Activists have forced an arms fair to move location for a second time. The Defence Procurement, Research, Technology & Exportability (DPRTE) arms fair has been forced out of Birmingham’s NEC Centre after continued pressure from anti-arms trade campaigners.
The arms fair was due to take place in Birmingham, on 28 March 2019. But it’s now moved to the Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre. A press release from Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) stated, “this follows a vibrant local campaign against the event”.
provide buyers and suppliers of all sizes, engaged throughout the defence acquisition supply chain, with an invaluable opportunity to enhance knowledge, collaborate, share best practice and showcase innovation.
It has support from the UK Ministry of Defence and the Department of International Trade. Both are listed as event ‘partners’ but also attend as prospective buyers alongside the US Defence Department.
“The arms industry is not welcome here”
The decision to hold the arms fair in Birmingham was announced in November 2018. The event was originally scheduled to take place in Cardiff. But it moved following protests and objections from local people.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
Birmingham Stop the Arms Fair planned a day of “creative actions” against the fair. An “active and vibrant local campaign from a diverse range of local activists” highlighted key concerns about the event.
The Canary has seen an email to campaigners which claimed that the decision to move was made following consideration of “the impact of all events on all our guests”. Organisers said it was “more appropriate for DPRTE to be hosted at a more self-contained venue”.
Hugh Douglas from Birmingham Stop the Arms Fair said:
This move is a response to the people of Birmingham and of Solihull making it clear that the arms industry is not welcome here. The DPRTE was already chased out of Cardiff, and now Birmingham. The government might be willing to ignore the death and destruction caused by the arms industry, but local people are not.
“Human rights abusing regimes”
Kat Hobbs of CAAT said:
We are very glad that this event has been moved, but the Birmingham NEC should never have agreed to host it in the first place. The NEC should not allow its facilities to be used to support companies that profit from arming and supporting human rights abusing regimes around the world.
Featured image via CAAT/Flickr
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.