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(en) Activist halt preparations for Europe's largest arms fair [EXCERPT]

From v.v.GroenFront!|EarthFirst!s.g.NL <listfilter@groenfront.nl>
Date Tue, 2 Sep 2003 13:52:32 +0200 (CEST)

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Activists halt preparations for Europe's largest arms fair press release
At 8am this morning, 1st September, a group of 40
activists halted preparations for Europe's
largest arms fair, DSEi (Defence Systems and
Equipment International), by blocking vehicle
access to the site. Both of the roads leading to
the conference venue, the ExCel centre in
London's Docklands, were blocked. One by two
tripod structures and the other by activists
linked together using metal arm tubes.

One of the activists, Laura Semple from Oxford,
said DSEi is one of the leading arms fairs in
the world, where more than 600 arms companies
will be queuing up to strike deals with
oppressive regimes and to fuel conflicts all over
the globe. We intend to shut it down.

East London activist, Jason Hetfield, said The
arms business in the UK harms local communities.
The borough of Newham where I live, and where
DSEi is taking place, is one of the poorest in
the country. The people of Newham do not want
this fair for weapons of death to come into their
community. They want better education, health and
job creation.

The action is just one of many being organised
over the next couple of weeks by a range of
different groups intent on shutting DSEi down and
ending this abhorrent trade in death.

Office: Louise Sales (07905) 074508
On site: (07796) 430141 and (07792) 840256

Notes for picture editors
Video footage available from freelance journalist Hugh Warwick (07815) 042452

Notes for editors
1)At the last DSEI arms fair in 2001 there were
664 exhibitors and delegates were invited from 68
different countries to buy guns, bombs, military
planes, small arms, mines and tanks. It took
place over 11th September 2001 the day of the
attacks on New York and Washington in America.
While many events around the world were cancelled
out of respect for the dead, the arms fair was
not halted. For three more days, countries
including America, Israel and 14 different Arab
nations continued to shop, side-by-side, for
weapons to attack each other with.
2)British companies continue to sell arms to
regimes with atrocious human rights records such
as Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Colombia and
the US. The cost of military budgets to many
countries attending DSEi has vast implications
for the on-going development of education, health
and social amenities e.g. The recent 3bn arms
deal to South Africa.

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