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New Zealand activists shut down an arms fair!

This week activists in New Zealand were on the streets to target a weapons expo in Auckland, and arms dealers found themselves locked out of the venue by the blockades.

This November, Auckland is playing host to an international arms fair and Naval warships flotilla. The arms fair is the annual New Zealand Defence Industry Association Annual Conference, and is sponsored by Lockheed Martin. Lockheed is the world’s largest weapons manufacturer and a maker of nuclear weaponry. Luckily, activists were there to stop them. Peace Action Auckland called a ‘Week of Peace’ to challenge the weapons fair, with creative and direct action from a range of groups.

 

The protests have been a huge success, with vibrant street actions ranging from ‘Muggles for Peace’ casting charms to kick the arms dealers out of town, to noise blockades bringing people together to sing, shout and hit pots and pans. According to reports, the chairman of the New Zealand Defence Industry Association, Bernie Driver said he was “annoyed” that around 350 arms dealers who had paid to go the conference were prevented from getting in by activists.

 

The amazing actions in Auckland are part of a growing world-wide campaign against arms fairs. In September 2017, the DSEI arms fair is scheduled to return to London, with Stop The Arms Fair activists planning action to block the set up of the fair. If you’re inspired, you can pledge to take action with them. You can also follow the actions in New Zealand on twitter at #warstartshere to see more from the week of action!

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