Call to Action Against the Cardiff Arms Fair

Come to Cardiff on the 16th of March 2016 to take action against the DPRTE arms fair at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena.

motorpoint

According to its website, DPRTE (the Defense Procurement, Research, Technology and Exportability exhibition) is the “UK’s Premier Defense Procurement Event” and is now being hosted annually at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena. They hosted the arms fair in Cardiff for the first time in October 2014, with exhibitors including BAE Systems, the world’s 3rd largest arms producer. BAE has a very special relationship with the UK government & Saudi dictatorship.

*BAE sells equipment to Saudi Arabia, which is being used in the current bombardment of Yemen.

*BAE supplied the tactica armored vehicles, used by Saudi Arabia, in 2011, to brutally crush pro-democracy protests in Bahrain.

*BAE systems supplies Israel with the tools to wage war on the Palestinians, and provides display units used to equip Israeli F-16 fighter jets.

*BAE is one of many companies at DPTRE which supplies weapons to Turkey. In 2015, people in towns across Turkey’s Kurdish region have barricaded their city centers and declared autonomy from the state. The Turkish army has responded by attacking residential areas with tanks, combat helicopters and mortars, killing hundreds of people.

BAE are just one of over 80 exhibitors set to participate in the arms fair. Some are giants of the international arms industry that might be expected; others have a more local dimension, including the Welsh Assembly’s National Procurement Service and the University of South Wales. Household business names like BT and Panasonic are also all over the programme. It seems that a lot of people stand to make a lot of blood money out of the various weapons and other technological approaches to waging warfare that will be displayed.

There has been active opposition to DPRTE since 2013. The arms fair had originally been hosted at the UWE campus in Bristol, but was driven out by determined resistance; hence the move to Cardiff. The protests involved a variety of actions, including blockading the UWE north entrance, causing queues trailing back along the A4174.

Having relocated to Cardiff in 2014, South Wales Anarchists, Stop NATO Cymru and other groups and individuals resolved to show the arms dealers that there is no welcome for them in Wales either. Food Not Bombs Cardiff had a presence; people confronted the arms dealers and tried to get inside; and three arms dealers were covered in red paint as they tried to enter. Those arrested for this action had their charges dropped when it came to trial, due to insufficient evidence.

We urge all that can to join the growing resistance in Cardiff, and in particular, to take action against this arms fair and all those taking part in it on wednesday 16th March 2016. We know that when the richmake war, it’s the poor that die, and we won’t stand for business people profiting from racist mass murder, displacement and torture.

Our website will be updated with news and information and you can contact us by email on: stopcardiffarmsfair at riseup dot net

Stop the Cardiff Arms Fair / Na i Ffair Arfau Caerdydd suppourted by the Anarchist Action Network, Smash EDO, Campaign Against the Arms Trade and South Wales Anarchists

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They won! Anti-Militarist Court Solidarity

On the 6th of January 2015 two local people stood trial, accused of disrupting last year’s Defence Procurement, Research, Technology & Exportability (DPRTE) Arms Fair, now an annual occurrence in Cardiff.

The defendants were accused of throwing red paint at delegates entering the fair, damaging their luxury goods worth hundreds of hundreds of pounds. They were charged with Criminal Damage and breach of s.4A of the Public Order Act (“Causing harassment, alarm or distress with intent”). They were advised that the prosecution would be seeking custodial sentences.

The defendants sought to run separate, distinct defenses. The first was to put forward a factual defense that the police had grabbed him and wrestled him to the ground for no reason. The second defendant contended that they had been acting out of necessity in an attempt to prevent war crimes based on the arms fair’s various links to Israel and the horrific attacks against Gaza that took place over the summer, in the context of the continuing oppression of the Palestinian people.

Before the trial started some 30 supporters gathered outside Cardiff Magistrates court for a solidarity demonstration with the two defendants. Several groups came out to support, including Food not Bombs Cardiff, Anarchist Action Network, Afed Bristol, Cor Cochion Caerdydd, Bristol Defendant Solidarity, Bristol Against the Arms Trade, disarmUWE as well as South Wales Anarchists.

Outside Cardiff Magistrates Court before the Trial

Outside Cardiff Magistrates Court before the Trial

Throughout the day defendants and their supporters were followed and surveiled by Police Liaison Officers, who largely failed in their documented intelligence gathering role since all attendees wisely declined to engage with them from the outset.

Court proceedings were delayed for hours as there was no prosecutor – the Crown Prosecution Service was called and the prosecutor who had been appointed to the case said he knew nothing about it. A replacement prosecutor was then speeded to the court.

As the arms dealers and lay prosecution witnesses had also failed to turn up, the prosecution sought to amend the charge to Criminal Damage of the arresting officer’s uniform. One of the police witnesses had claimed paint damage to his uniform – which surely, if it had occurred, would have been the result of manhandling and grabbing the defendants when they were arrested. The District Judge said that this was “moving the goalposts” considerably and that Criminal Damage by paint transfer during an arrest when the police grabbed the defendants would be “ludicrous”.

