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 when i first came across this, i assumed it was a spoof
 - but to make sure, i emailed COPEX (using the address below)
 and asked if they minded me using it on my humour page
 - i didn't get an answer, so who knows.... ??

 "Dispatches", the uk tv program referred to, showed an undercover
 reporter making the appropriate contacts at COPEX and later
 taking part in arrangements to purchase electric shock equipment
 for use in aiding security forces conduct their interregations

 apparently the world is under threat from the Quakers, an
 international terrorist group funded by the Russian mafia, who will
 stop at nothing to disrupt COPEX's peace-loving activities

 you don't believe me? well, read on!

>We are aware that the protest industry is maintaining its interest in the
>COPEX exhibition. This stems largely from the Channel 4 "Dispatches"
>programme screened 2 years ago which scurrilously attempted to suggest that
>the COPEX exhibition was in someway involved in the evasion of export
>controls and the supply of torture equipment to certain regimes with bad
>human rights records. You may be aware that we resisted these innuendos
>rigorously and have continued to do so.
>The UK National Peace Council is the umbrella organisation under which all
>legitimate protests are conducted within the UK. The NPC unreservedly
>apologised and paid damages to COPEX for any problem it may have caused by
>repeating these allegation and advised its members who had been taken in by
>the mis-information in the "Dispatches" programme to apologise for their
>actions also.
>The situation we have now is as follows:
>The "Protestors" are hardened political activists, well trained and funded
>and looking to cause as much confrontation with authority as possible on
>the one-hand and inflict as much economic damage as possible on the other
>hand. This is economic terrorism and ranges from banking, cosmetics to
>defence; in fact any object of economic activity that can be destabilised
>will suit their purpose.
>Our protest groups are funded and supported by the Quaker religious
>movement (Society of Friends) and they run their cell structure through the
>network of Friends Meeting Houses across the UK, Europe & the world.
>Increasingly their funding and training is attracting support from Russian
>organised crime which uses the protest industry as a protection racket
>enforcer to exert power on commercial organisations and force politicians
>to tow their line as in the TERN (Trans European Road Network) project.
>The MoD is well aware of the growing attention of this quasi "protest"
>industry and the effect of this on UK businesses and has issued certain
>guidelines to observe when dealing with these people. We feel it may be
>useful to pass these on to you should you be contacted by any protest group
>in the course of your business activity.
>Rule 1 - Do not engage in dialogue of any sort. If you feel duty bound to
>respond to any accusation you should make the following points:
>Quote from DESO Newsletter:
>"* HMG policy is to support the sale of defence equipment overseas wherever
>this is compatible with the UK's political, strategic and security
>interests and in accordance with national and international obligations.
>* All export licence applications are considered on a case by case basis in
>the light of established criteria. As well as national security and
>operational considerations they include the UK's commitment to sanctions
>applied by the UN, NATO, or the WEU. HMG rejects licence applications which
>would not be consistent with these criteria.
>* HMG does not issue export licences for equipment likely to be used for
>internal repression.
>* The responsible transfer of defence equipment is consistent with Article
>51 of the UN Charter.
>* HMG is not in the business of exporting to countries who cannot afford
>it. The bulk of exports got to friendly nation in the Middle East, the fast
>growing economies of the Pacific Rim and the US.
>To sum up, defence exports are important to the UK and they bring
>political, military and economic benefits. Thanks to a partnership of
>Industry, the Armed Forces and Government, the UK is both a successful and
>highly responsible player in the defence export market."
>With particular reference to COPEX, we are not allowed , by law, nor would
>we voluntarily exclude any individual from attending the COPEX exhibitions
>on the grounds of race or ethnic background. It is the duty of the
>Government of the day to decide who has access and who does not to the UK.
>Once legally inside the UK, all visitors have the rights to protection form
>racism or discrimination. Political extremism always has a heavy racist
>The protestors we deal with generally target their appeals to middle class
>sources; often aged, widowed ladies, who are duped into thinking they are
>alleviating inhuman practices and the scourge of war. They are, in fact,
>funding left wing political extremists whose goal is to destabilise the
>country and discredit the rule of law.
>With the kind of popular support they seek out, these, "protestors" are
>always very careful to keep within the law, behaving non-violently. They
>are scrupulous in their paperwork and very measured in their attacks and
>responses. Their principal weapon is their manipulation of the media, at
>which they are extremely skilled, and have a considerable track record of
>It is a curious fact of modern day society, that the more status and
>success any project receives it attracts the same measure of interest from
>the protest industry. It would appear that protestors are a fact of life
>that many industries cope with these days, a badge of success that needs
>careful management.
>COPEX fully supports all international conventions on human rights, racism
>and equality and other international instruments set up- to protect
>minorities from inhuman and unjust treatment.
>None of the above will be of the slightest interest to the protest industry
>or alter one jot their opinion of us, or you, or anyone else they decided
>is a useful target to raise funds for their cause. Basically, we have
>included the above comments and information in the hope it may provide a
>resource if you should be contacted by these people.
>Remember, these are professional protestors, the protest industry, mostly
>anarchists, they just put on different hats to confront authority and the
>status quo at any opportunity on any cause. Andrew Abbot for instance who
>is currently the leader of the COPEX protest project was arrested numerous
>times at Brightlingsea on the animal export protests (his mum is a leading
>animal rights activist) and he is just as "at home" on the M40 protest, RTS
>(Reclaim the Streets), Farnborough, Political rallies etc. Any cause will do!
>Advisory Ends
>Copex 96
>33A Church Road
>Herts WD1 3PY, UK
>Tel: 01923 819301
>Fax: 01923 818924
>Compuserve: 100010.3545
>Email: copex@delphi.com
>Web: http://www.demon.co.uk/copex

 (the URL is non-active)

22-24 September 1998
Close Copex - 2 day mass blockade
Wembley, London, England
 contact Campaign Against the Arms Trade
tel: 0171 281 0297
email: caat@gn.apc.org

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