On the first morning of the arms fare in the Docklands, a group of us tried to obstruct the main bridge entrance to Excel. We sang peace songs and tried to engage with the delegates. Most just kept their heads down, and tried to ignore us. One though, was keen to talk.
"War is normal" he said in a plummy accent "Just like death, and birth. War is a perfectly normal part of life"
He smiled, he meant it from the bottom of his soul. War is normal. And for this reason, it is perfectly possible to justify the actions of 25,000 men (very few women) in suits going about the 'normal' business of buying and selling arms.
The smell of money was palpable. This is big, big business. The wealth that comes along with the arms trade is formidable. It must be intoxicating to those who want it.
But war is not normal. Most people, most normal people do not want war. Throughout history, war has been the tool of the few. The few who desire more land than they need, the few who desire more wealth and power than they need. War is the opposite of normal - it is sick and the product of greed and cruelty. In the powerful words of the CAAT slogan "This is not OK!"