Malvern activists have renewed their calls for the Three Counties Showground to abandon the controversial 'arms fair' after yesterday's protest.

Local group Three Counties Campaign Against Arms Trade (3CCAAT) were joined by dozens of other national peace and environmental activists to protest in opposition of the Defence and Security Expo (3CDSE).

Protestors blocked entrances to the fair by using seated, tall wooden structures, while others laid across the ground wrapped in sleeping bags and silver foil. 

Malvern Gazette:

Demonstrators also turned out in their droves to display picket signs with slogans such as 'Arms Dealers - Malvern's shame' strewn across them.

Malvern Gazette: Protestors held picket signs up at passing cars.Protestors held picket signs up at passing cars.

This marked more than 18 months of campaigning by local people against what they call an arms fair, including an open letter supported by 40 organisations and local leaders, a petition signed by thousands, and over 400 personal letters to the Showground.

Rebecca Tully, co-ordinator for 3CCAAT, said: "We always planned to make sure that all delegates knew what locals think of this event.

"They should be using their considerable skills and investment to tackle the real security threats of our time.

"To the Showground our message has been clear for over 18 months – our three counties all need ground-breaking agriculture to support farms and food into the future, not a trade that fuels oppression and warfare.

"Is this event - against their charitable aims - really worth such a lot of local opposition?

"The local paper reported a delegate declaring that this is not an arms fair, and that all conversation at last night's expo dinner was about renewable energy.

"I hope that this means that next year the Showground will host an expo in renewable energy with the same delegates attending!"

Peace Pledge Union were just one of the many national groups who had travelled to support other Malvern members in the protest.

Their campains manager, Symon Hill, said: "We laid white poppies at the war memorial to remember victims of war and the arms trade. 

"It seemed appropriate for the time of year, but also because what is going on at the arms fair is probably adding to the number of people we need to remember.

"We've been working for many decades to promote non-violent alternatives to war and to challenge the notion that the armed force is a solution to the world's problems.

"I think we've seen in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria that violence has fantastically failed to solve problems.

"And at something like the Malvern arms fair you've got companies such as BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin who arm some of the most vicious reigemes in the world, like Saudi Arabia.

"They're there sponsoring the event, promoting their products and networking with potential customers."

You can read more about how yesterday's events unfolded by reading our live article on the protest.