Guide: DSEi

< a publication to explain the reasons behind the Fiesta

BRITAIN HOSTS TWO major arms fairs, COPEX and DSEi.

COPEX (Contingency Operations and Procurement Exhibition) sells equipment for eternal repression - everything a secret police officer would wish to lay their hands on. DSEi is about serious weaponry, big guns, bombs, boats and so on. Although the staging of the exhibition is in the hands of Spearhead PGI (a private company who specialise in putting on defence and aviation events), it is firmly a Ministry of Defence (MoD) affair.

According to the official blurb, "DSEi attracts over 900 exhibitors from over 40 countries occupying some 250,000ft2 net exhibit space ... Over 20,000 invited defence industry visitors attend."

One important component of the Exhibition is its conference, this year entitled "Convergence: Technology, Globalisation and Coalition", a principal theme being the Globalisation of the Defence Industry. The Conference will be held on 12 and 13 September 2001.

At the last DSEi in 1999 CAAT found two exhibitors openly flogging anti-personnel landmines. This was totally illegal, a fact that seemed to have passed the large number of MoD police officers present by. Mind you, the moral tone of the exhibition could have been discerned by the invite Indonesia received, just as militias armed and trained by their military were running amok in East Timor. At the time of writing the countries invited to attend are unknown, but a list of exhibitors can be found here.

The previous DSEi was held mainly on MoD land near Chertsey in Surrey, with some boats moored at London Docklands. This year the entire thing has been moved to Docklands, the newly built Excel Centre. Excel is situated on the Royal Victoria Dock, snugly close to London City Airport, and within sight of Canary Wharf and the Dome. Curiously, Excel seem to have neglected to mention DSEi in some of their listings.

Excel is protected to the north by both Docklands Light Railway and BR rail lines, and to the south by the dock. Its main entrance is to the west, but there is also a back entrance at the east end. The dock will be used to show off war ships. Access to the dock for such ships is via a swing bridge, Connaught Bridge.

Fiesta guide index The Centre is located near some of London's most neglected housing estates, in Canning Town. Please remember that these communities have put up with enough attacks from outside. Respect the area and its residents. Bear in mind that there is a strong possibility that the police and fascist groups will attempt to infiltrate the Fiesta. If someone is trying to incite you into an action bear in mind its possible impact on the aims of the action, and on the local community.