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Release of the last activist who took part in the five days of action against Eurostatory, an arms fair set up close to Paris, France

Release of the last activist who took part in the five days of action against Eurostatory, an arms fair set up close to Paris, France.

Originally published by Désobéissants. Images by Désobéissants. Translated by Hambi Bleibt.

Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

Rodolphe is free! Here’s a report of the five days of action against Eurosatory, the arms fair that took place 11h to 15th of June in Villepinte (93) close to Paris, France.

Rodolphe was finally released after 48 hours in custody. He took direct action at the arms fair, aiming to disrupt the fair, in hope that a few contracts signed with a handful of dictators wishing to suppress their people would be postponed or even, put off!
The police accused Rodolphe for having smoke flares on him, and charged him with possession of explosives. In court, the prosecutor admitted that the case was ‘surreal’ and abandoned all charges against our comrade.

June 14th 2018: six non-vio!ent activists spot a hole in the fences surrounding the arms fair, specifically the area where weapons meant for export are exhibited every day. The activists muster the courage to take action: in front of hundreds of journalists specialised in the military and of weapons salespeople, the activists interrupt in a nonviolent manner a scene of war staged to promote the arms trade. Nice one!

action-300x200The six activists are taken into custody… and five of them released after 24 hours without all charges dropped. As for Rodolphe, he is charged with the possession of explosives and his detention is extended.
Faced with the risk of a political trial and the growing mobilisation of people demanding his release, as well as with the fear of prompting a media debate about the existence of an arms fair close to Paris, the prosecutor decides to abandon the charges. This will only encourage us to do more!

Several peaceful activists who participated in this action were mishandled by the cops when they were arrested, and will file a complaint to the IGPN (Inspector Géneral de la Police National – the Independent Office for Police Conduct). A law-enforcement officer even destroyed the phone of an activist to prevent the dissemination of a video showing the disproportionate amount of violence used by the cops. Taking these legal actions comes at a cost so a call-out for donations has been set up.

WHY TAKE ACTION AGAINST THE ARMS FAIR?

As boasted in the official advertisement for Eurosatory, the fair opens the door to every security and defence markets, enables weaponery professionals to meet and trade, gives access to all the new products and weapon systems, and showcases and other dynamic exhibitions of weapons.
Eurosatory is where 227 official delegations are ready to whip out their checkbook and drool over brand new electronic gadgets. Representatives of the armed forces from 94 countries also attend the arms fair to push their counterparts and journalists to promote and thereby foster the killing machine. In a nutshell it is the the global reference for supermarkets specialised in killing.

Fairgoers carefully avoid saying the word ‘war’, a synonym of mass scale destruction. At the same time, salespeople parade the weapons that have been used on the ground in Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Afghanistan or Irak. Whether the victims were civilians or military, whether they were men women or children.

Envoys from the countries categorised as ‘friends of France’, such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the USA and Israel, all attended the fair this year. No need to demonstrate here the responsibility of these countries in many armed conflicts around the world, from the Middle East to Africa.
Delegates of the Israeli company TAVOR were also exhibiting at the fair, despite their rifles being used by the Israel army to shoot on unarmed protestors and causing the death of a lot of civilian casualties including women, children and medical staff. In fact, Israel was one of the countries with the highest representation at the 2018 edition of the arms trade fair.

ACTIONS HAVE LASTED THE WHOLE FAIR!
A lot of activists took action this year to block or disrupt the killing trade in Villepinte. Even before the fair was set up, some activists did some adbusting closeby:

 

‘I turn myself against others and against the future’
‘Sell arms or nuclear fuck up lives and the planet’
‘Euro Statory 2018 – arm yourself with silence and silex!’

‘Eurosatory kills’

On the 1st day of the fair, activists gathered in numbers to disrupt the arrival of the fairgoers.

The next day, on the 12th of June, activists from collective Les Désobeissants (the ‘unruly’) and Hadama Traore of the movement LREEM (the Revolution on the Move [play on words with the French president Macron’s party La République en Marche, the Republic on the Move!]) condemned the selling of weapons in the heart of Villepinte, one of France’s hardest-hit departments socially and economically.

Hadam Traore criticises the French president’s discourse on the need to revitalise poorer areas like Villepinte. With the arms fair happening here, the department’s reputation can however only be damaged even more. Residents here have witnessed conflicts between neighbourhoods, causing many to be injured. Hadama Traoré condemns the media and national government for pointing fingers at the residents of Villepinte and criminalising them when businessmen in white collars walk out of the arms fair down the road, unscathed, making millions out of human misery.

We are of course intending to continue taking action against all the arms fairs taking place in France, as this country is one of the largest exporter of arms in the world.

We will be specifically targeting the arms fair at the Bourget (June 2019) that is aimed for the export of war aircraft, and the Milipol arms fair (November 2019) organised to sell material used in the USA for internal repression.

We will never give up
the team of the Désobéissants
get in touch: rémi (remi@desobeir.net)


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