Over 140 Protesters Arrested in London at Europe's Biggest Arms Show

September 12, 2003
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Government officials from around the world attended the arms exhibition in London to see military hardware showcased by some 950 companies. Meanwhile, civil rights campaigners won the right to challenge police use of anti-terror powers against protesters.

British police have arrested 144 people in London since September 1 in moves against protests at Europe’s biggest arms show.

Defense ministers and senior army officers from around the world attended the Defence Systems and Equipment International exhibition to see military hardware showcased by some 950 companies.

About half the exhibitors at the show were British firms, with 20 percent from the United States and the remainder from other NATO countries.

Six warships were docked alongside the show center and a Eurofighter Typhoon jet fighter and an Apache attack helicopter were displayed in the main hall.

Most of the arrests were under public order legislation, for offences such as blocking the highway and criminal damage. But police said at least two arrests this week had been under the 2000 Terrorism Act.

Civil rights campaigners won a full hearing at the High Court to challenge the use of anti-terrorism powers to stop and search protesters.

  • Joe Towler, of War on Capitalism speaking from a protest in London.