After lunch the CPS informed us that it would drop all charges. The many supporters in the public gallery broke out into applause and the judge scolded them saying “this is NOT a football stadium!”.

Outside Cardiff Motorpoint Arena

Outside Cardiff Motorpoint Arena

The DPRTE arms fair will be returning to Cardiff Motorpoint Arena on the 8th of March 2016. To flog their machines of torture and death. The people of Cardiff and beyond stand ready to oppose them and we ask that you will join us.

For more info on how to get involved with the campaign against DPRTE arms fair, email: stopnatocymru@riseup.net

Anti Militarist Court Solidarity – 6th January

Via Anarchist Action Network

No arms

6th Jan 2015
Time: 9:15am
Date: Tuesday 6th January 2015
Location: Cardiff Magistrates Court
Address: Fitzalan Road, Cardiff CF24 0RZ

Court solidarity demonstration to support two much-loved people who are facing excessively harsh charges for allegedly seeking to disrupt the DPRTE arms fair in Cardiff last year. They stand accused of damaging the luxury goods of arms dealers and organisers with childrens play paint.

There will be a short solidarity demonstration outside the court from 9:15am on Tuesday 6th January 2015. Antimilitarist banners and well-wishers welcome. Afterwards some of us will be supporting the defendants from the public gallery.

URGENT WITNESS APPEAL:
***********************
Were you present at the protest against DPRTE Arms Fair at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena in October 2014? Even if you think you didn’t see anything you may be able to provide useful defence evidence as to the nature of the day.
If you think you may be able to help please email: bristoldefendantsolidarity@riseup.net

 

Opposing the DPRTE arms fair in Cardiff

On the 8th of October, DPRTE – “The UK’s Premier Defence Procurement Event” was held in Cardiff’s Motorpoint arena. A demonstration had been called by Stop NATO Cymru, Anarchist Action Network and South Wales Anarchists to oppose it, starting at 8.30am to coincide with the start of delegate registration, when the those buying and selling weapons and toys of war would be entering the arms fair.

Several times people managed to get very close to the entrance before being kicked out by security, giving the delegates a piece of their mind in the process. At around 9am 3 men in suits entering the arms fair were covered in red paint. Two people were arrested and subsequently kept for 12 hours. They were both charged with criminal damage for staining the suits.

dprte

Food not Bombs Cardiff gave vegan breakfasts to passers by and the demonstrators. Food not bombs are a group who draw attention to food waste, and also the absurd fact that under capitalism we can afford to go to war but yet so many are going hungry and in many parts of the world people are starving to death.

FNB

The arms industry benefits from perpetual war that has become the norm. Arms dealers make money from the deaths of innocent people. They came to Cardiff, a city that had a small taste of what it is to be in a militarized zone with the NATO Conference coming to south Wales just a month ago. If DPRTE come back next year people will be there to oppose them again. We don’t want these dangerous psychopaths in our city, buying and selling weapons that kill people.

Protesters continued to have a frank exchange of views with delegates at the fair for the remainder of the day.

dprte2

Newport Action Centre presents: The People’s Kitchen

Tomorrow (28th Sept.) the newly squatted Newport Action Centre (89 Lower Dock St, Pill, NP20 2AH) will open its doors to all for the first time at 11am.index
The Newport People’s Kitchen will serve a free vegan meal to anyone from 12noon to 2pm, with people more than welcome to stay for the whole day, enjoy free tea and coffee, browse the radical library and free shop, or just chat.
There will be a meeting of South Wales Anarchists at 5pm to discuss things like court solidarity and the forthcoming arms fair in Cardiff.
At 7pm there will be a film showing to wind down at the end of the day.
We will not charge for anything on the day, but welcome donations (both financial and material) to help us run the space and make the People’s Kitchen a regular event.
Our wish-list includes: chairs, books, cutlery and feel free to bring any other items you may think are useful to us.
Hope to see you there tomorrow.

Love and rage x

Callout to Demonstrate against 2014 DPRTE Arms Fair.

8.30 am at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena. Wednesday, the 8th of October

“When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

def proc

On the 8th of October Cardiff will host one of the UK’s biggest arms fairs at the Motorpoint Arena. Let’s show them what we think of their dirty business! We call on people from south Wales and beyond to come and picket outside the arena that day from the time they open for registration at 8.30 am.

DPRTE this year will be attended by some of the UK’s biggest arms companies, as their exhibitor list shows. They also host a conference, with keynote speakers from industry and government.

The arms fair was previously held in Bristol, but was forced out by protests.

We hope to see you there. If you would like to be a legal observer contact us at stopnatocymru@riseup.net . You can also contact us by that email address for any additional information regarding the demonstration