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UK: Week long protests begins with calls to ‘Stop Arming Israel’ 

UK protests were held outside branches of HSBC bank over shares in an Israeli arms company accused of manufacturing internationally banned weapons [Manchester Palestine Action]
Activists come together to protest outside branches of HSBC bank over shares in an Israeli arms company accused of manufacturing internationally banned weapons [Manchester Palestine Action]

“Stop Arming Israel” is the first of seven campaigns planned this week against one of the largest arms fairs in the world which opens in London today. Known as the Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition (DSEI), the arms expo arrives at the Excel centre in Docklands every two years.

This is where those who profit from war, repression and injustice do business. This is where we can stop them

say campaign groups organising a series of protests in the coming weeks.

More than 1,000 arms companies are expected to set up shop, marketing their wares to more than 30,000 attendees from around the world.

Protests kicked off today with the campaign “Stop Arming Israel”. Organisers say that DSEI “will host a specially designated area for Israel’s arms companies to display their weapons – weapons which are marketed as ‘combat-proven’ i.e. weapons that have been tested and used to devastate and destroy Palestinian communities.”

READ: To win the battle against war: target the suppliers

Organisers assert that the arms industry is one of the major enablers of Israel’s human rights abuse against the Palestinians. “Israel’s brutal military occupation of Palestine is a grave and shocking injustice. Yet is only made possible through international support: from governments and from the many international corporations that profit from the occupation,” say the protestors.

They have urged the British public to join the protest. Several performances, speakers and activities have been arranged until 6pm.

Protests are set to continue with campaign groups focusing on different themes including demonstrations against nuclear weapons.

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