbury Park tube station)

The London CAAT group meets monthly to discuss arms trade issues and plan campaigns. For more information about the group or to confirm details of the next meeting, please email

Monthly — Medway CAAT Meeting. Last Monday of each month, 7.30pm at Friends Meeting House, Northgate, Rochester, ME1 1LS

The events we can list on this page are generally limited to those related to the arms trade. However, the Network for Peace has an online diary which aims to carry information on all peace movement events and also lists some other social justice events.

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