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Liverpool convention centre

Liverpool convention centre, Photo: El Pollock / cropped from original / licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0, linked at bottom of article

Hundreds mounted yet another protest against the arms fair on Merseyside on Tuesday. Alan Milne reports. 

Despite weeks of fierce opposition the Liverpool arms fair opened on Tuesday in the city that gave the world ‘All you Need is Love’ and ‘Give Peace a Chance’

The arms fair being held over the next two days has brought shame on Liverpool. It will host over 80 companies that produce deadly weapons being used across the world including in Gaza and Yemen.

Even though the event is going ahead it did not prevent a demonstration assembling at 7am to send a very clear message to exhibitors and attendees at the exhibition centre that this event is not welcome in Liverpool – a city with a proud tradition of peace, socialism and solidarity. Counterfire members joined other socialists, peace activists, faith groups, greens, Labour members and many more with some travelling from Wales last night to join the early start. 

The response from the rush hour traffic demonstrated the outrage felt by the people of the city that Liverpool City Council allowed this to go ahead at a venue that they own. A fire engine horn provided a particularly loud message of solidarity. Even a serious issue like this was provided with typically Liverpudlian chants such as ‘Make scouse not war!’ As usual the fantastic Liverpool Socialist Singers kept everyone’s spirits up.

The protests will continue for the duration of the fair but a special mention should made of the members of ‘Palestinian Action’ who have braved the wind and rain of the waterfront to climb the exhibition centre to stage a roof top protest which is still going on. Not for those with a fear of heights!

It may be happening but the people of Liverpool have made their opposition very clear and left the council and other ‘leaders’ in no doubt that this must never happen again.

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