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DSEi: Activists have entered the Excel complex

imcista | 11.09.2007 06:57 | DSEi 2007 | Anti-militarism | London

A group of about 20 activists have entered the Excel complex where the DSEi Arms Fair is being held.

According to a phone call I received a minute ago, a few bus loads of delegates have arrived. Some of the activists who entered have been caught and are being held by security and police.



bbc report on dsei action

11.09.2007 09:58

Tuesday, 11 September 2007, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK

Protesters storm UK defence fair

By Tim Weber
Business editor, BBC News website, DSEi in London

Protesters have tried to invade one of the world's largest defence fairs at London's Excel centre.

Arms trade critics, shouting "murderers" at exhibitors, were quickly overwhelmed by police.

Further disruption is expected later when pressure group Campaign Against Arms Trade holds a demonstration.

Held every two years, the Defence Systems & Equipment International show attracts more than 1,350 exhibitors and military delegations from 56 countries.

The DSEI event is a showcase for weapons systems, ranging from logistics software to tanks and rocket launchers.

Soldiers and exhibitors come not just from the UK, Germany, the US and other Nato countries, but from countries such as Libya, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan and India.

However, as in previous years, the organisers have ordered exhibitors not to show any equipment that might be considered too offensive - such as torture devices and cluster bombs - neither as an exhibit, nor in pictures or literature.

As well as the Campaign against Arms Trade protest, other campaigners have threatened to try to disrupt the event using "direct action".

For sale

Public pressure has persuaded the company organising the show, Reed Elsevier, to sell the business by the end of the year.

Security around the London venue is tight

DSEI spokesman Al Lockwood said the sale was on track and that bids for the show were currently being assessed.

He added DSEI had a "bright future" and would be held again in September 2009 at the same venue.

"We are well aware that DSEI has its critics," Mr Lockwood said, adding that organisers had designated an area where demonstrators could protest and would be visible to visitors arriving at the exhibition.

There had been doubts about the future of the exhibition, after Prime Minister Gordon Brown decided to abolish the government's Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO), which helps to organise the show and hosts all foreign military organisations.

In another snub to the industry, the UK's defence secretary has broken with tradition and will not open this year's event.

However, the promotion of arms exports as such has not ended, with DESO's function to be moved to UK Trade and Investment department by the end of the year.


another little pic

11.09.2007 12:14

from bbc website


Update on the Car Park 15

12.09.2007 10:58

Yesterday morning, people ran into the car park of the Excel Centre where delegates were making their way to buy weapons. Police pounced on the protesters, arresting 15 people. One woman sustained minor injuries and was taken to hospital before being arrested and put in custody. Some of the 15 were released early on without being charged, others were kept in custody all day. They began releasing people at 6pm last night, all were charged with aggravated trespass. They also have bail conditions which state they cannot go to Newham or anywhere near the area. They will have to appear in court soon, and may request public support. Keep an eye out on Indymedia!

Reporter from afar
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arrested court date info

12.09.2007 10:58

around 16 arrested most have got bail 1 may be in mags today trying to find more info
court date set for 21st sept stratford magistrates 10am come along show suport
injured person had stitches to wound on lower face


security breached at Dsei

13.09.2007 14:09

DSEi invaders broke through two security cordons, and came close to reaching the Excel building in this early morning move which appeared to take police and security by surprise.

Activists breached the two manned security cordons at the East entrance to the Excel site just before eight o'clock as delegates and staff were arriving. The gates were opened to allow access to traffic, and the activists were able to simply run past the security guards.

Police had to rugby tackle protesters to the ground to prevent them reaching the East entrance and the loading bays to the rear of the building. One of the police present was heard to comment, "What happened to the security? They were crap!"

In fact the grey-suited and rather rotund figure who seemed to be in charge of security at the two gates panicked when he saw around 16 black clad figures heading towards him. He started screaming to the guards, "stop them, stop them, don't let them through!", and in his haste to get to the second inner cordon, fell flat on his arse, his clipboard and papers flying around him.

As it was, only the intervention of four vans of TSG doing hand-break turns across the car park prevented the activists reaching the Excel building. Which is not so good for a location which was supposed to be on heightened 'terrorist' alert. Heads will roll for this one.

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  1. What happened to arrestees? — Concerned friend