Once again, Docklands’ ExCeL Centre will host the DSEI (Defence and Security Equipment International) arms fair next month. 1,600 exhibitors will showcase equipment including drones, tanks, guns, bombs, warships, crowd control weaponry and covert surveillance equipment.
They will be hoping to secure contracts and wine and dine with international governments and military personnel, aiming to profit from states’ unending wars of aggression around the world. The arms fair is subsidised by the UK taxpayer, and DSEI’s organisers work closely with the government, welcoming human rights abusers such as Saudi Arabia, the US, Israel and Turkey.
Quakers, Catholic Workers, anarchists, socialists, trade unionists and Buddhists are just some of those who have come together to protest DSEI, which takes place every two years. In recent years, British anti-militarists have been joined by activists from Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Kurdistan and other communities directly affected by war and state violence.
Activists have been resisting the arms fair since its inception in 1999.
Eliza Egret talks to activists involved in almost two decades of protest against London’s DSEI arms show.
By Eliza Egret of Shoal Collective, a newly-formed cooperative of
independent writers and researchers, writing for social justice and a
world beyond capitalism. Follow @ShoalCollective