The arms trade is a root cause of human suffering and environmental degradation. Quakers are working to end it.

The international trade in weapons allows a small minority to profit from the killing and suffering of others. As well as facilitating deadly conflict and the suppression of human rights, the arms trade has devastating long-term impacts on nature and creates further insecurity.

We work with others to challenge the morality of the trade as a whole and to shine a light on the unethical and sometimes illegal activities of the arms industry.


We have to take responsibility in our own countries for the trade in weapons, which will continue unless we intensify our actions against it... Let us picture where Jesus Christ would be in this matter...He would be there, he would be working with us, he would be arguing and doing everything in his power to ensure that this trade, which is totally immoral, was stopped as soon as possible.
- Jo Vallentine, Quaker faith & practice 29.09


Stopping the world's largest arms fair

Quakers in Britain are a founding member of Stop the Arms Fair, a coalition of groups opposing the Defence and Security Equipment International arms fair (DSEI) in East London every other year. We build resistance to the arms fair through protest, lobbying, witness, creativity and prayer.

In September 2019, the grassroots Quaker network Quaker Roots organised faith-led non-violent direct actions that disrupted preparations for the arms fair. The network organised 700 Quakers and allies in holding meetings for worship in the access road to the Excel Centre on No Faith in War Day, worshipping in solidarity with those who are victims of the international arms trade. Around 50 non-violent protesters, many of them Quaker, were arrested.

In 2021, Quakers returned to witness at the arms fair. Around 200 people gathered at a silent vigil in solidarity with victims of the arms trade. When half of them were refused entry to the vigil site by security, the vigil continued despite being divided by a fence.

Actions in 2023

In September 2023, the DSEI arms fair returns to London, and Quakers will once again join in resisting it.

  • Thursday 7 September is No Faith in War Day, where Quakers join other faiths in witnessing for peace during the arms fair set-up week. Quaker Roots will be holding Meetings for Worship over the course of the day, the main one being at 1pm.
  • On the afternoon of Monday 11 September, Quaker Roots are leading a walking vigil around the offices of arms companies in London.
  • On the opening eve of the arms fair, Monday 11 September, Quakers in Britain and Pax Christi will be holding a silent, candlelit vigil in solidarity with victims of the arms trade.
  • On the opening day, Tuesday 12 September (which is also Migration Justice Day) Quaker Roots will hold a Meeting for Worship.

A flyer (A5, double-sided), and poster (A4) outlining the main Quaker-led events at DSEI 2023 are available to download and print now.

For more information about the Quaker Roots events, and ways to get involved, visit their website or email For more information about the silent vigil email

Important: The law around protest has changed, please make sure you are informed. Visit the Green & Black Cross website for helpful information on the changes, your rights and how to stay safe at a protest. Green & Black Cross are also running a series of online and in person Know Your Rights training sessions in August.

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Further reading

  • Visit Quaker Roots to get involved in the group's latest events and actions.
  • Visit Stop the Arms Fair for resources and information about the DSEi arms fair and all UK arms fairs.

Our stories

After the arms fair: a Quaker reflects on conscience, arrest and privilege

3 October 2019

Bradford Quaker Rosie Horsley joined a day of faith-led action outside one of the world's biggest arms fairs. Here she shares what happened next.

Contact us

Peace Campaigns
020 7663 1185