Civic-Minded Guerilla Artists Plaster London With Anti-War Posters

A major weapons convention has opened its doors in London today. More than 1,500 arms manufacturers will show off their wares at the biennial DSEI Arms Fair, to which 61 countries have also been invited.

In response, an artist collective called the Special Patrol Group (associated with Banksy's theme park Dismaland) is taking up anti-arms messages.

(Photo: Special Patrol Group via Twitter)

(Photo: Special Patrol Group via Twitter)

More than 300 posters from the group can be seen around London in subways and on bus stops, with various facts highlighting the extent of the UK's weapons dealerships with other countries from Israel to Saudi Arabia.

Although the weapons fair hasn't been heavily publicized, the government has invited some of the most deadly countries and regimes to buy some lethal arms.

(Photo: Special Patrol Group via Twitter)

(Photo: Special Patrol Group via Twitter)

One poster labeled "Important announcement" informs commuters with a chilling message:


"This September a swarm of arms dealers will be descending on the DLR [part of London's transit system]. Traveling to The ExCel Centre to attend DSEI, the world's biggest Arms Fair. These visitors will make huge amounts of money from weapons and equipment that kill people in wars all over the world.

"Your taxes help pay for it. Customers are requested to help stop the arms fair."


For its part, Amnesty International has taken out some public space and released a cheery and dissonant spoof video promoting the event.

This isn't the first time the Special Patrol Group has made headlines. Last year they replaced bus shelter advertisements with anti-police posters highlighting issues with the police in retaliation to the force's own propaganda posters.

(Photo: @_Jayenne via Twitter)

(Photo: @_Jayenne via Twitter)

The activists use special “Ad Space Hack Packs” to open the poster cases to then switch them out with their own. The packs cost £6 (less than $10) and can open "around a third of bus stop advertising spaces on the planet".

An act of activism or vandalism? Well, the artists will tell you the latter, but in the name of anti-arms, let the war wage on.

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