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DSEi protest: Downing Street blockaded, pensioner and legal observer arrested

dv | 15.09.2007 10:14 | DSEi 2007 | Anti-militarism | Repression | Terror War | London

More police misbehaviour as a female pensioner and her legal observer were arrested during a lone silent vigil and blockade of Downing Street in protest at the DSEi arms fair.

More repression and brutality on the part of the Metropolitan Police on behalf of Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Thursday morning (13th September) as pensioner Irene Willis and her legal observer, Daniel Viesnik, 32, from London were arrested - forcibly in the case of the latter - during a lone silent vigil and blockade of Downing Street in protest at the DSEi arms fair in east London. The protest was seen by former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who was passing by at the time but didn’t pause for contemplation, as well as many visitors to Downing Street and members of the public.

Ms Willis, who held a placard remembering the victims of the arms trade, was fasting and not speaking between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm for the duration of the arms fair, while Mr Viesnik fasted for over 36 hours in protest at both the arms fair and his treatment and detention by the Metropolitan Police.

Both individuals were detained at West End Central police station, where Ms Willis was eventually charged with obstruction of the highway, while Mr Viesnik will have to answer to charges of obstruction of the police and obstruction of the highway.

Mr Viesnik alleges that his arresting officer, PC Paul Hussey (D131, warrant number 198035), assisted by officer D395, used unnecessary and unreasonable force during his arrest and intends to lodge a formal complaint against the officer, and is considering pressing charges. Additionally, his digital camera and memory card – which included images from the demonstration – and his notebook and mobile phone (with SIM card) were seized by the police as ‘evidence’.

Ms Willis was released on bail on Thursday evening and was ordered to report to Stratford Magistrates’ on Friday 21st September, at 10 am.

Mr Viesnik was refused bail and detained overnight at the police station, having declared himself to be of ‘no fixed abode’. He was subsequently presented before City of Westminster Magistrates’ on Friday morning, represented by a solicitor from Bindmans, where he provided an address to the magistrate and pleaded ‘not guilty’ to both charges. Mr Viesnik was granted unconditional bail - despite the prosecution attempting to impose bail conditions - and is to report back on 7th December for a hearing before his trial, scheduled for 4th February 2008.

- e-mail: dviesnik at yahoo dot co dot uk


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  1. not a SOCPA arrest then? — rikki