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 & the Saudi dictatorship. BAE has sold equipment sells equipment to Saudi Arabia, which is being used in the current bombardment of Yemen. BAE supplied the tactical armoured vehicles, which were used by Saudi Arabia, in 2011, to brutally crush pro-democracy protests in Bahrain.
- BAE systems also 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 technological approaches to waging warfare that will be displayed.
There has been active opposition to DPRTE since 2013. The arms fair had previously originally been hosted at the UWE campus in Bristol, but was subsequently 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 been driven out of Bristol, DPTRE 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 come join the growing resistance in to Cardiff, to take action against this arms fair and all those taking part in it on Wednesday 16th March 2016. We know that when the rich make war, it’s the poor that die, and we won’t stand for business people profiting from racist mass murder death, displacement and torture.
Our website will be updated with news and information and we can be contacted by email at stopcardiffarmsfair at riseup.net.
Stop the Cardiff Arms Fair / Na i Ffair Arfau Caerdydd supported by Anarchist Action Network, Smash EDO, Campaign Against Arms Trade, South Wales Anarchists, Swansea Food not Bombs, Disarm DSEI, Stop The Arms Fair and Bristol Against Arms Trade.