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Stopping the War Business

This time last month we were taking action against one of the world’s biggest arms fairs in London. This week, we are in South Korea getting ready for the International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition. Many of the same arms companies and military delegations, including the UK government’s arms promotion’s unit, will be descending on Seoul for another major international arms fair.
Tara Tabassi gives a talk in front of a projected image of Urban Shielf weapons show

Tara Tabassi from War Resisters League talks about the militarisation of police in the US

But while the arms trade is global, so is our resistance. Activists from 16 different countries, and five different continents have gathered for a conference on ‘Stopping the War Business: Talking Tactics and Linking Methods’, organised by War Resisters International, and the Korean organisations World Without War and Women Making Peace. Among other struggles, we will be hearing about the use of crowd control weapons in Palestine; the link between extractive industries and militarisation in Venezuela, and the militarisation of the police force in the US. After two days of workshops and talks, there will be a day of direct action training before a day of creative protest against the ADEX arms fair.

Arms fairs like DSEI and ADEX are instrumental in the functioning of the global arms trade. They bring together military buyers from countries propagating war and repressing their populations, together with the weapons manufacturers profiting from conflict and insecurity. Putting an end to these arms fairs is a concrete way of reducing our governments’ support for the arms trade and making it difficult for carry on as usual.

The movement against the arms trade is growing. This September,  DSEI faced the highest number of protests since it started, with daily direct action blockading deliveries destined for the fair. The week of action against it cut across different issues, and brought together activists from different movements and backgrounds.

Two years ago, we found out that Korean activists had been following our protests against the DSEI arms fair on social media. They took our messages and actions and replicated them outside the ADEX arms fair, sending arms dealers a clear message that “We are everywhere”. Today, a growing international movement has gathered in Seoul to share tactics, research and opportunities for working together to strengthen the global resistance to the arms trade.

Follow the ‘Stopping the War Business’ gathering and protests against the ADEX arms fair on Twitter #StopWarBiz

 

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