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We Are Winning

Dissident | 11.09.2003 14:48 | DSEi 2003

Personal acount of Destroy DSEI day

I joined hundreds of protesters in London’s east end on the 10th of September, all of us had the same aim; which was to cause as much disruption as we could to Europe’s biggest arms fair; DSEI.
My day started; well delayed fellow campaneros had locked on to the Docklands Light Railway to delay delegates arriving at DSEI and forcing them to take a route that would leave them with the no other opportunity other than facing us. It stayed shut for the most of the day. When I arrived at canning town station there was around 70 people outside, we decided that due to the DLR being shut people were arriving in drips and drabs and that we didn’t have the numbers to blockade Canning Town roundabout. So we took the road and marched to excel, all the time keeping an eye on the police so they couldn’t form lines around us. We arrived at Cannaught Bridge underpass that leads in to Excel’s biggest car park to find line of filth forming to stop us entering Excel. We pushed and shoved for a bit and they moved back, however we then realised that if we followed them they would put another line behind us and we would end up in a cordon. So we stayed at the top of the underpass and blockaded entrance to excel from here, a few scuffles broke out and a few delegates arrived and were surrounded and heckled. When police vans tried to leave to sort out dissent elsewhere they were blocked also.
After about two hours a group of around 25 of us ran back down the road a bit and up an embankment of the freeway. We found our selves in a small ally with the plod hot our tail, two people we arrested and 3 de-arrested. We kept running to be greeted by filth at the end of the alleyway. So we scrambled through some bushes and up a steep hill and blocked a road there for a bit, the police tried to intimidates by driving at us at speed with their oh so menacing siren on. But we stayed put. After a while we walked onwards still linked together towards the other end of Excel.
As we turned the corner another much larger block equipped with as samba band was ahead of us. They were behind thin police lines and broke out when they saw us. Metal barricades were pulled into the road, and the pigs charged at us. Some people were beaten violently others fell over the barricades now thrown all over the rode. A lot avoided police by escaping over a fence into a small park. The samba band was trapped so we hung about for a bit and the police eased off. We marched onwards at times ran to keep the old bill at the back, Stopped of at a shop for much need supplies and the got on to a main road, we ran through the oncoming traffic jam as the police were trying desperately to control us. At one point it did look like we were going to be penned but broke through police lines and kept running. We ran on to one of the estates in Canning Town, and kept the police on their toes for a good while, until we ran into a dead end with only a thin entry with kissing gates at each end. Half of us got through but the rest were stuck behind. We asked some local kids to take us back around to where the others had got stuck. We could here sirens and before you no it there is six pig wagons coming at us from all directions. They drove the vans at us and as one turned the corner quickly one of um flew out the van and tumbled along the floor for a good few meters. They battered a lot of us, including myself. They threw me up against someone’s front door and over their garden fence, but my jeans were stuck on a spike, so they kept hitting and kicking until the back of my jeans ripped away from the front! I spent the rest of the day with my arse for all to see. They sectioned us but then let us go were we wanted under their supervision of course.
We had a sit down by Canning Town roundabout to pass some time before reclaim the streets. Rathbone Market was the meet-up point for the party, but there were no tunes yet. We soon left of to the A16/A11? and meet the sound system half way there. Passing the Macy D’s on the way well funny, the old bill franticly rushed to stand around it, all we did was walk past it!! We ran for a bit and found the rig, a tiny amount of damage was caused to the building shit in the central reservation, and we danced about for a while. Soon we were in a heavy cordon, which we were kept in for an hour maybe two. The authorities decided they were going to put us in a park nearby, but first they had to get through a well small gate. We made this difficult buy sitting down, until we were two crushed because of the back lines of feds were permanently advancing. A few sticks and stones hit the cops as the repeatedly assaulted people who resisted to being put in the park. Once in we had a bit of a party, but if u wanted to leave you had to have you photo taken, a legal observer told us if we wanted to cover our face with out hand then we had every write to do so, but our masks had to come of. We weren’t allowed to do either if we wanted to leave.
All in all, I thought it was a good day, we caused chaos in the docklands area and the delegates saw and heard us loud and clear. The only thing that was a bit of a failure was the street party, but it could have been a lot worse. We weren’t stuck in cordons all day like mayday. So hopefully we will remember some of the tactics that worked well and forget what didn’t, like running into dead ends!



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  1. Well done to all. — Redkop