Campaigners occupy and blockade setup of DSEI arms fair in London

By agency reporter
September 9, 2015

Hundreds of campaigners are taking action at the Excel centre in East London as part of a week of action immediately before Defence & Security Equipment International 2015 (DSEI), one of the world's biggest arms fairs. The action will take place as arms dealers arrive, and aims to stop the set-up of the event.

There are blockades and protests at the main entrances to DSEI all week, with a separate theme every day to highlight the deadly consequences of the arms trade.

The protest includes music, theatre, workshops, discussions, an 'exorcism' and other events. There will also be other actions during the week of DSEI.

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: "The refugee crisis is showing us the human cost of war and conflict. It is shameful that the UK government is rolling out the red carpet for arms dealers and despots – helping to fuel conflict across the world – at the same time as it is refusing entry to refugees fleeing wars.

"Arms sales aren’t just numbers on a spreadsheet, they have deadly consequences. 13 months ago UK arms were being used against the people of Gaza, as they have been repeatedly, and today they are being used against Yemen."

The list of countries attending is not published until the first day of the event, but past events have included military delegations from a range of abusive regimes including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Libya, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan and Bahrain.



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