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DSEI - have we done it the wrong way?

strategist | 08.09.2003 23:14 | DSEi 2003 | Anti-militarism | Repression | Social Struggles | London | World

I'm thinking we should have done all the serious blockading during the setting up process not after all the traders and weapons are already safely inside.

Inside here you can buy anything from a bullet -
Inside here you can buy anything from a bullet -

to a battleship
to a battleship

I sneaked a look at the Excel centre from the other side of the dock this evening and even at 7pm the area was still swarming with pigs. One of them in an inflatable boat in the water clocked me from the far side of the dock almost as soon as I took the camera out of my pocket and I had to cycle away slowly in a non-dodgy manner, pretending to be just an interested local on a bike.

Seeing the huge hotel right next door to the Excel complex made me realise that all the bloody exhibitors are already tucked up there safe and sound for the duration probably having finished neatly laying out their bloody wares on the stands ready for the bloody punters who are probably also staying in the same hotel. So in fact there are likely to be very few people or goods entering the sealed off complex on Tues and Weds and the effect therefore of protests and blockades on the outside may well be negligible especially considering the insane level of policing. Next time - and yes there will be more of these vile events for years to come - we really need to concentrate on blockading the setting up process for the whole of the week before. There being only a few roads leading to the centre makes it easy for the cops to keep us out but in the same way it should have made it easy for us to keep the exhibitors vehicles out if we'd been more pro-active last week. Consider how relatively easy it is to block the path of large vans, artics and low-loaders carrying tanks and artillery etc. Being so cumbersome, they can't just nip up and over the pavement like people can. Setting up exhibitions as large as this involves the exhibitors working very long and stressful days and having all their deadly toys held up in a traffic jam outside would send their stress levels through the roof and having had to work longer and harder than anticipated they'd therefore be less able to slime their way into the pockets of all the perusing dictators etc.

I know this is all very well for me to be be coming out with criticism the evening before the main protest kicks off but in future we really need to be thinking about how to make anti-arms trade actions effective rather than purely symbolic which is all that yet another street party is likely to be. What do others think of this as a strategy for the future?



Display the following 10 comments

  1. pay attention — nobody in particular
  2. Only 40 people blockaded the exhibition! — Rockwell
  3. Small affinity group actions vs mass public 'actions' — da
  4. september 11th — richard
  5. publicising actions — grace
  6. Tactics — Matt S
  7. Block them in! — Albus
  8. Use both — EverAmphibian
  9. more forethought a good idea — julia
  10. communicating and planning — tadpole