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Palestine activists launch ‘football and hip hop blockades’ against global arms fair

  • Military equipment already blocked from entering arms fair. Gets latest pics at @LondonPalestine

  • Israel to host a National Pavilion at London’s upcoming DSEI arms fair

  • Faithless DJ Dave Randall and Palestinian hip hop group Katiba 5 perform as part of creative action to block the set up to the arms fair

  • UK has licensed £140 million worth of weaponry to Israel since the deadly ‘Protective Edge’ attacks in 2014

Military equipment has already been blocked from entering arms fair. Gets latest pics at @LondonPalestine.

Palestine solidarity activists are planning to use mass football games and live music to prevent deliveries of weapons for display at one of the world’s biggest arms fairs.

As new figures from Campaign Against Arms Trade [1] reveal that the UK has licensed £140 million worth of weaponry to Israel since the deadly attacks on Gaza in 2014, Israeli arms companies are preparing to showcase their “battle tested” weaponry at the arms fair.

Launching a week of action with a Stop Arming Israel day on September 4th from 10am until 8.30pm, organisers London Palestine Action expect hundreds to join a series of direct actions and workshops designed to prevent the set-up of the biennial Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair in Custom House, East London.

A mobile stage will host a DJ set by Faithless member Dave Randall, Palestinian hip hop artists from Katiba 5, punk queen Efa Supertramp and the live debut of Some F*cking People, the band which recently covered Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ to critical acclaim.

mass football game will take place with ‘massive balls’, aiming to ‘use the beautiful game against ugly apartheid’. A mobile representation of Israel’s apartheid wall is also ready to form up at short notice.

Leila White, a spokesperson for London Palestine Action said: Our day of action focuses on the UK-Israeli arms trade, but the whole week will see us protest against militarisation, and for the collective liberation of all peoples enduring apartheid, occupation and the unaccountability of governments around the world, which should stop arming regimes – of which Israel is a key example - immediately.

Oliver Feeley-Sprague, Amnesty International UK’s programme director for military, security and police, said:

DSEI make it its business to put arms manufacturers and governments with horrendous human rights records in the same room.
"Countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel have used weapons, including those made in the UK, in attacks on innocent civilians in Yemen and Palestine, causing untold amounts of death and destruction.
“Shockingly, in recent years even banned and illegal weapons such as cluster bombs and torture equipment have been advertised as available for sale at DSEI.
“It’s hardly surprising London mayor 
Sadiq Khan has called for this arms fair to be scrapped.”

As Israel showcases its deadly weaponry in East London, it will simultaneously attempt to deflect attention with a cultural-propaganda festival 'TLVinLDN'. The Roundhouse, Cadogan Hall and The Coronet will hold events attempting to present a prettier face to occupation and apartheid.

Leila continued: "Israeli government sponsored events show perfectly why we call for both a two-way arms embargo and a cultural boycott of Israel until it complies with international law in relation to Palestinian rights".

/Ends

Contact:

London Palestine Action 07815977106 @londonpalestine

 

Notes for editors

[1] Figures cover the period September 2014 - March 2017.

Data available at:

www.caat.org.uk/resources/export-licences/licence?region=Israel

 

Full programme of events on September 4th

10.00 Arrive! ‘Why are we here? An introduction to the issues & groups present.’

11.00 Workshop: Social cleansing and colonialism: Custom House to Palestine

11.30 Workshop: Learn to dabke (Palestinian dance)

12.30 Picnic Lunch

13.30 Workshop: Banner making

15.00 'Why are we here?’ An introduction to the issues & groups present.

15.30 People’s Tribunal

16.00 Workshop: Intro to Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions

16:45 ‘Israel arming the world’ – IJAN (International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network)

17.00 Discussion: Why Cultural Boycott?

18.00 FOOTBALL GAME!

 

19.00-20.30 Live music and DJs featuring…Dave Randall (Faithless), Katiba 5, Some F*cking People & Efa Thomas



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