By Derek Wall
The Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign will be protesting against the DSEI arms fair in East London on Sunday 10th September. DSEI, one of the world’s largest arms fairs, will again descend on east London. The Stop the Arms Fair network have called a week of action at the venue to disrupt the setup of the arms fair. Arms are sold to such human rights abusing nations as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Israel. Turkey is a growing market for UK arms manufacturers and Turkish weapons are used to suppress and assault the Kurds.
Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) hosts 1,600 exhibitors selling everything from riot gear to machine guns. While May’s government subsidise this circus of brutality with tax payers’ money, arms dealers, military top brass, dictators and British government minister will mingle. Protesters under the umbrella of Stop the Arms Fair will be trying to close it down.
The increasingly dictatorial Turkish government has been assaulting Kurdish communities, razing cities to the ground, committing human rights abuses and even invading Northern Syria to attack Kurds. Thousands of Kurdish people have been murdered. Britain is a major arms supplier to Turkey. Prime Minister Theresa May travelled to Ankara in January to meet Erdogan who signed a £100m fighter jet contract. Despite human rights abuses Theresa May wants Britain to become Turkey’s main arms supplier.
Not only have Kurd communities in Turkey (North Kurdistan) been under assault but the Turkish military have invaded Afrin in Northern Syria, targeting the Kurds, who increasingly have proven to be the most successful opponents of the so-called Islamic State. While there has been an almost complete media blackout of the brutal war against the Kurds, even the British media have had to report about the fate of Joe Robinson. Joe, a former member of the British Army, travelled to Syria to fight against the so-called Islamic State. Going on holiday to Turkey he was arrested and could now face 16 years in prison, his crime in the eyes of Erdogan to support the mainly Kurdish YPG who fight against Daesh.
The Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign call on all those who oppose the war on Kurds to protest against the arms fair at the Day of action to Stop UK Arms Sales to Turkey.
Sunday September 10th: Meet at the Halkevi 31-33 Dalston Ln, London E8 3DF , 12 noon to travel together to the arms fair.
Or, meet us at the demonstration: 13:00–18:00 ExCeL London One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL London. Nearest Underground: Canning Town.
Organised by Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign, Kurdish Assembly London & Stop The Arms Fair
More details of Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign protest on Facebook here.