Pro-Palestine demonstration at DSEI in 2021 (Picture: @FriendsofAlAqsa)

The warmongers are coming to London. Weapons dealers, corporations and politicians will descend soon on the Excel Centre in Newham, east London, for the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair. 

Boosted by the war in Ukraine, this year’s DSEI will have 2,800 suppliers, and more than 230 new exhibitors. It is supported by the British ministry of defence and the defence export services organisation—part of the department for International trade.

The fair will showcase military hardware for wars and also for internal repression and crushing protests. British firms have sold tear gas, riot gear and rubber bullets to countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Hong Kong

And the arms dealers and their clients also have a hand in the destruction of the planet. The US military remains the largest institutional source of greenhouse gas emissions and if it was a nation would be in the top 50 biggest emitters in the world. 

This year the arms fair will have several forums on climate change and sustainability sponsored by military engineering company Babcock in an attempt to greenwash the event. 

But the arms sellers won’t be allowed to go about their business unnoticed. The Stop the Arms Fair (STAF) coalition has coordinated two weeks of protest beginning on Monday.

The fortnight will be filled with events, protests and talks. 

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has organised a vigil in Cundy Park at 6pm on Tuesday of next week. In a statement the group wrote, “The DSEI Arms Fair facilitates the sale of weapons and military technology to Israel to be used against Palestinians.

“DSEI isn’t just contributing to Israel’s violence against Palestinians. 

“Arms companies exhibiting at the fair facilitate assaults against Indigenous communities across the world, producing weapons used to attack Saharawi land defenders in Western Sahara, strengthen the violent European border regime, and arm militarised police forces in the US and Britain.” 

There will also be a migrant justice day on 12 September organised by STAF and the Newham anti-raids group, and a day dedicated to opposing the police and prison systems

In the past activists have organised big protests and direct action to try and shut down and block the delivery of weapons into the fair. 

For more info about protests and events at the arms fair go to About – Stop the Arms Fair

Art against the arms fair

Ain’t deED Yet, a new exhibition from Art the Arms Fair in partnership with Demilitarise Education (dED), is taking place from 11-17 September 2023 at Gallery 46, 46 Ashfield St, London E1 2AJ.

Curator Zayna Al-Saleh said, “The exhibition is testament to the presence and operations of the arms trade in our daily lives. From its staging in our capital to its discreet dealings with our universities. These dealings provide the means for major human rights violations and have resulted in millions of refugees, many of whom are not granted safety from European waters.”

To date, dED has uncovered military contracts with universities worth £1.37 billion. 

Details at

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