Putting the arms fair on trial
November 11, 2013
The 2013 DSEI arms fair was challenged and impeded with daily direct action. Hundreds of people took part, and thirty faced arrest when they placed their bodies in the way of the arms fair’s deadly business. Some have already been cautioned, or issued with fines. Others have pleaded not guilty – and plan to put the arms fair on trial!
Watch a video interview with a protester; read the defendants’ statement and read the open letter from groups in Palestine in solidarity with the activists. See the public letter in their support signed by individuals including Caroline Lucas MP, Michael Mansfield QC and Mark Thomas, and over 30 civil society organisations, published in the Guardian on 1 November 2013.
One protester has pleaded guilty – “Guilty of acting in solidarity with those struggling against oppression and facing brutal repression for doing so in Bahrain, Turkey and other countries.” The magistrate said she spoke “with dignity and passion” and gave her a a conditional discharge and order to pay total costs of £100.
Messages of support for the protesters on trial
Photos and report from DSEi of 2005
I was so glad to hear of the acquittal of the protesters at the DSEi arms fair. I was there in 2005. There were 3,000 (!!) cops there that day and fewer than 100 protesters made it to the event. My report contains some photos of the day with a picture of the late Brian Haw (who died in 2011) when he had his full display in Parliament Square. The night that the Met came to take away most of his display involved 78 cops. Talk about overkill.
Support for those attending court
All Best wishes for your court case. The arms trade is causing countless misery across the world, The people that should be in court are those that benefit from the selling of these arms not the protesters
Thanking the activists
Hi there …greetings from West Wales. Just sending the two activistson trial for taking action against arms fair a message of support. Tell them that I respect their actions, and thank them on my behalf. Good luck to Sylvia
Against the arms trade
The arrested activists should be immediately released. They took action in solidarity with those who face the arms fairs' weapons around the world: with Syrian people while Assad's weapons suppliers pushed sales at the arms fair, with Bahraini democracy protesters as their dictatorship shopped for more weapons. Those who promoted illegal weaponry inside the fair were not arrested. That's why the activists are asking “Where is the real wrong?”
I admire you for what you've done, and have achieved in getting out the message that arms fair weapons selling to oppressive regimes is unacceptable.
Good luck with the trial.
Solidarity to those on trial.
Just a quick note to send my good wishes to the DSEi resisters on trial this week in Stratford. Here's hoping for a just outcome.
In peace and solidarity.
Best of luck and argument on Tuesday. If I can't get to Stratford I will be thinking of you and hoping for best.
Thankyou for helping to put a stop the sale of (Arms)Killing machines
I am so very grateful that you are helping to stop this hideous disgusting 'fair' It is not fair that guns/killing machines can be peddled so openly.
I support the campaigners who demonstrated outside the immoral arms fair and thank them for their protest.
Stop the Arms Fair
Many thanks for taking the action that you did.
Sending my support and solidarity
Sending my support and solidarity to those facing trial to those facing trial at Stratford Magistrates Court next Tuesday. We all know where the real wrong lies.
Stop the Arms Fair
Well done! Thank you for standing up for peace. Will be thinking of you all in the coming days.
In friendship, Swanage Quakers
Confronting the killers
dear Demonstrators: Thanks for having the guts to stand up against these merchants of death. You are brave enough to stand on our behalf, who are too old, young, cowardly or lazy to put our bodies on the line and abide the ignorance and scorn of policemen, judges and hopefully jurors. Courage and love from a million silent sympathizers!
Protest against the Arms Fair
I write in support of five brave Christian protesters against the London Arms Fair, who have been charged with a breach of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.
I understand that they blocked an entrance to the arms fair by kneeling in prayer, and that they have said that they were inspired by Jesus’ example of nonviolent direct action in the Jerusalem Temple when he protested against the exploitation of the poor.
From the information I have it seems that this protest was entirely peaceful and it should not be criminalised merely because it inconvenienced those who profit from the sale of lethal weapons.
Wish you all victory in your battle against Arms Fair Traders.
Support for those facing trial
This message is in support of all those facing trial for putting themselves in the way of the arms trade fair last year. Well done and all the best. Thank you for drawing attention to the scandal of out government supporting the arms trade.
You are the heroes we need and can aspire to
Thankyou thankyou thankyou… from the bottom of my heart.
You are doing the world and us all a great service
I award you the highest order of badassery for being so damn brilliant!!!
Keep up the proud and just fight against this evil at the dark heart of our nation.
Solidarity with the DSEi defendants
It’s disgusting that these people are on trail for following their conscience and protesting against the monstrosity that is DSEi when the arms dealers get away scot-free. Good luck on Monday.
Thank you for standing up for peace
I want to thank everyone who took part in the peaceful protests against the arms trade in London. It is a disgrace that business people are able to freely trade weapons in the centre of London, and profit from atrocities that are carried out in other parts of the world. Thank you to everyone who took a brave stand against it. Civil disobedience is a really important part of our democratic tradition, it enables citizens to have a voice when politicians fail to do the right thing. There are countless examples of brave people who are attacked and punished for their actions, but are vindicated by history.
