Arrested for saying 'no' to the arms fair
As truckloads of equipment arrive in London at the world's largest arms fair, Quakers are peacefully protesting with faith groups to say 'no' to the arms trade and 'no' to profiteering from war.
UPDATE: Eight Quakers were arrested on Tuesday during the 'No faith in war day'.
Groups of Quakers are travelling from across Britain to support a week of nonviolent, prayerful action at the Defence and Security Equipment International arms fair (DSEi) in East London. There will be meetings for worship and silent, candle-lit vigils, in solidarity with victims of the arms trade.
Britain surely cannot promote peace and democracy, and London cannot be a city of peace, if it is where repression and torture begin and if it is where the seeds of war are sown.- Sam Walton, Quakers in Britain
Quakers are working to end the arms trade because of the devastating impact it has on peace, security and human rights across the world. Large-scale military procurement and arms exports only reinforce a militaristic approach to international problems.
Sam Walton, Peace and Disarmament programme manager for Quakers in Britain explains, "DSEi happens once every two years at ExCeL – the huge exhibition centre in London Docklands. Every two years, protesters witness representatives from governments involved with internal repression, torture and human rights abuses attending DSEi in order to ensure supplies for those deeply unacceptable practices. Britain surely cannot promote peace and democracy, and London cannot be a city of peace, if it is where repression and torture begin and if it is where the seeds of war are sown."
Quakers in Britain are founding members of Stop the Arms Fair (offsite link): a coalition of groups opposing DSEi in East London. The aim is to build resistance to the arms fair through protest, lobbying, witness, creativity and prayer.