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How to shut down an arms fair

Kat Hobbs reports on how Australian peace activists shut down three successive arms fairs and why they should serve as an inspiration for activists who want to close DSEI 

Why would someone label peace activists “feral, low-life people that want society to be in a state of near anarchy for their own perverse pleasure?” These were the words of Kevin Foley, then Acting Premier of South Australia, in September 2008.  But it’s no wonder he was feeling bitter. Australian peace activists had just stopped a third arms fair from going ahead. An arms fair that Foley, who wanted to promote South Australia as the “Defence State”, had supported and spent government money on. Read more »

Why does the West continue to arm authoritarian regimes?

Karim Malak from Egypt reports on an incident on Armed Forces day, 23 July 2011

A Military commander talks to protesters as they encircle and cordon off a peaceful march in Abbasiya. Photo Credit: Gigi Ibrahim

On 23 July 2011 the Egyptian military cautiously began marking Armed Forces day. The night before, the military had issued a communique on their facebook page incriminating 6 April, a large civil society organisation and opposition movement.

In response, activists spread the call for a march to the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) (Twitter hashtag: #SCAF). As thousands of people marched from Tahrir Square to Abbasiya to protest it soon became apparent that the violence that broke out had been orchestrated. A chaotic scene soon engulfed in Tahrir Square. Read more »