Tag Archives: DSEi

Arms fair organiser operating at a massive loss

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Clarion Events, the company which organises the biannual arms fair in London’s docklands has been operating at a massive loss. The international trade exhibition organiser declared a consolidated loss of £22 million during 2014 following a £41 million loss the previous year.

DSEI is one of the world’s largest arms fairs, playing host to thousands of companies and government delegations from around the world. The fair sparked two weeks of protests, with campaigners attempting to disrupt the setting up of the fair by blocking the road to the exhibition centre and blocking trucks bringing weapons to the fair to display. Several protesters managed to bypass security and get inside the fair (see and ). breached Clarion’s cyber security and leaked documents containing commercial, logistical and security information intended for Clarion’s customers.

When Clarion bought DSEI from Reed Elsevier (now RELX Group) in 2008 it was new to the arms business. Its exhibition portfolio included the Baby Show, the Travel Show and the Spirit of Christmas fair. Since then, Clarion seems to have developed an appetite for arms fairs. It bought six more within the space of four years. In a clear statement of intent, Clarion has even become a member of the group, the industry body for the arms trade, and set up a special company called Clarion Defence and Security to manage their collection of arms fairs. It also organises the .

Clarion Events was bought by Providence Equity in January this year. The mainstream press that it was hard to find a buyer for Clarion because of its involvement in the arms trade. Providence will be hoping to see a turn around in Clarion’s finances. But this year’s anti-arms fair protests may have eaten into Clarion’s profits from DSEI.

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: “Clarion profits from an industry that thrives on war and conflict and has rightfully been a target for protest. If it was to fold or give up on DSEI then any prospective buyers would quickly find themselves facing the same opposition. Arms fairs are not just morally bankrupt, they’re also bad for your brand and bad for your business.”

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Arms fair’s cyber security breached

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Anarchists calling themselves the ‘Information Liberation Front’ (ILF) have to the website, which show that they were able to to company EZONE account on the DSEI arms fair’s website and register a at the fair. DSEI is one of the world’s biggest arms fairs and is taking place in London’s Docklands today. Hacking Team is a cyber surveillance company, which is exhibiting at the fair. Continue reading

Arms dealers appear in court accused of selling illegal torture equipment

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French arms dealers Magforce appeared at Thames Magistrates Court yesterday to answer charges that they and another company, Tianjin MyWay, sold illegal weapons at the DSEi arms fair last year in London.

Anti arms trade activists have brought the case against Magforce. Susannah Mengesha, the claimant, told Corporate Watch: “Today at the very court where we ourselves were due to stand trial for disrupting the arms fair, two international arms companies will finally begin to be held to account for their promotion of illegal torture weapons at DSEi.

This is a rare opportunity to confront the arms dealers for (some of) their actions on our own terms and for once in a forum of our own choosing.

We are absolutely clear that Magforce and Tianjin MyWay promoted illegal torture weapons at DSEi. It is also true that we oppose the sale for corporate profit of all machines designed to inflict torture and death more widely.

Whatever the outcome of this trial, there is nothing the court could do to undo the experiences of the victims of these despicable electro-shock weapons.

This case is just one aspect of a much wider struggle. The DSEi arms fair cannot be stopped by litigation alone. We must resist the arms fair on all fronts – in the courtroom, via public debate and on the streets.”

The two activists bringing the case had previously been on trial for public order offences during the protests against the 2013 DSEi arms fair. Their charges were dropped after they argued that their actions were justified due to the illegal activities of companies at the fair.

Magforce were represented by Ian Morley, a Queens Counsel from 23 Essex Street. The case is likely to be listed for a full trial later this year.