Arms trade activists NOT GUILTY! Shut down DSEI 2017
They put protesters on trial,
but it was the arms trade that was found guilty.
BY Campaign Against Arms Trade 15 Apr 2016
on trial for blocking the set up of the London
arms fair, DSEI, last
September, have been found NOT GUILTY!
"We call on more people to join us in our efforts to shut down DSEI
2017 and take collective action to end the arms trade." Make
After four days
of powerful and moving testimonies the judge ruled today that the
activists were acting to prevent a greater crime. The judge said the
court heard "compelling evidence" that arms sales at DSEI were for
repression and human rights abuse.
had used their trial to highlight UK complicity in war crimes in
Yemen, human rights abuses in Bahrain and the slaughter of Kurdish
civilians by Turkey.
They also argued
that illegal weapons had repeatedly been displayed at the fair but
no effective action had been taken to prevent this.
had taken action as part of a huge
week of action to
stop the set up of the arms fair the biggest-ever protests
against DSEI. For six days we blocked entrances, disrupting the
set-up of the fair. DSEI brings over 30,000 arms dealers together
with the worlds largest arms companies and military delegations
from around the world.
When the arms
fair returns in 2017, the protests will be even bigger and with
your help we plan to shut it down for good!
If the Stop DSEI
defendants have inspired you, make
a pledge to take
action when the arms returns.
After the trial
the defendants said: "Over
the week, we have put DSEI and the arms trade on trial and we have
proven them to be illegitimate. Our only regret is that we didn't
succeed in shutting down DSEI. Our thoughts are with the people who
suffer as a result of the arms trade and the survivors of repressive
regimes, torture, war and conflict. We call on more people to join
us in our efforts to shut down DSEI 2017 and take collective action
to end the arms trade."
Please join us in doing so.
As the defendants
have noted, the scandal of the arms fair is much greater than the
illegal arms that have been repeatedly displayed there: it is about
the horror of an event which exists solely to promote tools of
murder and repression, for profit. Our government doesn't just allow
this to take place: it actively facilitates it inviting repressive
regimes and encouraging deals.
As we were
protesting against the arms fair in 2015, UK weapons were being used
in Saudi Arabia's bombing of Yemen weapons of the type on display
at DSEI. Inside the fair, the UK government was courting a Saudi
military delegation and encouraging more deals. This
is not acceptable.
The defendants in
court today put their bodies in the way of the arms trade, but all
of our action counts.
It was important
to their case to have shown that other means of protest had been
pursued too from signing petitions to meeting MPs so whatever
you can do makes a difference.
Please pledge to take action
however you can in 2017.
Thank you for
your support. It's so nice to be sharing good news and the more
people who pledge to take action in 2017 the more like this we can
Against Arms Trade
more pictures from
the actions and trial, read the coverage so far in the Independent, Guardian and
on Buzzfeed and pledge