Tag Archives: UK

Arms fair organiser operating at a massive loss

dse2

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.”

Continue reading

Arms fair’s cyber security breached

CPCV188WcAEC6y_

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

Solidarity campaigners plan demonstration at Elbit Systems

Friday 17th October 2014, 1-3pm Stop arming Israel – Demonstration at Elbit Systems in Shenstone

 Elbit-occupation-photo-1

During July and August 2014, 2,150 Palestinians were killed as Israel carried out another massacre of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza strip. Entire neightourhoods were destroyed and mosques, market places, UN relief compounds and schools were deliberately targeted. There was no safe place for the 1.7 million people in Gaza to take shelter from the Israeli bombardment.

Israeli unpiloted planes, known as drones, carried out over 800 major strikes. Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest military company, supplied many of the drones used by the Israeli military.

Continue reading

Arms dealers appear in court accused of selling illegal torture equipment

dsei

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.

Anti militarists launch private prosecution against arms companies

Anti-militarist campaigners have launched a private prosecution of two arms companies. A statement by the activists lawyers reads:

“Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors today confirmed that they have obtained a summons against two international arms companies – TIAJIN MYWAY INTERNATIOANL TRADING COMPANY and MAGFORCE INTERNATIONAL for promoting unlawful weapons at the DSEi Arms Fair in the Excel Centre in September 2013.

Evidence that both companies had promoted unlawful weapons emerged during the arms fair itself. This lead to companies being ejected from the fair and the relevant material being passed to authorities.1

HJA had written to the DPP, CPS, Revenue and Customs, the Met police, Vince Cable and the Attorney General2 to enquire about an investigation by the State and make representation that action should be taken against the companies – to date no substantive response has been received.

The arms companies were promoting stun guns/stun batons and leg restraints – all of which are classified as “Category A items” under the Export Order Act 2008 and should not have been promoted in the arms fair.”

The two activists 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. A statement from the activists reads:

“Following repeated attempts by our lawyers at disclosure regarding the nature and extent of the authorities’ investigation into breaches of law at the arms fair, most of our trial group’s criminal prosecutions were dropped. This week, we commenced our own private prosecution proceedings against the arms dealers.

We want to make clear that we are not merely opposed to ‘illegal’ weapons at the arms fair, we are against the arms fair full stop and everything it represents: the corruption, the human misery, and the profiteering by a narrow elite at the expense of people and planet. We see this private prosecution as a further step towards meeting our objective of discrediting and then stopping the DSEI arms fair for good.

Please support us in this campaign and spread this message.”

For more info see http://www.stopthearmsfair.org.uk

Resist the Drone Wars: Public meeting and discussion

Resist the drone wars page 1

dronesrj

Download a PDF of the flyer

*Resist drone wars: The impact of drone attacks on Gaza*

*When:* Monday 24 March, 7pm

*Where:* Friends House, 173-177 Euston Rd, NW1 2BJ

Public meeting and discussion

Drone attacks caused the most deaths during the Israeli attack on Gaza in 2012. Come and hear the stories of those at the receiving end of drone technology, taken from Corporate Watch‘s recent visit to Gaza.

Find out how to make sure that Israeli drone makers don’t profit any further from bloodshed in Gaza.

Mary Dobbing will talk about Drone Wars UK‘s newly published research into Israel’s production, use and proliferation of drones.

Plus practical planning about how we can resist the drone wars from here in London, led by London Palestine Action.

*”If they just knew for a second what a weapon can do, what it costs us, I think they would stop. I think they have no souls . When they look at the TV and see the news did they see the people killed by these drones, how did they feel? If they just came here for one night and heard the bombing and the planes and the drones – I don’t know what they would feel – I think they should come here and live our experience in war and they would understand.”* Ridda Abu Znaid, who watched as her sister and cousin were killed by an Israeli drone strike in the Gaza strip in 2009, speaking about the companies who manufacture drones

Organised by UK groups campaigning against drones

www.corporatewatch.org

www.dronewars.net

www.londonpalestineaction.tumblr.com

www.stopthearmsfair.org.uk

www.waronwant.org/

www.smashedo.org.uk

Cases dropped against arms fair campaigners

Blockade of the 2013 DSEi arms fair (Photo taken by Campaign against arms trade)

Blockade of the 2013 DSEi arms fair (Photo taken by Campaign against arms trade)

This week the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) discontinued a case against five activists charged with disrupting the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEi) arms fair. Here is a personal account from one of the defendants. Continue reading

Israeli Apartheid Week talk: University of Kent

Corporate Watch have recently visited Gaza to research Israeli drone
attacks. Drones were the weapon that caused the most deaths during the
Israeli attack on Gaza in 2012. But the Israeli drone industry is
profitable as well as deadly. Israeli arms companies, profiting from their experience gained by committing war crimes against the people of Gaza, have sold drone technology to 49 countries around the world. Israeli company Elbit are working with the UK government to develop a British drone. Come and hear the stories of those at the receiving end of of drone technology and find out how you can join the campaign to make sure Elbit don’t profit any further from the bloodshed they have caused in Gaza.

Workshop: Resisting Israel’s drone wars

As part of the Boycott Israel Network gathering http://www.boycottisraelnetwork.net/

 

Public Talk: Eyewitness reports from Gaza

Hear from 2 solidarity activists who recently travelled to Gaza to make new connections with people living under Israeli occupation and siege.

Hear eyewitness accounts of life under siege and how to act in solidarity with people in Gaza.