Protesters managed to get onto the roof and drop a banner that said “Smart Bombs- Stupid Wars” whilst other demonstrators in suits managed to infiltrate the conference. When asked who they were with one activist replied "the Afinity Group". After a tour of the place they were able to disrupt events with shouts of “Murderers! War Criminals!” before being thrown out by large men in ill-fitting suits.
Meanwhile as this was happening a Samba band (fresh from demonstrating against the privatisation of Iraqi oil) turned up as protesters with megaphones and flyers told passers by and staff at the Olympia Conference Centre about the war crimes committed by the delegates present at the conference. A US officer was spotted walking away from the conference and was hounded by demonstrators.
The action lasted over two hours. There were no arrests. Police presence was limited to some futile pushing and shoving and erecting a pen that everybody ignored (apart from the samba band that used it to get the high notes!).
Last year protests succeeded in getting Selfridges not to host the conference again. This action severely embarrassed the Olympia Conference Centre management (normally home to much more public-friendly events, such as Southeby’s Auctions). They know that if they host arms dealers again they’ll get more of the same. Arms dealers will be hounded from place to place as long as there are people dedicated to stopping the war profiteers.
Amongst the countries and corporations present were EDO Corp (attracting the attention of the Brightonian campaign Smash EDO), Lockheed Martin, Israel Aerospace Industries and military types from the US, UK, Israeli and Turkish militaries amongst others. Microsoft was there, proudly advertising their joint project with Thales, the French arms giant (do we really need another reason to hate Microsoft!).
SMASH THE ARMS TRADE!