The former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, has drawn criticism for making comments supportive of the arms industry. He suggested on BBC television that Britain should be proud of being “particularly good at manufacturing tanks”.
Two members of the Catholic Worker movement, including a priest, have been arrested at the London arms fair. They poured red paint over an entrance sign before kneeling in prayer beneath a banner asking God to forgive arms dealers.
London’s arms fair has opened this morning to a wave of protest and criticism. Protestors have demonstrated both outside the fair and at the offices of UKTI, the government unit through which the arms fair is subsidised.
The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has pointed to nationwide protests against the arms industry as evidence of “public revulsion". Such feelings are expected to increase ahead of the London arms fair in September.
East London Against the Arms Fair are appealing directly to the state-owned Abu Dhabi Exhibition Company, owners of the ExCel Centre, to stop hosting the London Arms Fair in 2009 - with a musical message.
Clarion Events, organisers of exhibitions including the Baby Show and the Spirit of Christmas Fair, have announced their purchase of two arms fairs. This is in addition to the three arms fairs they bought in May 2008.