Commuters in Cardiff were surprised to find adverts for an arms fair on bus stops across the city on Wednesday morning. Activists put up alternative posters across the capital to protest against the controversial DPRTE arms fair, which took place in Cardiff on Wednesday 16 March. The posters were spotted around the city centre and the Motorpoint Arena, which hosts the arms fair.
Earlier in the week, Cardiff-based street artist Colour Doomed had revealed his most recent piece “Hold Those Accountable” which also criticised the DPRTE arms fair. In the mural, the suit-wearing arms dealer is seen being held up by a larger character, on the arms dealer’s bag ‘BAE’ is written, and loads of cash falling out of his pockets. BAE systems, are one of the exhibitors at the DPRTE arms fair, they are the world’s 3rd largest arms producer and have a very special relationship with the UK government & Saudi dictatorship.
Stop The Cardifff Arms Fair organised a resistance to the DPRTE arms fair, and on Wednesday 16th March around 150 people turned up at 8:30am to show the arms dealers they were not welcome in Cardiff.
An update from Stop Cardiff Arms Fair’s facebook stated;
“Yesterday 6 people were arrested in total, including the 2 people who occupied the roof. South Wales Police once again showed their violent behavior, and it is incredibly shameful that our tax money is used to protect those murderers inside the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff.
To the venue, you should know we will continue building this movement throughout the year in Cardiff, and if you choose to host DPRTE again, we will be back bigger and better. The campaign this year has grown, many different individuals and groups turned up. You were chased out of Bristol, and you will be chased out of Cardiff too. That is a promise.Thanks to Campaign Against Arms Trade and Stop The Arms Fair for their support, this movement is growing. Wherever you go after Cardiff, we will be there too.
Thanks to everyone that turned up for the demo. It was great to stand in solidarity, shouting at the arms dealers and hopefully at least making them feel a bit embarrassed as they went in. Some of them hung their heads in shame, others assured us of how comfortable they slept at night in their lovely beds, bought through blood money. They are complicit in murder, and play a part in the arms trade, they need to face up to this!
The campaign was very creative this year, it was great to see costumes, live music, free food from Food Not Bombs Cardiff, rooftop occupation, interactive protests on the pavement, mural by Colour Doomed, bus stop subversions and everything else! Nice one everyone, let’s continue to build this movement against the suit-wearing arms dealers and the arms trade. These are the people who profit from war, whilst creating refugees and killing civilians.”