Craftivism and the Arms Fair
Carlton Hill Friends Meeting House, 188 Woodhouse Lane Leeds
Security and Policing is a secretive annual event which offers a “discreet environment” for 400 companies who supply national and international police forces, prisons, detention centres and the military to exhibit “the latest developments in the UK security market”. This year it’s taking place from 8-10 March at Farnborough FIVE.
Last year, visitors browsed the stands of major weapons manufacturers such as BAE Systems and Heckler & Koch, and surveillance companies such as Gamma Group and The Hacking Team.
The government’s arms sales unit, DSO, is responsible for inviting international delegations and despite the supposedly “strict” entrance criteria, 16 authoritarian regimes were invited last year, including Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt.
Why we have a problem with it: These are the people who are making a profit from the current refugee crisis with their security fences and detention centres. These are the companies benefiting from the UK’s increasingly militarised policing; These are the businesses that thrive every time David Cameron uses “counter-terrorism” measures to clamp down on our civil liberties. These are the ones who win when the lines between policing, security and the military are blurred.
The heavy policing of borders, militarisation of police and increased military spending do not improve security. They make the world a more dangerous place. MPs voted to bomb Syria; British bombs are being dropped in Yemen right now and the UK is exporting repression by inviting human rights-abusing regimes like Saudi Arabia to shop for weapons at events like Security and Policing.
A coalition of groups is joining the dots and organising to resist police militarisation.
Check the events page as plans emerge to take action.
Read more about the militarisation of policing in the UK.