On Trial: Letter of support

November 11, 2013

In September 2013 thousands of people took action against the DSEI arms fair and it faced daily direct action. Thirty faced arrest when they placed their bodies in the way of the arms fair’s deadly business. Some have already been cautioned, or issued with fines. Others are set to go to court on 4th November, and plan to put the arms fair on trial!

This letter of support for the protesters on trial was published in the Guardian on 1 November 2013.

In September, a group of activists (mainly women) took action to stop the DSEI arms fair at the Excel centre in London. They are being taken to court and charged for peaceful actions such as blocking military equipment from entering the arms fair. 

But where is the wrong? Inside the arms fair, governments, military and private delegates were encouraged to spend on the latest military wares. Those who attended are fuelling murder, torture, and conflict across the world. They were not questioned, searched or arrested during their time in London, even though many of the attendees were from countries our own government identifies as having “the most serious wide-ranging human rights concerns.” 

We, the undersigned, support the activists who have stood up for peace and human rights and we support the right to strongly oppose and challenge the arms trade. The activists being charged, and taken to court on the 4th of November for trying to stop this illegitimate trade, should be congratulated not convicted.

  • Caroline Lucas MP
  • Elfyn Llwyd MP
  • Linda Riordan MP
  • Mark Thomas
  • Michael Mansfield QC
  • Owen Jones
  • Peter Kennard
  • Peter Tatchell
  • Will Self
  • Algeria Solidarity Campaign
  • Bahrain Center for Human Rights
  • Bahrain Watch
  • Campaign Against Arms Trade
  • Colombia Solidarity Campaign
  • CND Non Violent Resistance Network
  • Disarm DSEI
  • East London Against Arms Fairs
  • Smash EDO
  • Action AWE
  • Anti-Raids Network
  • Bristol Solfed
  • Calderdale Solidarity Federation
  • Fitwatch
  • Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
  • Jewish Socialists Group
  • London Green Party
  • Luddites200
  • Netpol
  • Newham Monitoring Project
  • Newcastle Palestine Solidarity Campaign
  • Palestine Solidarity Campaign
  • Platform London
  • Redbridge TUC
  • James O’Nions, Red Pepper
  • Reforest the Earth
  • South London Antifascists
  • South London Solfed
  • Stop G4S
  • Stop G8
  • Thames Valley Solidarity Federation
  • The Tower Hamlets and Jenin Friendship Association
  • Trident Ploughshares
  • Women in Black London
  • World Development Movement
  • Emily Johns, Co-editor, Peace News
  • John Hilary, Director of War on Want
  • Dr. Stuart White, Jesus College, Oxford
  • Sam Hollick, Oxford City CouncillorGlyn Robbins, Chair of United East End
  • Shelley Sacks, Professor of Social Sculpture, Oxford Brookes University
  • Dr Rebecca E Johnson, Executive Director, Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy
  • Angie Zelter
  • Julia Oyster
  • Deborah Glass-Woodin
  • Bethan Tichborne
  • Helen Swanston
  • Rupert Eris
  • Tiggy Sagar
  • Valerie Cochrane
  • Philippa Cochrane
  • Kevin Meany
  • Jo Rowlands

Read the protesters’ statementsend your own message of support and come to court on 4th November to show your solidarity!

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