Protesters stop the first trucks at the ‘world’s largest arms fair’

Fréa Lockley

A week of action is underway to stop the “world’s largest arms fair”. The Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair returns to London between 10 and 13 September.

As The Canary reported, 2 September is Stop Arming Israel day. So activists gathered to draw attention to Israel’s “brutal military occupation of Palestine”.

Protesters managed to ‘lock on‘ to stop the first lorry from entering DSEI.

Stop Arming Israel

At around 3.30pm, two protesters locked on in the road at the east gate at the ExCeL centre, which hosts DSEI.

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A lorry thought to be carrying arms or military equipment was forced to turn back.

Meanwhile, at the west gate, two more protesters also locked on.

“Police are complicit in the arms trade”

Large numbers of police are present. As other demonstrators sat on the road in solidarity with those locked on, police moved in immediately to remove them. The Canary also witnessed some attempts to limit legal observer access.

Despite clearly visible press cards, police also forcefully pushed journalists trying to record events – including Canary reporters – out of the way.

As protesters gathered to support those occupying the road, a demonstrator used a megaphone to declare:

Police are complicit in the arms trade.

There were four arrests during the protests.

As Campaign Against Arms Trade’s Andrew Smith previously told The Canary:

The arms being promoted by DSEI could be used in atrocities and war crimes for years to come. That is why people from across the UK will be coming together to send the message loudly and clearly that it’s long past time to stop the arms sales and shut down the arms fair.

Featured image and all other images via Emily Apple

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