In just 6 weeks’ time, arms companies from around the world will be setting up at the Excel Centre in East London for ‘DSEI’, one of the biggest arms fairs in the world, made possible by the political and financial backing of the UK government. We will be there to resist.
What is ‘DSEI’?
Defence and Security Equipment International (‘DSEI’) is a grotesque trade show of 1,500 arms companies, selling everything from guns, bombs and missiles, ships, tanks and warplanes to drones and tear gas. Military delegations rub shoulders with arms companies, and crucial networking is done that helps seal arms deals, fuelling conflict and repression around the world.
Amongst military delegations invited by the UK this September is Saudi Arabia, even after the recent court judgment declaring arms sales to Saudi for use in Yemen illegal. Clear proof, if any more was needed, that the UK government’s only priority is the continued flow of weapon sales and profits, not the lives of Yemeni people.
The UK government has supplied the Saudi regime with at least £5.3 billion of arms since the war in Yemen began, helping to fuel and legitimise what the UN has described as the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe. A report earlier this year by Yemeni NGO, ‘Mwatana for Human Rights‘, identified UK-made bombs being used in Saudi attacks on civilian infrastructure. Yet the UK government continues its programme of arms sales promotion to Saudi Arabia, unabated and unashamed, at events like DSEI.
We know people power works. The DPRTE arms fair has been forced out of Bristol, Cardiff, and Birmingham under pressure from protestors. The 2008 Asia-Pacific Defence and Security Exhibition was cancelled after activists threatened to re-stage huge peace protests which disrupted previous events. And in 2019, Glasgow City Council responded to protests by promising never to host an arms fair again. Ordinary people have stood up to the might of the arms trade and won! Please join us to stop DSEI.
Whether you can drop by for the day, a few hours, or the whole week; whether you’re keen to hold a banner, organise a creative action, act as a legal observer, or make cups of tea for other activists, you can help stop DSEI.
Each day of the week of action is themed with a different issue linked to the arms trade. Your support and creative actions will help catch the attention of the media and propel the arms fair into the public eye. Put the dates in your diary, and drop us a line to get involved:
Monday 2nd Sept: Stop Arming Israel
Tuesday 3rd Sept: No Faith in War
Wednesday 4th Sept: No Nuclear
Thursday 5th Sept: Conference at the Gates
Friday 6th Sept: Climate Justice
Saturday 7th Sept: Local Democracy & International Solidarity
Sunday 8th Sept: Borders & Migration
Contact Siana and Kirsten in CAATs events team for more information: Email: events [at] caat.org.uk Tel: 020 7281 0297 Follow @caatuk and @StopTheArmsFair on Twitter and Facebook