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Archbishop adds voice to clamour against DSEI arms fair

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams added his voice today to a forthcoming week of protests against London’s DSEI arms fair.

The government-backed Defence and Security Equipment International arms fair, which hosts buyers from some of the world’s most reviled political regimes, takes place in London every two years.

The 2019 event takes place in the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands starting on Monday next week.

A week of action against the event is planned from September 2-8.

The protests are expected to be larger than those staged at the fair in 2017, including the blockading of entrances into the event.

Dr Williams said: “The way much of the arms trade currently works continues to be a blot on the global moral landscape. Governments have been negligent or collusive about the role played by arms exports in sustaining brutal and even genocidal conflicts, and the recent court judgement about arms exports to Saudi Arabia has highlighted the issue.  

“The principles of ethics and international law need to be defended more robustly than ever in a world where local wars of great savagery are fuelled by what often seems to be wilfully irresponsible attitudes, and I welcome this fresh effort to alert citizens to the cost of indiscriminate, profit-driven trading in weapons of death and mutilation.”

Organisations planning protests include the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Campaign Against Arms Trade and campaigning union charity War on Want.

The coming protests

Each daily protest will have an anti-war theme.

Monday, September 2: Stop Arming Israel

Tuesday, September 3: No Faith in War

Wednesday, September 4: No Nuclear

Thursday, September 5: Conference at the Gates

Friday, September 6: Climate Justice

Saturday, September 7: Festival of Resistance

Sunday, September 8: Borders and Migration.


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