Academics, medics and students to demonstrate against Reed Elsevier

By staff writers
April 17, 2007

Academics, medics and students will demonstrate outside the Annual General Meeting of Reed Elsevier in London today, urging the company to end its arms fairs.

The demonstration is being organised by Campaign Against Arms Trade.

Demonstrators will include Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal and Chief Executive of United Healthcare Europe.

Reed Elsevier is best known for its academic and medical publications but runs arms fairs through its subsidiary company, Reed Exhibitions.

The AGM follows weeks of increasing criticism of Reed from groups including the Royal College of Physicians, the editorial board of The Lancet and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) works for the reduction and ultimate abolition of the international arms trade.

The demonstration is organised by CAAT with the support of healthcare students' group Medsin and will be strictly nonviolent.

Reed Elsevier runs arms fairs through its subsidiary company Reed Exhibitions. These include Defence Services and Equipment International (DSEi, UK), Helitech (UK), Shot Show (USA), IDEX (UAE), Latin America Area and Defence (Brazil), ITEC (Germany) and Taipei Aerospace and Defence Technology Exhibition (Taiwan). DSEi will next take place from 11th-14th September 2007 in London.

The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust sold all its shares in Reed Elsevier, worth nearly £2 million in February after three years of critical engagement with the company concerning its role in the arms trade.

In March, 138 academics published an open letter calling for Reed to end its arms fairs. Later that month a similar call was made by the Royal College of Physicians and the editorial board of The Lancet, which is published by Reed Elsevier.

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