The Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair is at the ExCeL Centre in London again this year. And so are opponents of the arms trade. Their struggle is the focus of this week’s newsletter.
Stop the arms trade!
On the first day of protests, action focused on the role the arms trade plays in perpetuating the Israeli state’s subjugation of the Palestinian people.
On day two, campaigners turned to Afghanistan. They stressed that one of the only things US militarism achieved there was to line the pockets of arms dealers.
The following day, campaigners highlighted the need to get the arms trade out of Britain’s education system. They also sought to stop military equipment getting into the arms fair.
On day four, the focus was to oppose racism. And on that day, police aggression towards peaceful campaigners increased.
Police hostility continued the following day, when campaigners focused on the link between the arms trade and the global climate crisis.
On day six, cultural resistance came to the forefront.
If @ACCLiverpool plan to host the worlds biggest arms dealers, they’re going to get drenched. If they don’t cancel the Liverpool arms fair, then we’ll shut it down for them. #StopArmsFairLpool #ShutElbitDown pic.twitter.com/WjcZ3BsL4N
— Palestine Action (@Pal_action) September 11, 2021
This week also saw the anniversary of the 11 September 1973 fascist coup in Chile. And the UK government couldn’t let that pass without welcoming the current Chilean president (amid protests against his abysmal human rights record).
Another opportunity to reflect on the horrors of terrorism was the 20th anniversary of the 11 September attacks in the US. And following the Taliban’s recent takeover of Afghanistan, the abject failure of Washington’s ‘war on terror’ is particularly apparent right now.
On a lighter note, 11 September also marked 50 years since Mexico’s Avándaro rock festival (the local version of Woodstock). This countercultural event took place during dark years of authoritarian oppression. Fast-forwarding to 2021, years of committed campaigning have contributed to Mexico becoming “the first country in North America to ban animal testing for cosmetics” and to its supreme court insisting that treating abortion as a crime is unconstitutional.
TimeToRise is Phoenix Media Co-op’s regular newsletter about what’s new in the struggle for a better world, from the UK and beyond. Please get in contact with us if there are actions and/or events you’d like us to include in future TimeToRise newsletters.