Quakers in Britain say 'no' to the London arms fair

By agency reporter
September 5, 2017

Groups of Quakers are travelling from across Britain to support a week of nonviolent, prayerful action at the Defence and Security Equipment International arms fair (DSEi) in East London from 5-11 September 2017. There will be meetings for worship and silent, candle-lit vigils, in solidarity with victims of the arms trade.

Quakers are working to end the arms trade because of the devastating impact it has on peace, security and human rights across the world. They say large-scale military procurement and arms exports only reinforce a militaristic approach to international problems.

Sam Walton, Peace and Disarmament programme manager for Quakers in Britain explains, “DSEi happens once every two years at ExCeL – the huge exhibition centre in London Docklands. Every two years, protesters witness representatives from governments involved with internal repression, torture and human rights abuses attending DSEi in order to ensure supplies for those deeply unacceptable practices. Britain surely cannot promote peace and democracy, and London cannot be a city of peace, if it is where repression and torture begin and if it is where the seeds of war are sown."

Quakers in Britain are founding members of Stop the Arms Fair,  a coalition of groups opposing DSEi in East London. The aim is to build resistance to the arms fair through protest, lobbying, witness, creativity and prayer.

*  More about  Stop the Arms Fair here

* A week-long programme includes No faith in war day and Art the Arms Fair

* More on why Quakers oppose the Arms Fair here

* Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Around 23,000 people attend 478 Quaker meetings in Britain. Their commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth challenges them to seek positive social and legislative change.

*Quakers in Britain http://www.quaker.org.uk/

[Ekk/4]

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