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Activists slam UK hosting of ‘world’s worst arms dealers’ in London

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Pro-Palestine activists protest against the Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair in London. (Via X)

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.

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.”

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.

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