On 2nd September 2017, Inminds human rights group carried out a guerrilla projection in the heart of London, on Marble Arch - the iconic landmark at the start of Oxford Street - Europe's busiest shopping street with its half a million daily visitors. The projection was to protest against the DSEI arms fair that is set to begin on 12th September, and kicks off a week of protests by many groups all united against the arms trade.
The Defence & Security Equipment International - DSEI is the worlds largest arms fair, it takes place in London every two years. This year they boast of featuring 1500 arms dealers from around the world peddling their killing machines, from guns to tanks to combat aircraft to warships. Their customers are military delegations from the worst human rights abusing regimes in the world.
Inminds chair Abbas Ali said "Its obscene that our city is set to host military delegations from genocidal regimes like Saudi Arabia who are looking to buy the latest, most efficient killing machines from 1500 merchants of death, including Israel's leading arms merchants selling 'tested in Gaza' guaranteed weapons, all competing to make a killing. And on top of that its our money as tax payers that is being used to bankroll this grotesque orgy of death. This is where wars start - with the acquisition of weapons. As Londoners its our duty to stop this happening in our city. We are here to say - not in our city, not in our name!"
Figures for the last 10 years show that the UK is the world's second largest arms dealer after the US, with two-thirds of its weapons being sold in the Middle East.
These include £4 billion worth of arms sales to Saudi Arabia in the last three years, including bombs, missiles and fighter jets - all used in Saudi Arabia's genocidal war against the people of Yemen.
Human Rights Watch have documented Saudi war crimes in air strikes targeting civilians at crowded markets, funerals, hospitals, schools and mosques. UN figures for Jan 2017 show over 10,000 Yemenis have been killed.
Yemen imports 90% of its foods, the Saudi land, air and sea siege of Yemen, enforced by arms, has resulted in mass starvation, with the UN reporting that 3.3 million Yemenis, including 2.1 million children, are suffering severe acute malnutrition. UNICEF reports that one Yemeni child dies every 10 minutes due to starvation and diarrhea.
With Saudi air strikes targeting Yemen's infrastructure, water and sanitation systems have collapsed - with no clean water available the UN reports the world's worst cholera outbreak with half a million cases, Oxfam reporting the epidemic is killing one person almost every hour.
UK arms sales also include £140m worth of arms to Israel in last 3 years, these include essential parts for Israel's killer drones which are used to "directly target" children in Gaza according to children's rights group Defence for Children International. In 2014 547 children were killed in 51 days, at least 164 of them as a result of drone fired missiles.
UK has also sold £27m worth of arms to the Bahraini dictatorship in the last 3 years. This includes machine guns used by the Bahraini security forces to mow down pro-democracy protestors.
Inminds chair Abbas Ali said "Its shameful how the UK is directly responsible for so much carnage and death throughout the middle-east due to its propping us of vile regimes with weapons of death. When these regimes are finally brought to book for their crimes at the Hague, Britain will also have to stand with them in the dock and answer for its role in those war crimes."