Why these strange weapons posters have started appearing in London

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Tuesday 15 September 2015 10:00
news

The Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) trade fair boasts more than 1,500 exhibitors from 121 different countries - and the UK is a major player on the scene.

But the arms fair, which is currently taking place in London, was not listed on the ExCel arena's website, so anarchist protesters have decided to do some advertising on its behalf.

Since Monday posters created by some of Dismaland's artists and the Special Patrol protest group have appeared all over London's Tube and bus network urging commuters to put a stop to the arms fair going on in their midst:

Disguised as Transport for London (Tfl) engineering works announcements, the posters warn that customers travelling on the Docklands Light Railway should look out for "swarms of arms dealers" aided by UK taxpayers and is signed off by "Warlords of London".

Gavin Grindon, the curator of Dismaland's 'museum of cruel designs', told London24 that using the dystopian themepark's arms trade art to protest against the DSEI fair was “a natural progression”.

Earlier this year, the UK was found to have supplied £5.2bn worth of arms exports licences to countries internationally recognised as guilty of major human rights violations, including Syria, Saudi Arabia, Libya, China, Yemen and Russia.

The Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) estimates that the total value of UK weapons export licenses since 2014 to be £8,282,044,966 - and counting.

A spokesperson for TfL told i100.co.uk that the posters are "an act of vandalism which we take extremely seriously. We have instructed our contractor to remove any found on our network.”

The DSEI fair is running from 15th - 18th September.

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