Australia - arms fair cancelled because of strong public opposition


The anti-arms trade movement has an important victory to celebrate as a major arms fair due to begin on Remembrance Day in Adelaide, Australia, has been cancelled because of high levels of protest.

The arms fair was due to take place from 11th-13th November under the name Asia-Pacific Defence and Security Exhibition (APDSE). The Acting Premier of South Australia, Kevin Foley, announced its cancellation due to "the cost of security, the possible threats of violence" despite the fact that the group organising the campaign against the fair, OzPeace, is committed to nonviolence.

Organisers of the Asia-Pacific Defence and Security Exhibition made the decision after talks with the State Government and police over planned protest action against the three-day event.

Acting Premier Kevin Foley said about the cancellation that "the Government had full confidence in police to manage these feral anarchists that would be descending on Adelaide if the event, at the Convention Centre, had proceeded...However, the organisers had to take into account a number of factors, ranging from security issues as well as the level of support from the Defence Department," he said, also labelling the protesters feral low-lifes".

The APDSE – an armaments trade fair – was to be held from November 11-13. The fair was part of a concerted push by the State Government to sell South Australia to the rest of the world as a defence state.

Mr Foley said the decision should not be seen as a "victory" for the protest groups because the contacts with manufacturers made so far would be followed up. But clearly has been a mayor victory for the anti-arms trade activist by managing to get this arms fair cancelled. In this newsletter we have reported several times on arms fairs around the world and this victory should be an inspiration for other groups in the struggle to stop these deadly events.

Further information on the arms fair is not available as they even took down their own site from the internet.

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