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Live from the Excel Indymedia Centre

!!! No DSEI !!! | 09.09.2003 12:19 | DSEi 2003 | Anti-militarism | Indymedia | London | Sheffield

This is a report live from the anti-DSEI actions at Excel.

Events so far...

11:00 - A crowd of up to 2000 protestors had gathered at the junction of Freemasons Road and the Victoria Dock Road. Globalise Resistance featured prominently with their orange banners and a bright orange tank. About 200 police had immediate contact with the crowd with many more in reserve. A small sound system played music.

11:30 - Speeches were made by representatives of Globalise Resistance, Pat Arrowsmith of Amnesty International and others. A decision was made to move towards Custom House and the East Entrance of the Excel Centre.

11:45 - The crowd moved off led by the orange tank and accompanied by the police. All were in good spirits.

12:00 - At the junction of Victoria Dock Road and Prince Regent Lane the protestors wanted to continue ahead along Victoria Dock Road towards the East Entrance of the Excel Centre. The police wanted the crowd to turn left up Prince Regent Lane. A stand-off situation occurred. Police reinforcements were brought in to seal off Victoria Dock Road with a number of van containing more reinforcements.

12:15 - The 'tank' was used to try to breach the police line. The crowd protested vocally. More police reinforcements were brought in. Elements of the crowd tried to physically get past the police towards Excel but were foiled.

12:30 - Tension between police and protestors was rising. A man in his early forties and long, fair hair in pony-tail made a series of attempts to cross the police line and to proceed towards the Excel Centre. Police officers shoved him back violently including pushing him in the face and neck. Press and cameras swarmed around the man.

12:45 - After repeated scuffles between police officers and protestors, a man was violently subdued by up to ten officers and wrestled towards a waiting van. With so many police around him there was little he could do to resist the arrest but the police continued to assault him. A legal observer, who was visibly pregnant, was man-handled by the police in the affray. The tank was used to try to impede the progress of the police van as it took the arrested man away. Another police van moved in and through a loud-hailer announced that under Section 14 of the Public Order Act, the gathering was illegal and that the crowd were to disperse to Cudy Road Park within 30 mins.

13:00 - The crowd have dispersed into Cundy Road Park and towards other locations around the Excel Centre.

!!! No DSEI !!!