On March 28th 2017, the DPRTE arms fair will return to the Motopoint Arena in Cardiff for the third time. Join a day of action against the arms fair on 28 March, and show the arms industry there’s no welcome for it in Wales.
DPRTE brings together all parts of the arms industry, networking small companies with some of the world’s largest arms companies. Major arms dealers such as BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Boeing- whose weapons have been used to crush pro-democracy movements around the world, and to commit serious human rights abuses- will be coming to the Motorpoint Arena, looking for new business partners and suppliers for their deadly trade. As well as these major arms companies (or “prime contractors” in the language of the organisers), the UK Ministry of Defence will be there looking for suppliers, and the Department for International Trade (DIT) will be there to give advice and help on how to export weapons and other security services overseas.
According to its website, DPRTE (the Defence Procurement, Research, Technology and Exportability exhibition) is the “UK’s Premier Defence Procurement Event”. Since October 2014 the exhibition has been held annually at the Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, after activists chased it out of Bristol in 2013 following huge popular protests.
In 2016, huge protests and a successful day of action caused havoc for the DPRTE arms fair, forcing organisers to claim it “was not an arms fair”. However, with many of the UK’s biggest arms companies in attendance and the event geared towards “showcasing products and services” along all parts of the supply chain, it seems that’s just a difference of language: the event is designed to help arms industry networking in order to make business deals, and the effects of these deals are felt across the world as UK weaponry plays a leading role in conflicts which destroy homes, school and communities from Yemen to Gaza.
It’s time to show the arms industry there’s no welcome for it in Wales. Cardiff activists are holding a meeting on Monday 27th February to discuss opposition to the fair- and a day of action has been called for the 28th March to challenge the fair itself. If you’d like to get involved, here’s how:
- Join the Cymdeithas y Cymod/Fellowship of Reconciliation meeting at the Chapter Arts Centre in the Canton area of Cardiff at 7.00pm on Monday the 27th of February (in the downstairs meeting room) to plan action against the fair. The meeting is Welsh-speaking with English translation.
- Save the date for the Big Day of Action! Join the protests on Tuesday 28th march between 8.00 and 17.30 outside the main entrance of the Motorpoint Arena, Mary Ann Street, Cardiff, CF10 2EQ, and join and share the faebook event for the demo.
- Come to a special screening of Shadow World: Inside the global arms trade at the Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff on 17th March. There will be a panel discussion afterwards with activists involved in the campaign. Tickets can be booked online here. On Sunday 19th March activists will also be running a workshop to accompany the film at the Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, 2pm- 3pm. Al are welcome and the workshop is free.
- Write to the Motorpoint Arena and your local Cardiff councillors to ask them not to give DPRTE a home in Cardiff. Email motorpointarenacardiff.boxoffice(at)livenation*co*uk. You can also leave a comment on their Facebook page. Find contact details for your local councillor on the Cardiff council website here.
Want to get more involved? Email outreach(at)caat.org.uk to get directly in touch with the organisers!