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    About 70 People Arrested in UK During Protests Against Major Arms Fair - NGO

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    Around 70 people have been arrested during week-long protests in London aimed at stopping Europe's biggest arms fair, Andrew Smith, a spokesman for the London-based Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), told Sputnik on Saturday.

    LONDON (Sputnik) — The protesters rallied against the biennial Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) fair that is set for next week.

    "The police have been very arrest-happy so far. They're pouring massive resources into stopping this peaceful protest, which is significantly concerning considering all we're doing is opposing an event where weapons are being sold to human rights abusing governments," Smith said.

    ​CAAT and other groups consider that the fair is aimed at hosting weapons sales to governments known for extensive human rights abuses.

    ​​​Over 30,000 individuals are expected to attend the event, including representatives of nations with dubious human rights records, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia. In the latter case, protesters are eager to stress Riyadh's use of UK-manufactured weapons in the ongoing conflict in Yemen, something they maintain has contributed to extensive civilian deaths and violations of international humanitarian law.

    In addition, notable speakers at the fair will include both UK's Secretary of State of Defence Michael Fallon and Secretary for International Trade Liam Fox.

    Thousands have thus far opposed DSEI's planned use of the ExCel's Centre in London's docklands, at times attempting to block deliveries of supplies to prevent the arms fair going ahead. Police responded with over 25 arrests within 48 hours, also detaining several activists attempting to disrupt vehicle access by abseiling from an overhead bridge.

    The DSEI arms fair will take place on September 12-15 in London. Over 1,600 suppliers from companies from across the world are expected to attend the fair.

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    arrests, protests, fair, arms, United Kingdom, London
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