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What Next after this Year's DESi Campaign

Hamlet | 12.09.2003 09:33 | DSEi 2003 | Analysis

The beginnings of a tactical change in approach of protesters as this years DESi Arms Fair in London made it very effective despite a smaller then expected turnout. Small was beautiful and potent, but very hard work. With larger numbers next year, and a development of these and other tactics, DESi can be stopped. (Oh! And the other barbaric practices of capitalism too, ... perhaps !)

Despite over 3000 peelers and private security, who had been planning the defence of the Death Fair for far longer than the protesters, 500-1000 protesters gave them the run around, and challenged the ability of the organisers to have an arms fair in East London.

Actions by individuals, pairs, small groups, and larger ones of around 200-300; strongly impacted upon DESi, and the ability of massive policing to defend it.

There were many positive outcomes:

Generally, the protesters kept the initiative throughout the many of effective actions and produced many small actions that took the authorities by surprise.

1. The Dockland Light Railway was put out of actions.

2. Delegates were delayed ( oops! and so were the protesters ... shit!)

3. The turnout of delegates was lower this year.

4. The cost of the police operation was highlighted, and the Mayor of London called for the DESi organisers to pay for it next time.

5. Police lines were broken on many occasions and they one given one hell of a run-around.

6. The coverage of the mass media raised the issues to the wider masses in a positive way.

7. Over 3000 police of police were given on hell of a run around.

8. The brutality of the metropolitan police's s specially trained thugs was exposed.

9. The stupidity of branded some of the protesters as domestic terrorists was revealed in the mass media

10. The was sympathy and support from local people and punters going about their daily business who witnessed actions and the behaviour of the police

11. The spirit of the 500 was great the fun and determination was palpable : anarchies, socialists, anti-capitalists, resistors of globalisation, peace and environmental campaigners, religious groups, and those without the need for a badge but with a similar agenda, were fantastic - working together, lending support...

12. And lastly but not lastly, the super samba girls (and a few boys) with their rhythms, movement, and tactical awareness helped give actions a potency and focus that cut across and broke through the police operations. You don't need drums to do this, but it can help.

However, there is fundamental criticism too (see other UK news line postings) which should be aired and resolved for future events: a lower than expected turnout of protesters was the obvious one, the reason for which must be found.

The police trapped groups of protesters by surrounding them, and using section 14 conditions. But despite this the protesters still held on to the initiative in getiing free of this illegal police behaviour.

This sort of situation, being trapped by the police, could be avoided, as stated elsewhere, in future by everyone being more conscious and observant of what the police are doing, and to react quicker and earlier to prevent these situations arising - it cannot be left to the few to make calls - everyone needs to be aware, individuals pairs of mates, affinity groups and larger groups. You need to think what is the best thing to do for the whole protest, and talk with others about it. In this way everyone is involved in making the decisions, setting the agenda and tactics.

For example, more de-arresting could be used, but this needs individuals to be aware, trained and organised. And other tactics need to be thought out and employed which others will have to work out. But everyone should be conscious and involved in developing these.

Some of these ideas have been put forward on other IM UK news line postings, with a more in depth analysis. More thought about how each of us can contribute, more looking out for others and helping, even if you don't know them needs to be made.

Generally, more awareness and NOT being lazy and relying on 'others' or 'leaders' to come up with the decisions is necessary - a collective effort. Everyone needs to be thinking and observing all the time and communicating this and what can be done - then doing it without faffing and obfuscating.

So the calls to discuss tactics and changing the overall strategy on UK Indymedia site are legitimate and valid, but the seeds, and many actual examples of better tactics, were employed this year.

De-brief, discuss, communicate across groups and develop what was started at DESi this year then the whole movement can make a step forward.

There is other criticism on the news line too, which I would agree with and is quite legitimate and realistic which needs to be discussed and resolved

However, what happened is very positive for the future, not just for stopping DESi but for stopping the Elite and their authoritarian bully boys keeping the weakening Capitalist show on the road.

While Bush, Blair and the other Capitalist Stooges are fiddling, lying and putting up a pretence of confidence, joking and laughing whilst committing mass murder around the world, robbing the poor to fill the already fat wallets of their masters, displaying their sick bloated egos to an increasingly disbelieving public - Rome is in decline! And they shall be made accountable for all the suffering for which they have been responsible.



Display the following 8 comments

  1. What?? — AnnoyedLocalResident
  2. This is the type of thing that was sold at Excel — Rockwell
  3. Response to "Local resident" — Hamlet
  4. Re; Low turnout — Mayler
  5. september 27th — ipsiphi
  6. Take it to the companies — JC
  7. London Soldier — --
  8. Another Newham Resident — Plaistow-since-birth