Activists have planned a two-week resistance campaign against Britain’s hosting of the “worst arms dealers,” including those from Israel, in the world’s largest weapons fair.
The campaigners are expected to hold events in denunciation of the Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) in London that begin on Tuesday as a venue for repressive regimes like Tel Aviv to sell and buy lethal weapons.
Among those attending will be more than 40 Israeli arms companies, which are complicit in human rights abuses against Palestinians.
In a statement released on Monday, the UK-based Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) described the biennial DSEI as a “marketplace in death and destruction,” saying Israeli firms, like Elbit, “battle test” their weapons on Palestinians in the occupied territories.
Arms dealers arriving for the first day of the DSEI arms fair. Sickening to see them heading in to do more deals to sell their weapons that will lead to more death globally #StopDSEI pic.twitter.com/lNdRT8088f— London CAAT (@londoncaat) September 12, 2023
Emily Apple, CAAT’s media coordinator, noted that the companies taking part read as a “who’s who of the world’s worst arms dealers” and that peace activists are “coordinating a fortnight of resistance.”
“Israel is an apartheid state, and it is disgusting that the UK is not only selling weapons to Israel but encouraging Israeli arms companies to sell their weapons in London,” she added.
“Deals done at DSEI will cause misery across the world, causing global instability, and devastating people’s lives. Representatives from regimes such as Saudi Arabia, who have used UK-made weapons to commit war crimes in Yemen, will be wined and dined and encouraged to buy yet more arms.”
#DSEi is London’s bi-annual weapons supermarket. It starts TODAY— Amnesty UK (@AmnestyUK) September 12, 2023
As one of the world’s largest arm fairs, regimes with horrifying human rights records can browse on latest tools of torture
What does it have to do with the right to protest in the UK & across the world?
Apple further lashed out at the UK government for repeatedly showing that it “cares more about the money made from dodgy deals with dictators than it does about the people whose lives will be ruined by the sales.”
“Arms dealers will not be welcome when they arrive in London as they will be met with protesters who will ensure they have to face the reality of the consequences of their deadly trade,” she said.