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Sending arms dealers to the Tower?

Have arms dealers realised the error of their ways and sent themselves to the Tower of London in penance? Sadly it seems not.

tower of london eventInstead the Tower is to host “one of the most prominent events in the defence and security calendar”: a lavish £200-a-head dinner, organised by the London Chamber of Commerce (LCC).

The event will brings arms companies together with potential customers and the government officials whom it is so helpful to have on side when trying to strike a deal. A glossy download set out the benefits: “raise your profile, make new business connections and entertain your clients at this acclaimed and influential event.”

With the director of GCHQ as the guest of honour, the promised “new business connections”  mean profiting from increasing insecurity and surveillance, as well as death and destruction around the world.

While the arms dealers might be unrepentant, they have got a little shy.

Since we decided to help advertise the event, all of the event brochures, previously promoted proudly on multiple websites, seem to have been taken down. Now, sadly, all you get is “page not found” – even though the LCC is still taking bookings.This isn’t the first time that our attentions have made them bashful, so we made sure to make a copy, available here, for anyone who’d like to read more.

Events like this are where the arms trade does its business and it is a business that needs to be challenged.

Previous dinners have been sponsored by companies like Chemring, arms supplier to despots across the world, and the LCC and government officials it works with have no shame either. These are the people who thought a time when democratic uprisings were facing brutal repression in the Middle East was also a good time to organise a seminar to help arms companies sell weapons to the repressive regimes of the region.

Prestigious venues which impress clients are undoubtedly an aid to doing business – but they also provide this deadly business with a facade of legitimacy and the arms dealers with a comfortable bubble. While they are being greeted by the Tower’s world-famous yeoman warders and handed a glass of champagne, they are worlds away from the consequences of their work.

Help pierce that bubble with action!

They’ve chosen a ghoulish location for their dinner, so we’re going to haunt them as they arrive! Feel free to come in the most ghoulish costume you can find and help spread the word:  6.30pm, Wednesday 6 November 2013, West Gate, Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB

You can also let the Tower of London know how you feel about their decision to hire a venue out in this way:

Join us next week, when we’ll be visiting the International Fighter Conference.

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