Baby Show organisers have a dirty record on arms sales

20 February 2009

Clarion Events, organisers of the forthcoming Baby Show at London's ExCeL Centre, are enthusiastic promoters of the trade in deadly weapons. Supporters of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) will be there to inform Baby Show visitors of Clarion's dirty business record.

Clarion held its last Baby Show in London in October 2008. Publicity around Clarion's arms trade involvement resulted in the withdrawal of lead sponsor Bounty and UNICEF UK's refusal to accept donations from ticket sales. Many exhibitors expressed their disgust at Clarion's unethical business and said that they would not participate in future Clarion exhibitions.

Clarion bought three arms fairs, including London-based Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEI), from publisher Reed Elsevier in May 2008. It has since acquired two more arms fairs. The ExCeL Centre in London's docklands also hosts DSEI, which has attracted massive protests. The next DSEI is scheduled for September 2009.

Campaigners against the arms trade will be at the ExCeL Centre on Saturday, 28 February, and Sunday, 1 March. They will be using irony and humour to get a serious message across to visitors: weapons sales promote conflict and human rights abuse.

CAAT spokesperson Kaye Stearman said:

“Clarion Events seems not to see the irony of holding a baby show one month and an arms fair the next. To Clarion, business is business. It doesn't care whether it promotes baby goods to new parents or deadly weapons to abusive regimes. But today businesses are more aware of the need for ethical business practices. As long as Clarion is involved in the arms business, it will never be a reputable company.”

ENDS

Notes

1. The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) works for the reduction and ultimate abolition of the international arms trade. CAAT is strictly nonviolent in all its work.

2. The Baby Show will take place at the ExCeL Centre London from 27 February-1 March 2009. Further details of anti-arms trade protests will be available closer to the day.

3. In May 2008, Clarion Events bought three arms fairs from Reed Elsevier. Reed sold the fairs following a campaign co-ordinated by CAAT. Writers and medical professionals who contributed to Reed's publications had backed the campaign while Reed shareholders had sold their shares in protest. Clarion bought two more arms fairs in September 2008.

4. When Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEI) last took place, in September 2007, governments invited to attend included regimes with extremely poor human rights records, including Libya, China, Colombia and Saudi Arabia.

For further information or an interview please contact CAAT's Media Coordinator Kaye Stearman on 020 7281 0297 or mobile 07990 673 232 or email media(at)caat·org·uk.

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