Posted on Sunday 31 July 2011
Shut down DSEi day of action – 13th September 2011 – details TBC
During the last twelve months there have been massive militant protests against government cuts and austerity measures. Understandably, and rightly, the bankers and tax avoiders have been widely targeted. However, apart from a few mentions of the trident nuclear weapons replacement (latest figures at £97 billion in case you were wondering), the arms trade has been largely ignored.
Whilst there have been 40% cuts to universities, and 60% cuts to social housing, the arms trade was cut by just 8%. The government spends more money buying arms from BAE Systems alone than it does on climate change, equating to £64 a year for every adult and child in the UK. Furthermore, according to figures obtained by Campaign Against Arms Trade, £700 million a year is spent on government subsidies to the arms trade.
DSEi, Defence Systems Equipment International, the world’s largest arms fair, takes place every two years at the ExCeL centre in London’s Docklands. Over 1200 arms companies will be hawking their deadly wares to 25,000 buyers from around the world, including military delegations from some of the world’s most repressive, human rights abusing regimes. This year, for the first time, the UK government will be inviting paramilitaries and border security forces.
DSEi is held in Newham, one of London’s most impoverished boroughs. Whilst the government has subsidised DSEi by £320,000 and paid up to £4million for policing, Newham council are being forced to cut £116 million from their budget over the next four years.
Say no to private companies profiteering from our money whilst our services are decimated. This year Disarm DSEi are calling for a mass blockade of the DLR – the means by which most delegates visit the fair. Let’s stop the arms trade in its tracks and destroy this deadly trade.
For further information about the DSEi, including role of DSEi exhibitors in arming the repressive regimes of the Arab Spring, as well as tips for action, download our handy pamphlet.
Follow @disarmdsei on Twitter for further updates.