Baby Show ExCel Centre London 2009


What do babies and arms sales have in common? Surprisingly, Clarion Events who organise the Baby Show also own and organise Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEi), the world's largest arms fair, scheduled for September 2009 in London.

Over the weekend anti-arms trade protesters demonstrated outside London's ExCel Centre, venue for both exhibitions. The protest was both against Clarion and the ExCel Centre for agreeing to host the event.

East London Against the Arms Fair (ELAAF) took the lead on Saturday 28 February with a musical protest. Around 30 campaigners from ELAAF, London Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), Disarm DSEi, Tower Hamlets CND, Croydon CND, London Catholic Worker, Trident Ploughshares, the Big Red Band and a separate jazz combo combined to make music together.

Members of the public were leafleted and serenaded with music from the Big Red Band and the jazz combo, accompanied by singing with appropriately modified lyrics by other protesters.

The peaceful demonstrators received extra attention from ExCel security, who tried to move them to the walkway from the station to the far side of the forecourt. Most refused to move. The police were eventually called, but after talking to the protest co-ordinator, the armed officers departed without taking further action.

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