THERE’S GOVERNMENT SPONSORED ARMS DEALING IN MY NEIGHBOURHOOD – Reports from the DSEi Arms Fair 2013

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It’s that time of the year again when arms dealers flood my neighbourhood and weapons are sold right on my doorstep. I’m not talking about local criminals and gangs here though, I’m talking about the government subsidized DSEI Arms Fair, which comes to the ExCel centre in London (host to the Olympics but a year ago now) every two years, and is widely considered to be the largest arms fair in the world.

Having followed the anti-war protest movement for the past ten years, I have been to this arms fair before, when, in 2011, John Rees, the CEO of Aerospace, Space and Defense, told me that Britain holds around 30% of the global arms export market, calling it the ‘jewel in the crown of the British economy’.

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THE WAR ON SYRIA IS A WAR OF THE WORLD

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War or no War is the question being raised again in world politics; should we bomb Syria or not, did the Government use chemical weapons or not? The world leaders know who sells the chemical weapons and who buys them but we still asking these daft questions? We are isolating Syria but Syria is not an alien country from planet Warzone, this is a country on Earth with people like you and me. In the past ten years there have been wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali, and Egypt, to name just a few, and soon Syria will join this seemingly endless cycle of wars. Start listing all the wars in the world and ask yourself why did these wars start and who benefits and who loses.

As I followed over five thousand peace protesters on Saturday 28th August in London, shouting at the US and UK government to get their hands off Syria, I begin to realise that I have been here before, many times. The protesters who were representing a cross section of society had seen the dangers clearly, and are warning their politicians to stop war mongering and seek a diplomatic solution to resolve the conflict.

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G8 Summit – Protest Report

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As the news of potential violence during this years G8 summit floods the mainstream media, I begin to think whether I should really go there to film. If the news is anything to go by – prison camps made specifically for protesters, £50 million spent on policing – this is going to be a violent and dangerous place to be, but I soon realize when only around 1500 people show up, that these security measures are a very successful deterrent for your average protestor, to which I almost succumbed myself.

Upon arriving at the little picturesque village of Enniskillen on the edge of Belfast, it seems impossible that any violence could occur here, but when interviewing the locals, I soon discover about its history of religious conflict, which clearly haunts the people there. As we stand there watching a local African dancer performing in the square, this feels like one people united, and I am filled with positivity for the day.

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War Matters Poetry – Raging Fire

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Raging Fire

There is fire glowing in the heath
The mellows brewing in the hide
Failing to flush the vicious breath
Raging beneath the tortured tide

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War Matters Poetry – Lost Dream

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I dream of unity
In a life of peace
The realm of light

I dream of Justice
In the path of righteousness
The stream of clarity

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DIRTY WARS: 15th Feb Anti-War March 10 Years On

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February the 15th 2003 is a day we should commemorate. It is the day when we, the British population, came to realize that the world of Western democracy is not how we perceived it.

My name is Chester Yang, the director of War Matters, a new documentary chronicling 10 years of anti-war resistance in the city of London. I’m a British Citizen who grew up under several gangster dictatorships in Sierra Leone, Africa, while the country was ravaged by civil war. Growing up, I experienced some of the worst atrocities of a civil war that crippled the nation and left it open for exploitation. With some of the richest minerals, iron ore, and marine resources in the world, Sierra Leone’s deposits are now owned by British companies, companies that rarely deliver their social responsibilities to the local communities, pay taxes, or give dividends to the country.

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