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DSEi Reports - Thursday 15th Sept

IMCUK | 15.09.2005 13:31 | DSEi 2005 | Anti-militarism | London

Reports from ongoing protests and actions against DSEi Arms Fair + this evening's arms fair gala dinner at the Dorchester Hotel in central London:

[2250] Some arms fair dinner guests have now been leaving. A small number of people are maintaining a presence shouting at them as they leave, having remained outside the hotel in the rain. Stop and searches are still taking place in the area around the hotel. A total of at least five arrests this evening have been confirmed.
[2110] Two people in suits have been seen at a window inside the Dorchester Hotel where the arms fair dinner is being held - they're dancing with their briefcases in time to the samba drumming so it's clear the protest can be heard inside. Its assumed the hotel security has been breached by protestors. This is later confirmed, two protesters (one a first timer) hailed a cab after discussing the idea in the pub and simply set out and walk straight into the hotel.
[2106] Reports of a violent arrest. Witnesses say police were trying to pull two people out of the park over the fences. People tried to prevent this and for a number of minutes there was a struggle as people tried to pull one person back into the park as the police lashed out hitting people with batons. Two more arrests have been reported closer to the hotel.
[2055] Samba drummers still playing making a lot of noise opposite the arms fair dinner. Reports of two more arrests (including one woman being stamped on), and police on foot rushing down park lane as well as more riot vans - those on the scene assume they are responding to smaller groups blocking the road.
[2046] Small groups of people continue blocking traffic in Park Lane. In one instance a group of around twenty people are aggressively pushed back inside the park through a gate.
[2029] People still inside the Park, with a samba band making lots of noise. The road has been re-opened to traffic. Meanwhile another group of anti-arms fair protestors are still outside the hotel continuing with the noise protest while surrounded by police. Yet more police vans are arriving. A person on the scene says "The arms dealers can't ignore this, they had to walk right through it - we've made it clear we oppose their dealing in death for profit."
[2012] Both sides of Park Lane closed. Reports of many protestors running from police and climbing over the fences into Hyde park itself, some police following. Situation keeps changing and is quite fluid.
[2000] One side of Park Lane is fully blocked by up to 80 people who continue their noise protest 'unwelcoming' the arms fair dinner guests as they arrive. More reports of ongoing stop and searches by police, and high levels of surveillance with people being continuously filmed and photographed by police. Police are using a loudspeaker to tell the crowd to disperse.
[1940] There are 50-70 people now forming a very loud noise protest outside the DSEi arms fair dinner - they are curently surrounded by police and blocking one lane of the road directly opposite the entrance to the hotel.
[1934] At the back of the Dorechester police are stopping and searching people.
[1930] Critical Mass has arrived with a police escourt - police officers run out into the road to form a line across the road - also trying to push people into the 'designated protest zone'. At this point one of our reporters is being shouted at by a police officer telling him to move - our reporter says he is a journalist and the policeman shouts that's your first warning move back - our reporter says stop touching me and the phone goes dead.
[1929] Several more police riot vans arriving. Floodlights have been switched on illuminating the area.
[1928] 4-5 police jump on one man near to the Dorchester hotel pushing him into a barrier, wrestling him to the ground then dragging him across the road face down towards the designated protest pen. He has now been handcuffed and presumably arrested.
[1922] Large numbers of police in the area around the Dorchester Hotel where the Arms Fair Gala Dinner is being held. Nine police riot vans at hyde park corner - lots of motorcycle police stationed near the roundabout. At least 50 police outside the hotel itself, side roads closed by police. A volunteer reporter said "It's incredible to see so many police flooding such a small area".
[1915] Reports of cyclists on their way to the critical mass protest being harassed earlier on - for example being stopped in order for police to check to see if there breaks were in working order!
[1855] Marble Arch / park lane Traffic Cam Offline "For Operational Reasons"
[1830] Critical Mass bicycle protest against the arms fair is meeting up at Eros Statue in London. There's around 40+ bikes there at present, with people shouting anti-arms fair slogans. A banner reads "Food not Guns". Light police presence with police photographer taking pictures of people. Quite blue sunny skies - no rain.

[1400] Humorous actions on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) near to DSEi reported - Campaigners armed with numerous sex toys have been embarassing the mostly male arms fair delegates over their liking of 'boys toys' and big rockets. They say "We at Space Hijackers realise that they must be compensating for a lack of weapons capability somewhere else, and are trying to help them focus their tension in more productive ways". They have also been leafleting other passengers, both on the trains and the station platforms. Police have searched the campaigners and thus far, have not confiscated any of the toys.

[Mid Morning] Reports of around a dozon anti-arms fair campaigners leafletting workers and public outside Reed Elsevier offices in Central London. An earlier attempt to get up to the floor of the Reed office was unsuccessful. Reed Elsevier are organisers of DSEi.

Breakfast time actions at the Custom House Hotel next to the Excel Centre. Four people arrested initially on suspicion of burglary after performing an invisible theatre/barber's shop quartet action. Two dressed as 'Arms dealers' were bloodied by two 'protesters' who then have a noisy argument before all four burst into song "We are the merchants of Death"; chorus line "We've got blood on our hands and we can't wash it off". The action was a repeat of a performance in the arms dealer stuffed bar of the Tower Thistle Hotel at about 11pmm on Wednesday night.



Display the following 6 comments

  1. Trying to do my bit! — Lizzie
  2. Well done! — matey
  3. DSEI Dinner Dorchester Hotel — simon
  4. Brave action — giulia
  5. sabotage — bones
  6. Highly disorganised — Rich