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DISARM DSEi activist arrested for holding a banner outside army showroom

DISARM DSEi | 26.07.2009 21:37 | Anti-militarism | Repression

Last Saturday, 25th July, activists gathered outside Dalston Kingsland shopping centre, for a demonstration against the army showroom which recently opened there.

By 1.30, around fifteen people had assembled by the main entrance. Two activists from Disarm DSEi, who had been inside the building looking for the demonstration, decided that they would exercise their right to peaceful protest inside the shopping centre. Unfortunately, the police and security guards seemed to have no interest whatsoever in facilitating this right.

The two activists had hardly got their banner out, before they were being told to leave. Naturally, they attempted to get a reason for this from the security/police. Aside from a bit of feeble mumbling about private property and obstructing people (despite the protestors having their backs to a shop front), no real reason was given. Instead, the police opted to remove the protestors by brute force, pulling and pushing them towards the exit, resulting in both of them, and at least one of the cops on the floor. The police tried to use this opportunity to seize the Disarm DSEi banner, but one of the activists, along with people from the protest outside, managed to hold on to it, before being pushed forced from the shopping centre.

While this had been taking place, the other activist had been placed in handcuffs and arrested inside the centre, with a line of police forming in front of the entrance. Knowing it wouldn’t do any favours to their public image to blockade a busy shopping centre on a Saturday afternoon, the police attempted to screen the crowd, not letting anyone who they thought looked like a protestor through (this included any member of the public who had happened to photograph the incident).

Chants were started outside of ‘Let him go! Let him go!’, but it wasn’t long before he was taken to nearby Stoke Newington police station. A small group followed him there and managed to get in contact to find out that he had been arrested for breach of the peace and assaulting a police officer.

He has subsequently been refused bail, and is being kept in until Monday morning, when he will be in Thames Magistrate’s Court at 10.30am. Anyone court solidarity, would be much appreciated.

It’s vital that we stand up for our right to protest on our own terms and don’t let the bullying tactics of the police intimidate us.

DISARM DSEi 2009: City of London, 12 Noon
Destroy the banks! Destroy the Investors! Destroy the Arms Trade!

For full set of photos see

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Disarm DSEi on Twitter

26.07.2009 22:58

For anyone wanting regular updates, including details of protest announcements, @disarmdsei is on twitter.

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Is this a new tactic?

27.07.2009 02:59

I've stood outside various places holding banners and while the cops are often called, they seem to just warn about obstruction but left me to my legal right to peaceful protest.
I wonder on what grounds they made an arrest and whether this is a worrying new tactic, or whether I've just been lucky in the past?


Not new - Private property

27.07.2009 07:36

I don't know the details but this seems to be inside a shopping center - that is to say on private property. So the owner can ask anybody they wish to leave - the old bill then act as their agents. Intersetingly if you assualt a cop doing this it isn't assault on police as they aren't acting as coppers.
There is much debate on public sapce becoming provate property but there has been no change in the law!


peace news summer camp

27.07.2009 18:12

was also this weekend not even an action desite being within striking distance of plenty of targets -sit in a field with the drop out elite or do something real in dalston


info solidarity

28.07.2009 11:48

does sameone knows about the guy who got nicked ???? please post it ...


Summer camps are totally *not* the place for actions

28.07.2009 19:40

Summer camps are about learning and networking. They are totally the wrong place for actions. People have all the wrong stuff with them, which should be left behind on an action, and these events are usually crawling with filth (at least, that is the case with animal rights events). And the cops know exactly where people will be going back to if they want to pick people up afterwards.

If you want actions, plan them at the camp and do them at a time when you will be more effective and have more of an element of surprise, and when things are less pigged out.


arrest result

29.07.2009 15:05

Barney, who was arrested, spent 40 hours in police custody. At the court hearing the CPS didn't ask for any bail conditions (in fact he actually said that falling over a protestor was "par for the course" for the police), so he was released on unconditional bail until the assault charge comes up on January 7th.

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Not guilty

10.06.2010 13:55

I was finally tried for this yesterday, and after hearing conflicting evidence from two police officers, and hearing that the police had managed to lose a written statement from a security guard instead of passing it to the CPS, the court decided that there was "much more doubt than certainty" about this case, and found me not guilty.