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Next week -- 13-16th September 2005, Europe's biggest arms fair will be held at the ExCel Centre, in London's Docklands area. Protestors are planning a week of events to oppose it, from 9-16th September. While the main dealers of death involved are the arms dealers themselves, the companies that host DSEI must also take a large share of the blame for any injuries, death or torture, that result from the use of the 'defence systems' on show at DSEI (aka 'Defense Systems and Equipment International).

These companies include the event's organisers, Reed Elsevier -- who are also part-owners of the ExCel Centre itself. By creating DSEI they are making the international arms dealers' work that much easier. So let's take a look at what Reed Elsevier-- hardly a household name -- actually does.


If you search the main Reed website ( for 'DSEI', you get the result -- 'Searching on - dsei Found no documents'. This is not a surprise. Reed is a large publishing company, that only recently bought up Spearhead, the previous organisers of DSEI, and Reed's publicity does not exactly shout about its involvement in the arms fair. The division of Reed that has responsibility for DSEI -- Reed Exhibitions, within the business section -- organises '430 events in 32 countries. Reed Exhibitions has offices and agents in 43 countries'. This means that DSEI is a relatively small section of the business for even this sub-section of Reed Elsevier.

However, the accounts for DSEI Limited, now a subsidiary of Reed Elsevier, showed a profit of £824,551 in 2000 (before its buy-out by Reed), this is no small potatoes, even for a company such as Reed Spearhead's remaining activities also include organising the 'Offshore Europe' exhibitions, a major event for petroleum companies, held in Aberdeen. The last event, in 2003, boasted an attendance of 26,337 industry personnel, and 'confirmed contracts totalling more than US$325 million announced or signed at the show'. This exhibition, plus DSEI, netted Spearhead profits of £2,258,800 before tax in 2003.

Reed Exhibitions organises many other events in the UK, including 'Cordia 2005: Europe's Premier Biotechnology Event', sponsored by Deloitte and Astra Zeneca; 'The National Direct Marketing Show' -- a junk maillers' jamboree; the 'British Travel Trade Fair', organised with VisitBritain, (formerly the various UK tourism board); and 'the London Book Fair'.

To find out about all Reed exhibitions in your area, look at and search by country.


Reed's main business is as a supplier of information. It owns the Lexis/Nexis legal database, as well as many other info sources. As Elsevier, it runs a vast number of science journals, including some of the biggest and most reputable ones. Elsevier has offices across the world, including in Camberley (Surrey), London, Edinburgh, Devon, Norwich, Oxford and Cambridge.

Go to to find the offices closest to you.

In general, Reed-Elsevier is an information giant, holding together a host of companies, involved in legal,edication, medical and science publishing, as well as providing business information and putting on exhibitions. Most of the companies in the Reed group are probably unaware of their link to DSEI, but, with the arms fair now being organised by a much more diverse company that Spearhead ever was, protests may start to alert staff and management at Reed's diverse sites of their link to the arms trade.

For more info on the arms trade, see a a comprehensive new report y Campaign Against the Arms Trade: 'DSEi Arms Fair 2005: The global arms trade comes to London'

To get involved with anti-DSEI protests, go to