Christian peace campaigner arrested at arms fair

Christian peace activist, Chris Cole, 46, was arrested this morning (Monday 7 September) and charged with £2,000 of criminal damage following a protest at the UK Defence Conference, at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in central London, as part of the week-long Defence Systems Equipment International (DSEI)  arms fair.

Cole sprayed the words  ‘Build Peace not War Machines’ on the conference centre doors
and ‘arms trade = death’ on the steps.  He poured red paint as symbolic blood and wrote ‘stop this bloody business’.

Cole was later charged with ‘approximately £2,000 work of criminal damage’ and will appear at a plea hearing at Horseferry Road Magistrates Court on 17 September.  He is also excluded from within the M25 as part of bail conditions during the DSEI arms fair.

Cole said “Especially in a time of war,  we are called to resist the great lie that our security and well being lies in bigger and better weaponry. The truth is that only justice and love will in the end; bring real peace and real human security to our nation and the world as a whole.”

Earlier in the day, members of Christian peace organisations were planning to join campaigners against arms sales on the steps of St Martin-in-the-Fields Anglican church on the north-eastern corner of Trafalgar Square to support a woman who  was using her hour on the 'fourth plinth' to  protest against Britain's involvement in the international arms trade.

She said: "Never mind art - disarm the arms trade... The arms trade is big business and even in a time of global recession it is making plenty of money. War is a profitable business and it is supported by this government. Taxpayers' money is being used to help private companies sell arms to repressive regimes and conflict zones.

"Banks finance the sale of arms, including cluster munitions and depleted uranium, which kill and maim innocent civilians. All top five UK high street banks invest in, provide banking services for, and make loans to, arms companies. If you bank with Barclays, Halifax Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Lloyds TSB or Royal Bank of Scotland your money is directly supporting weapons production."

She concluded: "Doing nothing changes nothing - take action now against the arms trade - protest against the DSEi arms fair, the banks who are investing in the arms trade and the government who is using taxpayers money to support an industry that deals in death."

Share this story