Shutting down the DSEI arms fair for good

Vyara Gylsen was one of the campaigners who was arrested for protesting outside DSEI last year. Her charges were eventually dropped, but not until after two court dates and seven hours in a police cell. In this piece she reflects on the reasons she protested and the recent acquittal of eight other anti-DSEI activists.

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The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) just won’t quit wasting public money to prosecute peace campaigners acquitted of obstruction to the highway outside DSEI 2015.

Earlier this year, eight activists were acquitted for blockading DSEI on the basis that they were seeking to prevent greater crimes such as torture and the mass indiscriminate killing of civilians in places such as Yemen, Kurdistan, Palestine and Bahrain.

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Activists on trial for trying to stop the DSEI arms fair

This week activists are on trial for taking action against the DSEI arms fair last September.

Yesterday, three of the defendants presented their case. All of them spoke at length about why they felt their actions against DSEI were necessary in order to prevent greater crimes.

Activists with a 'Stop Arming Israel' banner and waving Palestinian flags stand on an armoured vehicle
Activists blockade an armoured vehicle from entering the Excel Centre

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Adventures in outdoor cinema: Liverpool CAAT screen a film onto their local arms company!

In August, Liverpool activists began planning an ambitious event – screening an anti-arms trade film onto the side of their local arms factory. But when they arrived to set up, they ran into a series of problems which nearly scuppered their plans. That is, until their audience pulled together to make it happen! From hot-wiring generators to spontaneous dancing, James Crawley explains what they got up to next.Film screening Continue reading “Adventures in outdoor cinema: Liverpool CAAT screen a film onto their local arms company!”

Ayotzinapa one year on: How the UK is fuelling Mexico’s deadly war

Protesters stand with pictures of the disappeared in front of the Mexican Embassy

On 26th September 2014, police in the Mexican town of Iguala in the state of Guerrero ambushed a convoy of buses carrying students from Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College to a protest march. Police opened fire, killing several students and bystanders, and abducted 43 students in police vehicles. The students have not been seen since.

The first anniversary of this mass disappearance saw demonstrations across Mexico and around the world. I joined campaigners outside the Mexican Embassy in London’s Mayfair, and spoke to the crowd about the UK’s complicity in the human rights abuses spiralling out of control in Mexico.

Protesters stand with pictures of the disappeared in front of the Mexican Embassy
Demonstrators outside the Mexican Embassy in London, 26th September 2015

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Inside DSEI

Last week, despite the ‘five security checks’ and the ‘defensive ring’ to keep unwanted guests out, anti-war activist Martin Powell managed to infiltrate the DSEI arms fair and live tweeted photos from inside.

Martin is also a performance poet and wrote this poem about his experience inside the arms fair: Continue reading “Inside DSEI”

West Midlands workshop: How will you Stop the Arms Fair?

We’re on tour across the UK in the run up to the DSEI arms fair. Join activists from across the West Midlands on Tuesday 25 August for an interactive workshop to find out more about the DSEI arms fair,  and link up with others interested in taking action against it. Whether you’re new to campaigning or an experienced activist, there are lots of ways to get involved!
Activist with a T-shirt reading "Arms Dealer" and an arrow pointing sideways stands next to an arms fair delegate Continue reading “West Midlands workshop: How will you Stop the Arms Fair?”

Stop the Arms Fair: Conference at the Gates

Stop the Arms Fair: Conference at the Gates
A Workshop on Militarism, Resistance and Academic Praxis

Where: ExCeL Centre, East London, E16 1XL
When: Thursday 10th September 2015

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This September arms dealers from around the world will congregate in London’s ExCeL Centre for the DSEI arms fair. As one of the world’s largest arms fairs, DSEI brings together over 1,500 arms companies and military delegations from over 100 countries.

On display will be everything from crowd control equipment to machine guns, tanks, drones and even battleships. It’s a crucial event in the business of the international arms trade, and the deals done here play a major role in reinforcing Western militarism, fueling conflict, repressing dissent and strengthening authoritarian regimes across the world.

The Stop the Arms Fair coalition have called a week of action at the venue to disrupt the setup of the arms fair. On Thursday 10th September, the protests will focus on the relationship between militarism and education. As part of this day, there will be an open air academic workshop at the gates of the ExCeL Centre. Continue reading “Stop the Arms Fair: Conference at the Gates”