Message of Support
Just a quick one to wish everyone well on Monday, 4th November. Your courage and your determination are an inspiration. And you will win.
Solidarity from the US
I appreciate all the work you are all doing in the UK. I stand in solidarity all of you. The arms trade is a travesty of justice on this planet.
Blessed are the Peacemakers
How telling it is that while killers wear sharp suits and gaddabout in opulence the innocent face law suits scraped together based on such threadbare charges. It is the arms trade that should be on trial.
There is no doubt that the business of the DSEI is to increase the power of unscrupulous companies, brutal regimes and adds to the sum of human suffering on earth and the instability of our democratic systems. It is a shameful thing that our Government is so glad to host it and so loathe to regulate it.
I have nothing but admiration for those on trial for recognising DSEI for what it is and drawing attention to it. Thank you all so much for your commitment and courage.
Your action is hugely important
We can see and feel the movements for peace growing and coming together. Your courage is a huge inspiration to others.
I wondered if I could do what you and found that I couldn’t. Thank you for being faithful to your leadings and enabling important publicity that will help to stop the real criminality of arms dealing. You have done nothing wrong and everything right!
Thanks to all CAAT’s activists for taking action to stop the recent Arms Fair. Your action on our behalf is much appreciated. We wish CAAT success in future demonstrations.
These are the people that give me hope
I am so proud of the women and men who held up the arms fair by occupying the area: what a wonderful diverse group of people; from Priests to down and outs to teachers to parents to …well it goes on and on. They came from everywhere on the social spectrum united in one way; by their love of humanity and desire to expose what is done with guns, tanks and worse (torture tools…)
SO I WANT TO SAY THAT THE WOMEN AND MEN WHO WERE ARRESTED STOPPING ARMS DEALERS FROM GOING ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS, ARE NOT ONLY OUR HEROS, BUT THEY ARE WHAT MAKES LIFE WORTH LIVING. THEY ARE THE SHINING LIGHTS THAT GIVE US ALL HOPE AND INSPIRATION AND THE LAST THING THAT SHOULD HAPPEN IS SOME KIND OF PROSECUTION BY THE STATE…
So here I am humbly sending you all tons of love, strength and solidarity. May the Judge be a goodun & Long May U All Run
Thank you for standing up for peace in the world. Thinking of you on Monday, and may true justice prevail!
With your peaceful action you have spoken up bravely and conscientiously against this industry of despair which promotes and profits from conflict and repression.
Thank you for putting your commitment to what is right into real action to expose the illegitimacy of the DSEI fair and put them on trial. I speak for many when I say I am inspired and deeply grateful. You have my heartfelt support for the upcoming court appearance.
”Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men’ – Martin Luther King
Support for the activists on trial
I support all anti-weapons activism. These people are on trial for standing up for the rights of all people on the planet and being unfairly and viciously over charged by the arrogant British authorities. Let them go free with out sentence. They are innocent victims, the system is the guilty party.
Whilst we live in a messed up system
Well done on braving a thoroughly corrupt market, that holds in high esteem arms over quality of life, justice and peace.
You are more courageous than most and are taking on risks that many of us, including me, cannot face.
It is bizarre how we have removed ourselves from what matters in life, to trading and highly valuing what destroys life – weapons and arms.
I just read about what you have done through an Occupy mailing list and wanted to say how awesome I think you are for what you have done.
It’s unjust that those at DSEI can get away with murder scot free, while you are being prosecuted for highlighting the law-breaking and injustice that goes on inside.
You absolutely rock and solidarity with you all, especially on the 4th.
Thank you for being brave enough to stand up for what you believe in, and in so doing help to highlight this industry, what is included in it, and hopefully help those people who are yet to be maimed, tortured, or killed by these weapons.
Good Luck at your trials.
Support for those arrested
I would like to extend my gratitude to the women and men(?) who did what they could to highlight the hypocrisy of the British government’s rhetoric to human rights and to its feigned condemnation of dictatorships around the globe, by focusing attention on the weaponry the British Government allows to be bought and sold on their isles. This weaponry is increasingly utilized to violently control people around the world who are largely fighting for their human rights and for their right to have a say in the economic direction of their countries.
The activists did what they could non violently and peacefully and I would like them to know that they have my deepest respect and my most sincere good wishes that the judge recognizes that you are acting for the betterment of society at large and will let you go with minimum fuss.
All solidarity and all power to those who put their bodies in front of their convictions and stood up to the monstrous war machine that our government supports and thrives on. Selfless heroes, true human beings, I respect you deeply and honour you completely.
Support Our Troops
Good show in this action against the DSEi2013, the biggest terrorist event in the world. Destruction, Subjugation, Evil international.
I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone so honourable, honest and decent as one of the ’accused’ – a young person with a strong moral compass, ethics intact, and high principles and code of behaviour. And I am sure the others being ’prosecuted’ are the same. The only crime they have committed is to stand up to the bully-ing war machine they were born into.
