"Babies not bombs" say arms trade campaigners

15 February 2011

London Campaign Against Arms Trade (London CAAT) and East London Against Arms Fairs (ELAAF) members will be descending on this weekend's Baby Show to highlight the show's links with the arms trade.

The owners of this show are Clarion Events who also own the Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair, a biennial event that takes place in east London, where countries with dubious human rights records are invited to buy the latest weapons. They also own six other arms fairs.

Most visitors won't know of the link between the the Baby Show and the arms trade. London CAAT aims to inform them of this link.

London CAAT member Sarah Reader said:

The involvement of Clarion Events in the arms trade is deplorable. They should immediately sell their portfolio of arms fairs as well as stopping their role in the organisation of the DSEI arms fair. Organising a family-friendly event such as the Baby Show is grossly incompatible with running an arms fair.

An ELAAF spokesperson added:

ELAAF members have been protesting against the arms fair since it came to our area in 2001 and we will continue to do so until it is cancelled. We do not want such a destructive and harmful event on our doorstep and the fact that Clarion Events also run shows for babies and their parents is particularly offensive.

ELAAF will be at the show from 2pm-5pm on Saturday 19 February. London CAAT will be there from 11am-1pm on Sunday 20 February. The Baby Show takes place at the ExCeL exhibition centre in Docklands.

For further information contact CAAT CAAT's media assistant Ian Pocock on 07535 992123 or email email Ian Pocock.

Notes

1. London CAAT was established in late 2006 to peacefully protest against local elements of the arms trade. They have targeted a number of Clarion Events since they purchased the DSEI arms fair.

2. East London Against Arms Fairs (ELAAF) was established when the DSEI arms fair came to ExCeL in 2001. They hold regular musical protests asking for its cancellation.

3. Defence and Security Equipment International (formerly Defence Systems and Equipment International), or DSEI, is one of the world's biggest arms fairs and has been held in the ExCeL centre in East London's Docklands since 1999. The most recent DSEI arms fair took place in September 2009 - the next is scheduled for 13-16 September 2011. DSEI receives major financial, logistical and political support from the UK government, most notably through UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation. Columbia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were invited to DSEI 2009, the same year they appeared on the list of countries of concern in the Foreign Office's annual report on Human Rights.

4. Clarion Events brought DSEI and two other arms fair in May 2008. They have since brought a number of other arms fairs and have joined the Defence Manufacturers Association. Further information on arms fairs is on CAAT website. Clarion Events also run a wide range of events such as the Baby Show and the Spirit of Summer Fair.

ENDS

Page created 15 February 2011
 
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