Members of London Campaign Against Arms Trade (London CAAT) will be at the Baby Show in Earls Court this weekend to highlight the link between the event and the arms trade.
The owners of the Baby Show are Clarion Events, who also own the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI arms fair, a biennial event that takes place in east London. The most recent DSEI was in September of this year and saw countries such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia invited to buy the latest weapons
The link between the Baby Show and the arms trade will be unknown to most members of the public and London CAAT will endeavour to counter this with an eye catching and informative demonstration.
The Baby Show is sponsored by some of the UK's leading companies that retail to the baby market. London CAAT are disappointed that ethics seem to be of no concern to these companies. The sponsoring companies include Mothercare, Fisher-Price and Marks and Spencer. In 2008, one of the main sponsors, Bounty, did not exhibit at the show and Unicef pulled out of a deal with the show that would have seen it receive donations based on ticket sales.
London CAAT member Rhiannon Rees said:
“Clarion Events' organisation of the Baby Show alongside their continued involvement in the arms trade through their organisation of DSEI and other arms fairs is immoral and offensive. The death and injuries the weapons sold at DSEI cause to babies and people around the world makes them wholly inappropriate organisers of the Baby Show. Clarion should immediately sell their interest in DSEI and stick to organising family-friendly events”.
London CAAT will be at the show from 11am till 1pm on Sunday 30 October. The show takes place at Earls Court Exhibition Centre. Photos and a report can be provided on request.
For further information contact CAAT CAAT's media assistant Ian Pocock on 07535 992123 or email email Ian Pocock.
- 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.
- Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) works for the reduction and ultimate abolition of the international arms trade. The arms business has a devastating impact on human rights and society and damages economic development. Large-scale military procurement and arms exports only reinforce a militaristic approach to international problems Around 80% of CAAT's income is raised from individual supporters. Around 80% of CAAt's income is raised from individual supporters.
- Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) (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 from 13-16 Septemberin September 20119 - the next is scheduled for 13-16 September 2011 - the next is scheduled for September 2013. DSEI receives major financial, logistical and political support from the UK government, most notably through UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation. Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia were invited to DSEI 2011, the same year they carried out violence and oppression on their populations.
- 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 Christmas Fair.
- The day before the demonstration at the Baby Show, Saturday 29 October, will be CAAT's annual National Gathering with guest speaker Will Self, followed by CAAT "No Joke" comedy gig in the evening. The following day, Monday 31 October, will see workshops and demonstrations at the Dictator Debt Day of Action).