Every two years, the Excel Centre at London Docklands hosts the world’s
biggest arms fair, showcasing military and surveillance equipment and
technology for air, land, sea and cyberspace. Many of the world’s most
oppressive regimes, including Turkey, go there to make deals which
ultimately cost hundreds of thousands of lives.
Turkey was the sole “international partner” of DSEI 2015, which took place
in September of that year, while Kurdish civilians were being massacred in
cities like Cizre. During the event, weapons maker Roketsan, which is part
of the Turkish Armed Forces, signed a contract with Lockheed Martin, the
largest arms company in the world, to develop a new F-35 fighter jet
missile for the United States armed forces. Since then, Turkey has gone
into partnership with BAE Systems to develop a new generation of fighter
jets. Turkish-owned arms company Nurol has also gone into partnership
with BAE Systems – the third largest arms company in the world – on an
aerospace programme. After its “success” at DSEI 2015, Turkey has asked
for its space at the event to be expanded by 200 square metres for 2017.
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by Sara Woods of Shoal Collective, a cooperative of independent writers
and researchers, writing for social justice and a world beyond capitalism.
The Anarchist Action Network is mobilising to oppose DSEI 2017 and there are the following upcoming meetings for people interested to get involved:
UPDATE – All meetings have now occurred, see you in London for the week of action!
Anarchist Action Network took part in the occupation of an arms company in Kent on Tuesday February 17 2015.
Instro Precision, an arms company near Broadstairs, was occupied for more than 12 hours, from 5am, to protest its sales to both Israel and Afghanistan. Four people took the roof with banners to shut the factory down, with ten more on the ground, one of whom locked herself to the front gate.
The activists decided to leave after shutting the firm down for the whole day. There were no arrests.
Instro is owned by Israeli arms company Elbit Systems, who make drones that are used to kill Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Optical and camera systems like those made at the Instro factory are also supplied by Elbit for use in drones flown over Afghanistan, as well as in Israel’s apartheid wall.
Elbit Hermes drones have been flown over Afghanistan and the new Watchkeeper drone, based on the Hermes, was deployed by the MOD last year. Although the Watchkeeper is ostensibly a surveillance drone, it has been displayed with missiles under its wings at the DSEi arms fair in London.
During last Summer’s ‘Operation Protective Edge’ attack last Summer, armed drones killed 830 Palestinians in Gaza. 85% of the drones used by the Israeli military are supplied by Elbit. Elbit’s share price rose in July off the back of the extensive use of its technology during Israel’s massacre,and the company recently reported a backlog in orders worth $6.2 billion. Elbit advertises its products as “combat proven”, by which they mean their products are tested on the bodies of Palestinian civilians.