Quaker Roots is a community of Friends building a creative, vibrant and radical Quaker response to the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair.
Taking place in east London every two years, DSEI is a huge trade show bringing together 1,500 arms companies with representatives from militaries from around the world. Some of the world’s largest companies market tanks, planes, drones, rifles, ammunition, surveillance technology, training and a huge array of other weapons.
In witnessing our testimony to peace, Friends have been driven to join the movement of resistance to this arms fair, which brings global human rights violations to our doorstep. Arms fairs like DSEI are a key root cause of the violence and injustice around the world.
Quakers have been involved in action against DSEI for many years. Quaker Roots is planning to build an unprecedented Quaker presence at the 2019 fair, standing together against DSEI and the global arms trade.
As we build a vibrant and organised community of friends/Friends resisting the arms fair, we commit to working in a way that is:
Worshipful. We organise and mobilise in a restful, unhurried way, allowing us to listen to what love may be demanding of us.
Relational. We prioritise people over objectives – building deep friendships within the Quaker community and with others within the peace movement that will live beyond the event, and to continue organising together in the future.
Life-Giving. We work to utilise different people’s passions and gifts, respecting our limitations, and organise with creativity and humour.
Strategic. We believe the greatest impact we can have will come from organising in and intelligent, planned and reflective way.
Non-violent. We act in a way that respects that of God in every person, creature and mother earth.
How We Organise
Quaker Roots is organised into a series of working groups working on practical issues like communications (websites, social media, printed flyers), outreach (building relationships with Friends, organising training and workshops), actions (supporting Friends to participate in protests against DSEI) and logistics (taking care of food, accommodation, etc for Friends before, during and after taking part in protests). These working groups communicate via a small “core group”, which takes care of fundraising and gently steering the process along.
We are aiming to build a network of 100 Quakers in Area Meetings around the country. These “organisers” will in turn attempt to find 10 more Quakers in their local area, interested in joining with Quaker Roots as we take action against DSEI.
Quaker faith is a search for truth, not an arrival.
We don’t offer neat creeds or doctrine. Instead, we try to help each other work out how we should live. All people are welcome and accepted at a Quaker meeting.
Quakerism is almost 400 years old. It’s the common name for the Religious Society of Friends. It grew out of Christianity and today we also find meaning and value in other faiths and traditions. We recognise that there’s something transcendent and precious in every person. Different Quakers use different words to describe this, but we all believe we can be in contact with it and encounter something beyond our individual selves.