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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Mayday Mayhem For Police As Summer of Rage Continues!

The head of the march as it charged through the streets of Brighton

South Wales Anarchists joined up to 2000 people from around the UK in Brighton on May 4th for the largest demonstration to date against Brighton based ‘EDO/MBM’ bomb component factory, organised by Smash EDO.

The MayDay Mayday Street Party against war, the arms trade and capitalism was a lively and colourful march that started at Brighton’s sea front. It continued through the town and paid visits to a number of local branches of multi-national corporations, including McDonalds, RBS, HSBC and Lloyds which invest in ITT, the corporation which owns EDO.

Activists scaled scaffolding on Barclays bank to drop a banner demanding “arms dealers out of Brighton”. Police paid special attention to protect a branch of McDonalds which proved to be a flash point with a police van nearly being tipped over and a flare set off underneath it.

Mayday McMayhem outside a certain fast 'food' outlet that owns 61,500 shares in ITT

Mayday McMayhem outside a certain fast 'food' outlet that owns 61,500 shares in ITT

Compared with previous EDO demos, policing was relatively hands-off initially, without the automatic attempt by police to cordon every man, woman, child or dog in sight. However, batons and pepper spray were used on activists during the day as riot police attempted to control the march and activists successfully forced back mounted police a number of times. Of course, the police ‘Forward Intelligence Teams’ were present but were forced to retreat behind police lines as FIT- watching activists made their job of intrusively filming protestors more difficult.

A police officer attempts to de-escalate the situation...

A police officer attempts to de-escalate the situation...

It seemed that many activists had learnt from the G20 protests and refused to be drawn into long fights with the police. Activists instead found alternative routes and kept moving around the streets when unable to break through police lines quickly, outwitting the cops and leaving them stranded waiting for orders. At one point the cops themselves were ‘kettled’ (penned in) thanks to protestors’ quick thinking. The demonstrators’ refusal not to be kettled or subjected to violence by the police meant that officers were often surrounded and outflanked.

Towards the evening, as the march appeared to retire to the park by St. Peters church and just as riot police had storm-trooped away, the party took to the streets again taking us all by surprise! The streets were again re-claimed by activists and local young people, running through the streets of Brighton, through the Pavilion and back towards the beach for more partying.

Police on the back foot

Police on the back foot

Many felt that the police were on the back-foot at this time since the G20 protests and due to the associated bad press officers received for their tactics. While the police may have been aware of the public eye upon them and tried to behave themselves a bit more on this occasion, the fact is that the police continue to protect private corporations who profit from war and death; meeting resistance to this with violence and repression. While slightly less violent and oppressive policing may be an improvement, better still would be no police at all and the complete freedom to shut down EDO and all corporations who are responsible for the continuation of the bloody war machine.

SmashEDO film showing in Newport this Saturday

This Saturday 4th October members of the Smash EDO campaign will be coming to Newport, to promote the next upcoming SHUT ITT! mass demo. Their film On the Verge came to Newport and Cardiff in April, then in June South Wales Anarchists were present at the Carnival against the Arms Trade in Brighton. This time they will be showing Batons ‘n’ Bombs the story of what happened on what has been dubbed ‘Red Wednesday’.

The film showing will take place at 4pm at TJs, entry is free. Before the film showing at 2pm there is a protest against ID cards outside the Passport office. Afterwards there will be the second day of the No Border Fest, also at Tjs. Please come to all three.