9 July 2009
Clarion buys yet another arms exhibition - Counter Terror Expo
Clarion Events, organisers of the forthcoming arms fair at London's ExCel Centre, have acquired yet another weapons-related exhibition. On 2 July, Clarion announced that it had bought sinister-sounding Counter Terror Expo from Niche Events.
Counter Terror Expo is a new event, launched earlier this year. It claims to showcase "the latest in specialist security technologies, products and solutions which form a crucial part of counter terror capabilities internationally", offering "a forum for senior buyers and specifiers to see the latest solutions which will assist in the prevention of, protection from and pursuit of terrorists globally".
Counter Terror 2009 had over 130 exhibitor companies, including well-known arms and internal security companies. To add a veneer of academic respectability, the exhibition was linked to a "high level conference with 75 specialist speakers", including representatives from government, police, industry, academia and media. Counter Terror 2009 claimed to have attracted 4,000 visitors from government, military, law enforcement, intelligence and the private sector.
Counter Terror Expo joins Clarion's so-called "defence and security" exhibitions, including three bought as part of the package from Reed-Elsevier in 2008. DSEi, the world's largest arms fair, will be held at London's ExCel centre from 8-11 September.
Meanwhile, Clarion continues to acquire new consumer exhibitions in its ever-expanding empire. In May it announced the launch of Garden Expo 2010 for gardening and related suppliers. This is added to its current portfolio which includes the Baby Show, the Travel Show and the Spirit of Christmas - all consumer and trade shows.
CAAT spokesperson Kaye Stearman said:
I wonder how many of the keen gardeners and garden suppliers who are likely to flock to Garden Expo realise that Clarion Events also owns arms fairs. CAAT will be highlighting Clarion's unethical record in the lead-up to the arms fair in September and organising a peaceful protest.
For further comment please contact CAAT's Press Co-ordinator on 020 7281 0297 or 07990 673 232 or email press(at)caat·org·uk.
1. Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) works for the reduction and ultimate abolition of the international arms trade together with progressive demilitarisation within arms producing countries. 80% of CAAT's funding comes from individual supporters' donations and CAAT is strictly nonviolent in all its work.
2. Defence Systems & Equipment International (DSEi) has been held every two years since 2001 at the ExCel centre in Newham, east London. This year it is scheduled to run 8-11 September 2009. Every year there have been high-profile protests against it.
3. DSEi was formerly owned by academic publishers Reed Elsevier. CAAT co-ordinated a campaign to persuade Reed Elsevier to drop DSEi. Writers and medical professionals who contributed to Reed's publications backed the campaign and Reed shareholders had sold their shares in protest. In June 2007 Reed Elsevier finally yielded to public pressure and announced it would sell DSE.
4. In May 2008, Clarion Events, a private equity company, bought three arms fairs, including DSEi, from Reed Elsevier. Clarion bought two more arms fairs in September 2008 and Counter Terror Expo in July 2009.
5. 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, such as Libya, China, Colombia and Saudi Arabia.
6. DSEi is made possible by support given by United Kingdom Trade & Investment's Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO), a government department that provides support for arms companies in their export-related activities. This includes promoting weapons sales worldwide, including to countries in conflict and regimes with a documented record of human rights abuse.
7. In November 2008 CAAT launched its UKTI: Armed & Dangerous campaign with a demonstration outside UKTI's headquarters in London. The demonstration aimed to inform UKTI staff about the new DSO unit and asked them whether they were aware that UKTI was involved in arms dealing. CAAT has since launched a petition and postcard campaign, to enable members of the public to directly inform Andrew Cahn, UKTI Chief Executive, of their concerns.