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Tank sprayed with red paint as protesters disrupt huge arms fair

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Tank sprayed with red paint as protesters disrupt huge arms fair

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  • No recession in the global arms trade
  • France to overtake Russia for second place
  • Middle East is the biggest market
  • Protesters disrupt trade show

Dozens of peace campaigners have disrupted the opening of a major arms exhibition in Paris.

Some managed to get inside, throwing red paint over a tank.

What is Eurosatory?

The protest took place on the first day of Eurosatory (in French), billed as the world’s largest international land and air-land defence and security trade show.

The expo:

  • features the latest land and air-land defence equipment from across the globe
  • involves 120 different countries
  • UN, EU and NATO also involved.

The arms industry

The global arms sales industry was worth 65 billion dollars in 2015, according to industry publication Jane’s Defence Weekly.

It is predicted the industry will continue to grow, with France soon overtaking Russia to take second place behind the US.

France has seen an increase in arms sales from 36 to 55 billion dollars between 2014 and 2015.

  • 65 countries analysed for global arms exports
  • France jumps from 4th to 2nd place – overtaking Russia.
  • Germany goes from 5th to 3rd place
  • UK drops one place to 6th

The main importers are:

  • Saudi Arabia – 1st position (9.3 bn dollars)
  • India – 2nd (4.3 bn)
  • Australia – 3rd (2.3 bn)
  • Egypt – 4th (2.2 bn)
  • South Korea – 5th (2.18 bn)

    What about the protesters?

A handful of demonstrators gathered outside the venue in Paris.

Some managed to get inside.

They threw fake red paint and yellow powder on a French Leclerc tank and an armoured vehicle.

In protest as what they say is an overly-armed world, they formed a human chain and called for peace and an end to arms production.

What they are saying

“It is important for me, because I work in conflict areas where I see the problems of armaments, I see the problems of false security. Security is important, I understand that. People need to feel secure but there are other ways of working and I work a lot with refugees who have suffered because of armaments, things that are being sold here. So I do know that there are alternatives,” said Christopher Hatton, a member of the “Stop Fuelling War” campaign.

“2015 was a record year. The global defence industry has never seen growth like that between 2014 and 2015,” – Ben Moores, Senior Analyst at IHS-Jane’s.

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