Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

More Protest Looming Where Business Is Kabooming

Activists block government-backed arms fair

Squall Download 1, Oct/Nov 1999, pg. 5.

Over 400 anti arms-trade activists succeeded in disrupting a government backed military hardware exhibition in Surrey on September 14.

Approach roads were blocked for several hours and some of the 20,000 delegates and top ranking military officials from over 40 countries were heckled and harried as they entered the DSEI arms fair on the Ministry of Defence installation site at Chertsey. Vehicles attempting to enter the venue gates were halted by d-locked protestors and such was the level of disruption that road entry to the fair was stopped altogether over the subsequent days and all entrants were required to arrive in the venue grounds by special train. On September 15th thousands of police swamped a further 100 activists protesting at the DSEI’s duel site at London Docklands, where amidst a skyline dominated by Canary Wharf, the Millennium Dome and a McDonald’s logo, eleven warships from seven European countries were moored on the Thames showing off their wares.

The government sponsored Defence Systems and Equipment International show (DSEI) was the largest of its kind ever to be held in the UK. Among those invited to attend the arms supermarket were countries with appalling human rights records including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, China and Malaysia. Officials from the Indonesian Army had also been in line to attend the fair until right at the last moment the British government' deemed it too embarrassing to have them on British soil buying weapons when army-backed militia groups are slaughtering thousands in East Timor.

Related Articles
DEATH INC: Weapons Technology For The Third Millenium - The largest ever government backed arms sale on UK soil took place in September '99, confirming Britain's position as the second biggest arms dealer in the world - Sept-1999