AT LEAST 25 Christian demonstrators have been arrested during a
series of protests outside one of the world's largest arms-fairs
They included seven activists who on Tuesday glued themselves
to-gether while kneeling in prayer and blocking one of the
entrances to the ExCeL Centre, in east London, which is hosting the
Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition.
The protest organisers said that the seven, who held up a banner
which read: "This is a dead end. There is another way," included a
trainee Methodist minister, and an Anglican ordinand.
On Sunday, three Anglican priests claimed that they were
harassed by police as they tried to lead prayers in the road
outside. The Metropolitan Police said that the confrontation led to
A spokesman for the protesters, which included members of the
anti-capitalist group Christianity Uncut, the Quakers, and the
Evangelical Christian network SPEAK, said that the arrested
demonstrators had refused to accept cautions, and had been bailed
pending charges of obstructing the highway and similar
One of those arrested on Tuesday, Chris Wood, a Quaker, said: "I
believe that it is our moral duty to prayerfully and peacefully
resist the evil transactions that take place at the London
arms-fair, where instruments of death are commodified."
The three priests involved in Sunday's action - an Honorary
Assistant Curate at Sunderland Minster, the Revd Christopher
Howson; the Assistant Curate of St Peter and St Paul, and of St
Mark's, Mansfield, the Revd Dr Keith Hebden; and an NSM in the
Bradgate Team Ministry, Leicester, the Revd Helen Hayes - said that
police had formed a close circle around the worshippers, and twice
threatened them with arrest if they did not leave.
Afterwards, Mr Howson, who had conducted an exorcism ceremony in
the road outside the exhibition centre, told the worshippers that
they had gathered to "call an end to the evil horrors of the arms
trade and to cast out the spirit of warfare and barbarism from this
"We remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the continuing global arms
race, the failure of the nuclear powers to observe their
obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the polluted earth,
the world governed by fear instead of justice, the futility of
deterrence, the waste of public money."