Old Military generals putting new born babies on trial for daring to have been born innocent.
I still have faith in the justice system. Please could we start to apply it to some actual criminals, instead of prosecuting people who dare to stand up to all the institutionalised crimes they see all around them.
People like you
It’s people like you who will change the world for a better one. Solidarity from Turkey #direngezi #CAAT
Resistance is never futile!
Resistance is never futile! Don’t give up!
Trying to stop the death dealers!
Brave people, lying in the road shackled in the pouring rain, to challenge the ruthless violent callous and powerful arms barons & their government lackies, I salute you!
We will never give up!
Thank you for your work during the Arms Fair. They may try to take our lives and freedom, but they will never take our consciousness. Our full support from Spain, great admiration and we wish you lots of real justice!
Keep up the good work
Support you all the way. Much love from Spain x
Thank you for your bravery and creativity in opposing this monstrous trade – which we, as taxpayers, are underwriting! Good luck on 4 November.
Your actions set the tone for, at least, the week of resistance. Let’s hope they inspire many others to follow your example in the weeks, months and years ahead, until this dreadful trade is brought to an end.
Thank you for acting on behalf of all of us who believe in your cause. Good luck with your court appearances and any on-going legal challenges.
Good luck on November 4th. Solidarity.
Support for the protesters against the Arms Fair in Newham
I live in Newham and the irony was not lost on me that an arms fair was taking place in Excel when 9/11 took place. Our Governments need to work against conflict. As a doctor I am concerned with promotion of health not killing and torture and I have clinical experience of the effects of torture on people. I support the protesters who were trying to prevent the illegal sale of instruments and means of torture.
Arms fair protests
To all who face legal action because of protesting against the latest arms fair - thank you for acting on behalf of all of us who could not be there, and maybe should have been! You are an inspiration.
You guys did a really great job in East London way better than I could have done at such short notice and all really showed what peace and love means. Keep your head high and smile!
I admire your recent protest at the arms fair - well done - you are all very brave.
You have my full support.
I wish you well.
We shall overcome
We shall overcome
The Arms Fair
If anybody is taken to court and prosecuted, let's hope that the prosecutors have a few moments of common sense. Good luck to all.
Getting in the way
Thank you for getting in the way of the arms traders. You have my support.
Sorry I could not join you. Thank you for being the body of my conscience!
Arms fair blockaders
Dear Arms Fair blockaders who are facing court proceedings,
We were there on the Sunday.
We are thinking of you to give you strength to cope with your ordeal.
Keep on going
I see the impact of trauma in my work , ordinary people carry the impact of war, weapons torture and threat in regimes where they have little or no redress.This is one area the UK could walk its talk.
Keep on going!!! You are doing a great job.
I want to say Thank you to those who turned up to protest at the Arms Fair in London. You have my whole-hearted support and I wish you well in the coming court appearances.
To all activists against Arms Fair,
Thank you for all the actions taken by you to highlight the obscenity of the Arms Fair. As an 89 year old, all my life against War,and not able to go to protest at the event, you are acting for me and I praise you for that. Continue the good work, which though most people don't realise, is for the good of all. STOP THE SELLING OF ARMS.
Disrupting the arms fair
Thank you for standing against the obscene trade in arms that the UK profits from and supports.
To all of you who are facing court action
Thank you for your commitment to stopping the arms fair as part of the struggle to stop the arms trade.
It is a reflection of the systemic corruption of the state we live in that it is you facing legal action, rather than those who are selling the weapons of death with the active support of their governments.
Your actions not only focused attention on the fair, like never before, but are hopefully the prequel to stop its return in two years.
Congratulations on all your efforts at the Arms Fair... we appreciate you and your actions to make the world a safer place, without arms!
Well done for what you did - you are stars!
Well done, all who joined CAAT and other groups (Pax Christi etc) for protests against the Arms Fair, and best wishes for those of you who may have to pay a penalty for your courage.
Message of support
To activists facing charges -
Thank you for your stand. Your determination makes us all a little braver and a little more determined to stop the arms trade.
You are vindicated - feel proud!
I admire your stoicism and determination; never doubt the end result - arms dealing and corruption go hand in hand and corruption always leads to downfall.
Good luck anti-arms fair activists
To all CAAT activists who are facing criminal proceedings, good luck and thanks so much for your brave actions. One day you'll be recognised as the heroes and the arms dealers will be in court.
Congratulations and many thanks on your efforts to expose and disrupt the arms fair! I wish ill-health and distance had not kept me away. I'm sure you spoke for many more like me.
I do pray that all court proceedings will be dropped or defeated.
Support for campaigners
Well done to all who gave time & energy to trying to stop the Arms Fair.
Thorn in the side of arms dealers!
Well done! I'll be there when you go to court. Stick it to 'em!
Check out the photos and videos of the activists’ impressive actions too!