Camden’s Green Party leader arrested at arms protest

The Campaign Against Arms Trade is protesting against the DSEI arms fair

The Campaign Against Arms Trade is protesting against the DSEI arms fair - Credit: Archant

The chairman of Camden’s Green Party is due to appear in court after being arrested during a demonstration against the arms trade.

Tom Franklin, pictured on the Camden Green Party website

Tom Franklin, pictured on the Camden Green Party website - Credit: Archant

Tom Franklin, of Elsworthy Road, Primrose Hill, will appear before Thames Magistrates charged with obstructing the highway during the protest against a major arms industry exhibition in East London last Thursday.

The 56-year-old says he was detained for four hours at Leyton Police Station before being released on bail.

He is accused of attempting to stop the delivery of a tank to the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) fair at the Excel Centre.

It is alleged that the protesters sat down in the road in front of the delivery truck.

He is due to appear in court on October 9

In a statement issued by the Camden Green Party, Mr Franklin said he was taking part in a peaceful protest and denied any wrongdoing.

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He said: “We were kept hand-cuffed for over an hour, detained at Leyton Police Station and prevented from returning to the conference or any other protest.

“The DSEI is selling death and misery, and as we can see in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and many other places the weapons sold at the fair are used to kill thousands, and create millions of refugees. The authorities are complicit in enabling this by preventing us from protesting against it.”

The DSEI arms fair which takes place at the ExCel every two years, attracts around 30,000 visitors and about 1,500 companies from across the world showcasing their products.

A spokesman for DSEI said: “DSEI fully respects the rights of all individuals and groups to engage in lawful protest, and we have always accommodated a number of such groups that wish to make their views known to our attendees in a peaceful manner - this year is no different.”

The arms fair takes place between September 15 and 18.

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