2 September 2009
"Never mind art - disarm the arms trade!" proclaims Fourth Plinther
A young woman "living sculpture" will use her slot on Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth to highlight the immense damage done by the international arms trade. Quinnie, who will be on the plinth on 7 September, will use her moment in the limelight to focus on the London arms fair, which starts the following day.
During Quinnie's hour on the plinth, supporters from Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) will mobilise via a flashmob at Trafalgar Square, to echo Quinnie's stand and to inform spectators about the arms fair and the UK's role in the international arms trade.
Quinnie, who hails from the north-east of England, says:
Never mind art - disarm the arms trade! Just down the road from the Fourth Plinth the world's largest arms trade fair - Defence Systems & Equipment International (DSEi) - will take place between 8-11 September at the ExCel centre in East London.
The arms trade is big business and even in a time of global recession the arms trade is making plenty of profit. War is a profitable business and it is supported by this government. Taxpayers' money is being used to help private companies sell arms to repressive regimes and conflict zones. Doing nothing changes nothing - take action now against the arms trade.
Sarah Waldron, core campaigner at CAAT, says:
One and other is described as a "representation of humanity", so it will be really great to see Quinnie on the fourth plinth highlighting the way DSEi helps to fuel conflict. Like Quinnie, CAAT is especially concerned about government support for the arms trade, through United Kingdom Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO), which supports and promotes arms exports. It's a great start to a week of protest against the arms fair.
For a full 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. One and other is the project of sculptor Antony Gormley who is asking the people of the UK to occupy the empty Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, space normally reserved for statues of kings and generals, in an image of themselves and a representation of humanity. Participants are chosen by lot and represent all areas of the UK. Quinnie will be on the plinth for one hour on the morning of 7 September. To read her statement see: http://www.oneandother.co.uk/participants/Quinnie
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. This year, there will be over 1,000 exhibitors and 25,000 arms brokers are expected to attend.
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. CAAT will be protesting against DSEi throughout the week, with the main protest on the opening day of 8 September, when a rally at the ExCel Centre will be followed by a ride across London on Routemaster buses displaying anti-arms trade messages to Londoners and tourists. The buses will stop outside the headquarters of UKTI DSO in Westminister where campaigners will hold an "anti-arms fayre" on the pavement. For more information see: Join us