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London arms fair to face mass nonviolent protests

Protests at DSEI last time (2017)

London arms fair to face mass nonviolent protests

The Peace Pledge Union will be one of many groups joining mass protests next week ahead of the DSEI arms fair in London.

The London arms fair - euphemistically called Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) - is one of the world’s biggest arms fairs. It takes place at the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands. 

Protests will take place outside the venue next week, from Monday 2nd to Sunday 8th September. The aim is to resist the set-up of the fair, which will open on Tuesday 10th September. 

When DSEI last took place, in 2017, the protests caused sufficient disruption that the fair was only just able to open on time, with organisers having to cancel the planned early tour for journalists. 

Campaigners have predicted that the resistance may have even more impact this time. 

“Since DSEI 2017 it has become even more apparent that Saudi Arabia are committing atrocities in Yemen,” explained PPU member Alison Parker, from Bedfordshire. “Yet they are still likely to be invited to DSEI 2019.”

She added, “That is why I will be putting my body in the way of the set-up of this abhorrent event. With thousands of others motivated to act similarly, I believe we can prevent the fair from happening.” 

DSEI allows arms dealers to meet representatives of governments and armed forces from around the globe, including some of the world’s most oppressive and aggressive regimes. Saudi Arabia is expected to be on the invitation list, despite Saudi forces’ responsibility for the deaths of thousands of civilians in Yemen. 

Protests are organised by a wide range of groups that belong to the Stop the Arms Fair coalition. This unites the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) with other NGOs, direct action groups, trades unions and faith groups. 

The Peace Pledge Union - which is a member of the coalition - will have a presence on each day of next week’s protests, especially at the main Festival of Resistance on Saturday 7th September. 

With a different theme to the protests every day, PPU members will be involved both in a specifically PPU presence and as part of other groups and actions during the week.

Protests are expected to include nonviolent direct action, as well as more traditional and lawful demonstrations and vigils. 

If you would like to join the PPU at the Stop DSEI protests, please get in touch with us at or 020 7424 9444.