Spirit of Summer Fair owners linked with 'spirit of slaughter'

Spirit of Summer Fair owners linked with 'spirit of slaughter'

By staff writers
11 May 2011

Members of the London branch of the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) say they will be "channelling the spirit of summer" this Saturday (14 May) as they protest outside the Spirit of Summer Fair.

The owners of this fair are Clarion Events, who also own the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEi) arms fair, a biennial event that takes place in east London.

DSEi has long been criticised for the presence of delegations from governments with dubious human rights records, who are able to secure deals to buy sophisticated weaponry. It is next due to take place in September.

London CAAT will be bringing the message that Clarion's involvement in the arms trade is unacceptable and incompatible with their organisation of consumer-friendly events such as the Spirit of Summer Fair. Summery items, including a paddling pool, will be used to visualise the anti-arms trade message.

"Selling weapons that are used to oppress and slaughter people is not in keeping with the spirit of summer," said Rose Shawyer of London CAAT, "Clarion should immediately cease their involvement in the arms trade and focus on the more reputable aspects of their business".

London CAAT will be at the show from 11.00am until 1.00pm on Saturday. The show takes place at the Olympia exhibition centre in the Kensington area of the city.

The pressure on Clarion is expected to intensify as DSEi grows closer. Today (11 May), will see the first of a series of regular vigils outside the Clarion Events offices in London's Hatton Garden. It is scheduled to run from 10.30am until 12.30pm. A second vigil is planned for Thursday 19 May.

[Ekk/1]

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