A day of prayer will be held on 8 September before one of the world’s largest arms fairs opens in London, as part of a week of activities organised by the Campaign Against Arms Trade, within the Stop the Arms Fair coalition.
The day, aimed at drawing attention to the destruction and waste created by the arms trade and praying for less militarised and more peaceful and creative societies, will be held shortly before the Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) event opens its doors at the Excel Centre.
Rev. Hazel Barkham, a retired URC minister and peace activist in the Network of Christian Peace Organisations, said, ‘The DSEI arms fair in London enables countries with poor human rights records to buy deadly weapons which can be turned against their own people or against neighbouring countries.
‘The day of prayer is an opportunity to reflect with our faith communities on peace and hope for an end to conflict; to raise awareness about the devastating arms trade; and to engage with others in action to challenge the arms fair’.
At the previous DSEI in 2011, the year of the Arab Spring, military delegations turned out in force to purchase weaponry. This year’s event includes a special ‘drones day’ on 9 September. The DSEI receives major financial and political support from the UK government.