18 August 2009
All aboard the CAAT bus to stop DSEi , close UKTI DSO
From 8-11 September, London's ExCel centre will host over 1,000 companies and 25,000 arms dealers at the London arms fair. They will be met by protests from Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) which calls for an end to the event and to the government support that makes it possible.
CAAT's main protest will take place on the opening day of the arms fair, Tuesday 8 September, in an action linking the east end with the west end.
CAAT supporters will rally at the ExCel centre at 11am, to protest at the opening of the arms fair, Defence Systems & Equipment International (DSEi).
Supporters will board CAAT's "special service" Routemaster buses at noon for an hour-long ride across London. The buses will travel from the Excel centre in Docklands to the centre of power in Westminster, displaying their anti-arms trade message to Londoners and tourists.
The buses will reach their destination, Kingsgate House in Victoria Street, Westminster, at around 1pm. Kingsgate House is the headquarters of the UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO), the government department that supports DSEi.
After disembarking, CAAT will hold its own "anti-arms fayre" on the pavements outside UKTI DSO to engage with passers-by and UKTI and other government staff. It will be a fun day with a serious message - stop DSEi, close UKTI DSO.
For a fuller listing of events before and during DSEI see: Join us
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. Around 80% of CAAT's funding comes from individual supporters' donations and CAAT is strictly nonviolent in all its work.
2. The rally on 8 September will take place at the western entrance of the ExCel centre near Tidal Basin Road. The "anti-arms fayre" will be outside Kingsgate House, 66-74 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6SW.
3. The London Arms Fair, Defence Systems & Equipment International (DSEi), has been held every two years since 2001 at the ExCel centre in Newham, east London. Since 2008, it has been owned and organised by Clarion Events. Every year there have been high-profile protests against it.
4.UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO) is the UK government body 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.
5. Of the 53 countries, plus the United Nations (UN), who have been invited by UKTI DSO to attend DSEi 2009, at least 15 have serious conflict and human rights concerns or urgent development needs. They are: Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam. CAAT obtained a full list of invitees after a Freedom of Information request.