Anti-arms fair campaign underway - four months before event arrives in the Royal Docks

PUBLISHED: 17:18 13 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:18 13 May 2019

Demonstrators outside the DSEI arms fair at ExCeL in 2017. Picture: Ken Mears.

Demonstrators outside the DSEI arms fair at ExCeL in 2017. Picture: Ken Mears.

Ken Mears

The arms fair Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) is returning to the ExCeL Centre in the Royal Docks in September and the campaign against it has already begun.

A petition to stop the fair, which sees wares like rockets, armour and guns paraded for international buyers, has already received more than 1,800 signatures.

One of the comments on the page reads: "Newham residents caught selling or in possession of weapons face long prison sentences.

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"Arms dealers in ExCeL who sell weapons that will kill tens or thousands of people receive pay rises and bonuses for doing the same. This hypocrisy has to stop."

DSEI is one of the world's biggest arms fairs and is held every two years. As regularly as it arrives, protesters come to meet it.

At the last fair in 2017, more than 100 people were arrested in anti-war protests.

A spokesman for DSEI said: "DSEI serves only the legitimate defence and security industry and we respect the right to peaceful protest."

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