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Singing for Peace

Ree | 11.09.2003 08:46 | DSEi 2003 | Anti-militarism | London

Hundreds of DSEi 'delegates' queuing to enter the Arms Fair were serenaded on Wednesday morning with their own song written specially for the occasion.

A big thank you to whoever locked onto the DLR trains yesterday morning and stopped the line for a while at around 10 am. It made this protestor's day because I was able to achieve my goal for the morning, which was to 'meet and greet' the delegates with a specially prepared ditty " Lullaby for an Arms Dealer" (words later!)

As they were forced onto the buses I had the perfect captive audience. And (dressed for the occasion) later managed to tag along behind the walk-in contingent. (Poor dabs had to walk the last 10 minutes!) It actually wasn't too difficult to walk right in. With a combination of cheek, timing and a college bus pass (that wasn't even mine!) I got right up to one of the main entrances where, thanks to Excel's excellent security system about 200 to 300 delegates were in a huge snaking queue waiting to get in.

The acoustics were perfect and my audience had nothing better to do! The securicor staff were unfriendly but strictly hands-off and basically I didn't take too much notice of them once I was in but just got on with my little performance. Want to hear the words now?

Lullaby for an Arms Dealer. (tune trad. Irish)

Around the world, the children die
because of what you do.
You say it's just a business deal.
Death is nothing to do with you.
There are firms that trade in clothes or books
And you say this is just the same.
But you know full well
that the things you sell
Are designed to kill and maim.

And, yes, it might be legal,
but that doesn't make it right.
And I wonder if it's on your mind,
when you go to sleep at night.

When I was ready to leave, the security guard kindly escorted me out a much busier route than I came in so another 100 or so delegates (coming in from Custom House by now) got the benefit.

Sang up and down the DLR from Canning Town to Custom House for a while after that. Thanks to A. and the others who joined me to leaflet (and sorry about your £5 spot fine! That was bad luck!)

Final thought: I almost feel sorry for the three guards on the gate who called their manager to come and sort me out, (me with the bus pass). I can picture their faces when he arrived. "She's... Oh.. um.. well, she was here a minute ago." :)



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