Hats off to the hundreds of folk who have been working hard to shutdown 'Defence and Security Equipment international' (DSEi) the worlds biggest arms fare, being held this week at the Excel centre in the docklands. I was able to join in for the first few days of protests and it was a privilege to mix with such a diverse and determined group of people.
This arms fare has been particularly repugnant due to the number of oppressive regimes invited to the event, especially ones still involved in repressing the Arab Spring (Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain)
Even worse, has been the desperate attempts to sell the new UAV's (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or 'drones'), inflicting death to civilians at an alarming rate from control desks on the other side of the world.
I have so many tales to tell, from gaining entrance to Excel after saying I was there to perform the official exorcism, to being part of some extraordinarily brave actions to block the entrances to the event.
I even managed to get myself ejected from the National Gallery in protest at the meal they put on for senior arms dealers. Eventually, SERCO (nasty, nasty privateer company) even banned me from using the DLR, (Docklands Light Railway) though I never once blocked the way of passengers on the actual stations.
So many stories, watch the blog site in the coming weeks, but now is the time to say: DSEI is still on! If you can get down there in the next few days, be brave, sit down in the road, sing peace songs, do all you can to say to our government: control arms sales, don't gratuitously promote sales no matter what the human cost.
The Arms trade is not normal, in the words of CAAT (Campaign Against The Arms Trade) 'THIS IS NOT OK!' Make your voices heard.