We welcome the decision to cancel Electronic Warfare Europe 2020, which was due to take place in Liverpool at the council-owned ACC Exhibition Centre. The cancellation comes after campaigning by a broad coalition of groups in Liverpool including, peace groups, Palestine solidarity groups, local councillors from across the political spectrum, faith groups and anti-war activists, who have called on the council to use their influence to press the ACC Exhibition Centre to cancel the event.

We are glad that public space won’t be used to host arms dealers from companies whose weapons have been employed to oppress civilian populations around the world. The exhibition is now scheduled to take place in Seville in 2021, where local residents will begin organising for the event’s cancellation.

It is disappointing that news of the cancellation comes from the organisers of the exhibition, not the City Council. Joe Anderson and Liverpool City Council have refused to comment, despite overwhelming opposition to the event from Liverpool residents, hundreds of whom have signed a petition opposing the event.

The council should have never agreed to host the exhibition. The event abrogated their moral and ethical responsibilities to ensuring the values of human rights and justice are upheld.

While it is welcome that the reputation of Liverpool will not be tarnished by its hosting of arms dealers and representatives of oppressive regimes within a Council owned building, Joe Anderson, and Liverpool City Council, must now confirm that no such event will take place in the future. To ensure this the council must implement a robust ethical events policy, which gives priority to human rights considerations.

To support Liverpool Against the Electronic Warfare, we are asking supporters to e-mail the City Council cabinet, to demand they commit to never hosting such an event again. Take action here.