Anti-war protesters confront arms fair delegates outside ExCeL Centre at Royal Victoria Dock
- Credit: Archant
Pockets of-anti war campaigners greeted delegates arriving at this year’s arms fair at the ExCeL exhibition centre in Royal Victoria Dock.
Some were visible on the DLR where they spoke to visitors who are attending the Defence and Security Equipment International event, which opened yesterday (Sep 10).
One group of protestors staged a sit down at the west entrance to ExCeL by gluing their hands to each other. This meant that TfL staff and British Transport police were forced to redirect thousands of delegates to use another exit which soon became clogged up.
One of the protestors, Joanna, said their aim was to make people living the area aware of what is going on inside ExCeL.
Another group of protestors took up position at the entrance to Custom House DLR station where they sang songs and held banners.
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Among them was Chris Howson, a Church of England priest from the north
east. He said: “Our aim is really to highlight the fact that fairs like these are fuelling the wars of tomorrow with the weapons of today. We are here to pray for peace because most people have no idea that they are selling weapons that can be used to kill women and children.”
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DSEI is a biennial exhibition of military hardware which attracts tens of thousands from across the world. As many as 1,500 exhibitors are attending this year’s event which gives them an opportunity to showcase their military hardware to members of the armed forces.
Allowing them the chance to get into the venue was the job of the police, officers from British Transport police and TfL staff all of whom were out in force across the area’s transport network.
DSEI is due to last until September 13.