3 September 2001
Anti-capitalists target arms fair
Thousands of anti-capitalist protestors are preparing to
converge on London Docklands next Tuesday to disrupt Europe’s largest arms fair,
the Defence Systems and Equipment international (DSEi). A "Fiesta for Life
Against Death" has been called by Disarm DSEi, with active support from
London Reclaim the Streets and the Wombles.
The Fiesta will be a bold celebration of humanity and creativity in the
face of a trade that sees 2000 children killed, maimed or psychologically
affected by its product every day.
The seriously playful mass action in the spirit of the
June 18 1999 and Mayday protests will explode in a shower of pink and
silver on the streets of East London. All across the country banners, costumes and
puppets are in readiness and a 'critical mass' of cyclists are standing by to
mobilise against the DSEi arms fair.
The hypocrisy of a government that describes protestors as violent
and incoherent yet actively promotes arms sales to countries with appalling
human rights records will be exposed in a joyous carnival of music and colour
on the 11th. It is intended as a move away from protesting against global economic
institutions, as part of a growing recognition of the wider destructive nature
Jo Bookchin from Disarm DSEi said:
We are calling for people to gather together to prevent the serious breach of
the peace that will be committed at DSEi. It is the trade in weapons that
allows exploitation and murder to continue around the world, whether it be to
protect western oil interests in Colombia or to keep down anti-IMF protests
in West Papua. On the 11th we are setting our sights on the arms
trade, the commodity that enforces all other commodities.
Notes to Editors:
- Disarm DSEi is a coalition of activists from direct action and
- DSEi is being held at the newly built Excel centre on Royal Victoria
Dock, E16. It runs from September 11-14.
- The 'critical mass' bike ride meets at 10am by Waterloo Bridge on
September 11th. Critical mass is a gathering of cyclists, rollerbladers,
skateboarders (and anyone else on wheels) that takes back the road from
- According to the UN Human Development Report, in 1999 the world’s
governments spent an estimated $719 billion of our money to run their military
machines of which more than two-thirds ($520 billion) was spent by Europe and
North America alone. This is 14 times more than is needed to eradicate the
very worst ‘absolute’ poverty from the world.
- The arms industry employs only 0.3% of the UK’s workforce. There is a
£12,500 government subsidy for each of these 90,000 jobs.
- Other demonstrations are being organised on the 11th and for the
remainder of the fair by Campaign against Arms Trade.
Further information can be found at:
Disarm DSEi office: 020 7281 4621