Skip to content or view screen version

200 demonstrators detained

!!! No DESi !!! | 09.09.2003 15:58 | DSEi 2003 | Anti-militarism | Indymedia | Technology | London | Sheffield

A small breakaway group of protestors earlier outwitted slow-footed cops and attempted to storm the eastern entrance to the Excel Centre hosting the arms fair DSEi 2003.

At about 2:30pm this afternoon, a group of about 200 protestors,led by a samba band, broke away from the main demonstrations today against the arms fair, DSEi 2003, and out-witted the best efforts of the police to contain them.

The samba band slowly and gently sauntered along 'Jake Russell Walk' running parallel to the Victoria Dock Road. They gayly ambled through a local park and then, en-masse, realised that with a bit of luck, it might be possible to get nearer to the Excel Centre - scene of a disgusting trade in weapons of mass destruction.

A thin blue line of wooden-tops tried to hold the feisty freedom fighters back and waved their little truncheons around. The brave soldiers of peace were undeterred and broke through their cordon.

Confusion, terror and panic reigned for a few minutes on both sides as more reinforcements were called for. A man in his late thirties was wrestled to the ground with about six flat foots on top of him. He was cuffed, roughed up and chucked in the back of a meat-wagon. Protests about how this man was treated was met with violence by Plod and his chums.

The peace protestors realised that they were not going to get nearer to Excel as police reinforcements had quickly been called in. The Forward Intelligence Team had their work cut out trying to record the faces of all the freedom fighters.

The quick-witted protestors realised that they could soon get penned in and made a brave attempt to rejoin the main demonstration but the boys in blue had got their act together and boxed the brave resistance fighters in. Again more police reinforcements were called in and there ended up being as many Plod as there were demonstrators - cunningly tying up police resources.

The protestors were told that they were being held for a 'potential' breach of police and possible damage to property and injury to people. A high-up member of the law explained that the protestors would be free to go when they could all decide where they wanted to go - which was difficult as there was no one spokesperson for the group.

A mobile sound system turned up and was allowed _into_ the cordon to play an uplifting mixture of dub and hip-hop to an appreciative crowd and a bored police force.

Eventually the penny dropped with the police that whilst they had to stand still and act 'professional', the protestors could read, chat, smoke, lie down, dance, speak to their chums on the phone and more - as a waiting game, the police were onto a loser.

After one hour, the so-called threat of a breach of the peace evaporated as quickly as it had appeared from out of the ether and the valiant peace activists were allowed to return back to Victoria Dock Road.

We set off in good spirits and then 'our boys' realised that they didn't have any lads up front and did their best to keep the protestors hemmed in as they walked back to the site of the earlier demonstration - the photos show that it looked like a police demo...

There was a little more confusion as to whether the resistance fighters were actually allowed to go before but eventually 'London's Finest' relented and backed away.

What a result!

!!! No DESi !!!


Display the following 5 comments

  1. imagine!! — no boby in particular
  2. thanks IMC :-) — herded
  3. I felt the same way — EverAmphibian
  4. numbers game — sheff lad
  5. Re: numbers game — another sheff lad