Part of this email was written to you from inside a body bag outside the Cutty Sark. We were there to get in the way of a lavish drinks reception, hosted by arms company BAE Systems to woo delegates to one of the world’s largest arms fairs.

Today, the DSEI arms fair officially opened in London, with the political and financial support of the UK government.

The government has invited military buyers from regimes with appalling human rights records to attend the arms fair and browse the weaponry on offer. These include 14 authoritarian regimes, six countries involved in conflict and four countries which the UK government itself identifies as having the most wide-ranging human rights concerns.

Saudi Arabia, one of the most authoritarian regimes in the world, currently using UK made war-planes in its attacks on Yemen, where it has been accused of possible war-crimes, is among the buyers.

Israel will be displaying weapons ‘battle-tested’ on Palestinians in Gaza, while Egypt has been invited to attend despite the appalling human rights abuses that have taken place under President Sisi’s rule.

Stopping the arms fair

For the last week, hundreds of people have taken part in a marathon of action to disrupt the set up of the arms fair and expose its deadly business.

The week of creative action made the links between the arms trade and roots of war, repression, the refugee crisis and climate change, with our big day of action on Saturday closing the arms fair for deliveries for five hours.

Hitting the headlines … and the bus stops…

Many people didn’t know that London hosts such a despicable event, but together we’ve pushed the arms fair into the news, achieving national coverage for arms promotion to repressive regimes, the links with the refugee crisis, arms sales to countries using child soldiers, and much more.

Some activists have even taken over London’s public transport with cheeky advertisements of their own.

Now we need to make sure it gets on the parliamentary agenda too.

We’ve got a great opportunity this week, as MP Ann Clwyd has secured a parliamentary debate on the implications for human rights of promoting arms sales. We need as many MPs as possible to attend.

Last week Green MP Caroline Lucas used Prime Minister’s questions to ask David Cameron to recognise the links between arms sales and the refugee crisis.

Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party also offers a huge opportunity, as he has consistently spoken out against UK arms sales to repressive regimes and against the arms fair.

Public opinion is clear: 70% of UK adults oppose the promotion of military exports to human rights abusers.

Please email your MP asking them to speak out against the arms fair.