A sneaky visit beyond the security fences of the arms fair

September 16, 2013
A leaflet left on a chair
An ‘end product’ card, left to remind arms dealers of the consequences of their business

An anonymous report of another action to challenge the arms fair has emerged…

Excel East

My handbag stuffed with gruesome cards. My mission to remind the arms dealers of the human costs of their work. My disguise: grey jacket, white blouse, fake badge.

First stop the Aloft Hotel – stuck the cards on the lift wall. Up in one lift, down in another. Waited for an empty lift. Ground floor and out the door.

On to the Ramada. Had a coffee in the empty lounge – put cards down the side of all the sofas. On to the loos. Scattered cards carefully in the Ladies and chucked them through the door of the Gents. Started placing cards with the holiday fliers on the shelves. A tap on the shoulder: “Excuse me madam, you can’t leave these here . It’s advertising. Please take them and go.”

Excel West

Trying my luck now.

Will the fake badge work again? Yes!! A short-sighted security man. Went to the car park. Pasted some posters on the pay machines and scattered cards.

Into the Ibis and the Crown Plaza. Took both at a brisk pace. Just the loos and a passing table. Got my technique sorted now: speed. They may clear them up quite quickly but it’s just a bit of flash “advertising” – so that even within the safety of the ExCeL’s security fences, the arms dealers don’t go unchallenged!

Like flea bites, one’s annoying – lots are painful. This wasn’t the only excursion into the arms dealers’ hotels with the ‘end product’ cards this week. It was just one of the many ways in which people exposed and challenged what was going on. One small part of a bigger picture – which we hope makes this the last arms fair to ever take place in London.

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