Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, however much time you’ve got, you can help to tackle the arms fair today. The most important thing you can do is simply to speak out by telling someone about the fair and why you oppose it
DSEi, one of the world’s biggest arms fairs opens in London this morning (13 September). If you’re in London, it would be great if you could make it along to any of the protests. They include both lawful demonstrations and civil disobedience; some will be calm, others will be more energetic; some are organised by Christian groups, others by secular ones. Whatever your personality, there should be something for you. See http://www.stopthearmsfair.org.uk for a list of some of the actions.
If you’re unable to make it to the protests, you might want to email or phone your MP to ask him/her to speak out against the arms fair. You could protest and/or pray outside a local arms company.
You can also pray about the issue, asking God to strengthen those who are resisting the arms fair and turn the hearts of the arms dealers to repentance and love. We also need to ask God to forgive us all for our complicity in this evil trade, tolerating its presence in our midst.
But perhaps the most important thing you can do is simply to mention the arms fair to someone. The arms dealers are hoping for a successful event – and for them that means relatively little public or media scrutiny. The arms industry doesn’t rely on public support, but rather on a lack of public discussion.
So wherever you are today, mention the arms fair. Mention it to a friend or colleague, post a link on Facebook, talk about it in the pub. You can tell people that regimes such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have been invited to do arms deals in an area of London that was heavily affected by the blitz only 60 years ago. You can tell them that the government is using taxpayers’ money to subsidise a trade that provides only 1.5% of UK exports.
Speaking out. It’s the nonviolent activist’s first weapon.