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Arms fair set-up met with nonviolent resistance

Protests at the entrance to DSEI, 2 September 2019

Arms fair set-up met with nonviolent resistance

Lorries transporting equipment for London's DSEI arms fair have been held up by people nonviolently blocking the road.

Today marks the first day of a week of action designed to resist the set-up of the fair. The nonviolent action is organised by the Stop the Arms Fair coalition, which brings together groups including the Campaign Against Arms Trade, the Peace Pledge Union and War on Want, as well as trades unions and faith groups.

With lorries already blocked on the first day of action, the resistance is expected to have a significant impact before the fair is due to open on Tuesday next week (10th September). The arms fair, known euphemistically as Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI), takes place every two years at the Excel Centre in east London.

The UK government is facing strong criticism for inviting Saudi Arabia to the arms fair, despite a recent court ruling declaring that the UK government had acted unlawfully when selling weapons to the despotic Saudi regime.

Representatives of governments and armed forces from around the world will be able to meet arms companies at DSEI, perusing the equipment on display and networking over coffee.

The action against the arms fair comes at the same time as nonviolent demonstrations continue across the UK against Boris Johnson's plan to prorogue Parliament.

The Peace Pledge Union today reiterated their belief that nonviolent direct action is a legitimate tactic in struggles against war and the arms trade, and for peace and democracy. They added that it is one tactic amongst many.

The PPU are pleased to stand alongside their allies in the Campaign Against Arms Trade, and the other groups belonging to the Stop the Arms Fair coalition. There will be a PPU presence at the protests every day this week.

Everyone wishing to take nonviolent action against the arms fair is welcome to join the protests. There is a different theme for each day, though not all actions will be based on the theme. There are more details on the Stop the Arms Fair website.