UK Anti-militarism Feature Archive
Saturday, Sept 6th: DSEi attempted to sail 4 warships along the river Thames, through Gallions Reach Lock and into the Royal Victoria Dock near the Excel exhibition centre on Saturday morning.
Three sperate affinity groups attempted to stop the naval vessals getting into Albert dock and DSEi by trying to block the lock gates with people in the water and to prevent the swing bridge from opening by locking-on with D'locks. There was a four hour window in which the tide allowed entry into the docks. The 30 activists succeeded in disrupting the manoeuvre, and the last 2 ships in the convoy aborted their mission and had to stop 7km down stream. Around sixteen people were arrested and taken to Charing Cross Police Station, where a solidarity protest took place to support the arrested and to wait for their release. Some were released without charge - others were charged with swimming in the dock or attempted criminal damage....
Boat action: reports [1,2]; pics [1,2] - video;
Charing Cross police station prisoner solidarity assembly: [pictures | video]
Companies at the fair include Bulgarian small arms firm Arsenal Company, which is reported to have ‘sold small arms for $7-8 million to Chad and Angola’ and in was named as a supplier of arms to Sierra Leone, in breach of the UN embargo. Other CAAT briefings and press releases include:
Debunking the DSEi Myths
DSEi Secret Invite List Exposed
Syria (axis of evil country) Invited To Arms Fair
Public to Foot £1M Policing Bill
Mark Thomas to Open DSEi Convergence Centre - 6th September
Disarm DSEi Press Release: International Protestors to Target UK Arms Fair
Fluffy DSEi NVDA Press Release
Corporate Watch on DSEi Arms Fair
CAAT Release: Protests Challenge London Arms Bazaar
Links: Disarm DSEi, Destroy DSEi, Fluffy DSEi
In recent days three more actions have been carried out against firms due to exhibit at the DSEi Arms Fair in London 9-12th September. Further protests against DSEi in London and NATO's Military Committee in Cambridge are expected over the next few days.
On 5th Friday activists from Birmingham staged a roof-top protest at the headquarters of Caterpillar(UK), in Desford, near Leicester, unfurling a banner reading "Caterkillar – Demolishing Palestine – Demolishing Peace". The action was in protest at the sale of Caterpillar D9 armoured bulldozers to Israel (see report and pics).
On Wednesday 3rd activists occupied the roof of a BAe Systems Factory in Byfleet, Surrey hanging a banner reading "Destroy the arms trade" (see report).
Meanwhile on Tuesday 2nd around twenty people took action against Fluent Ltd, a computer modelling software company in Sheffield. Several campaigners barricaded themselves inside the revolving doors while more people climbed up onto the canopy above the main entrance and hung a banner reading "Fluent Deal in Death" (see report, pics). The action followed anti-arms street theatre in the city centre.
Today, as 168 delegates discussed war and the expansion of NATO inside the hotel, activists outside staged a colorful and effective protest with street theatre and music. In the two days of mobilisations local residents were made aware that war is being waged right from their doorsteps.
04-09-2003 09:58In a truly hypocritical move, police have been using Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to stop and search people suspected of being anti-arms campaigners in and around the area of the DSEi arms fair, due to be held next week. Reports have come in of several instances of the anti-terror legislation being used to stop, detain and search people.
The use of Section 44 allows vehicles and pedestrians to be stopped and searched for no reason. People may be asked to remove outer clothing (coat, hat even shoes) but no more than that. Bags may be searched and pockets emptied. Male officers may search women although they should not touch them. People should receive a ticket after they have been searched which should specify the date, location, officer conducting the search and the results of the search. There is no legal requirement for people to provide their name and address.
LIBERTY, the human rights group, released a 13 page report (pdf)in July focusing on the misuse of Section 44 against anti-war demonstrators around USAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, during the concentrated bombing of Iraq earlier this year. The damning report detailed fundamental breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights in the extensive use of anti-terrorism laws to prevent citizens taking part in legitimate protest and to harrass them. At its most extreme an anti-terrorist order was served on an 11-year-old girl.
See Indymedia Feature - more on Section 44
One of the activists, Laura Semple from Oxford, said "DSEi is one of the leading arms fairs in the world, where more than 600 arms companies will be queuing up to strike deals with oppressive regimes and to fuel conflicts all over the globe. We intend to shut it down."
See: Report 1, Update 1, Update 2, Photos, Videos.
At least five people, some from London Rising Tide barricaded themselves into Brown's office and, in the spirit of participatory democracy, attempted to open a constructive dialogue with ECGD staff over the Baku-Ceyhan project.
A banner reading 'Exporting Corruption, Guaranteeing Destruction' was unfurled, but security guards for ECGD office building Exchange Tower and police refused to allow any protest to take place (including the leafletting of local shops) on Exchange Tower's private property.
In recent years the Export Credits Guarantee Department has come under increasing fire for using public money to subsidise the arms trade, for supporting projects enmeshed in gross corruption, and for failing to carry out sufficient research into the benefits of the projects it supports for local people.
Around 35 people from around the country joined in the 'Reclaim the Bases Summer Camp' at Aldermaston in Berkershire.
Organised by the D10 group the camp brought together activists from around the counrty to share information and skills to widen the network of non violent direct activists taking part in actions against militraism.
Quote: "Our calculations show that the Fibre Optic Cables running from the City of London to the Docklands, along the A13, can channel the psychic currents we generate in our psychogeographical activities with enough precision to shut down the arms fair on September 11th 2003."
Ulla Roder [1,2,audio] who last March disarmed a Tornado jet, has been released on unconditonal bail. She appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court near Edinburgh for a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday 12th August where a new date was set for her trial (22nd September), with another new pre-trial hearing on the 9th September (coincidently coinciding with the DSEi protests).
In related news charges have finally been dropped against four activists who on 20th February blocked the runway of RAF Brize Norton in an attempt to disrupt preparations for war.
Meanwhile, Coulport military base in Scotland has been blockaded several times, and an International Disarment Camp has been set up - actions continue with several swimmers breaching top-security areas: News Updates: 6/8/03, 9/8/03, 11/8/03, 12/8/03 (arrest total now at 34), 15/8/03 with videos and personal report. The camp is set to run until 15th August. Following on from this Reclaim The Bases will hold their summer camp at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston, from 22nd to 25th of August.
There has also been action taking place for Hiroshima day (August 6), with events in Sheffield and Faslane.
Links: Free Ulla Campaign | Trident Ploughshares | Faslane Peace Camp| Background to Hiroshima Day 2003 | Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarment
Six activists gained entry to the Smiths Aerospace production plane in Wolverhampton on Thursday and climbed to the roof of the two storey office unit at the front of the factory. They stayed on the roof throughout the afternoon. At the same time another group of activists carried out a makeshift ‘weapons inspection’ gaining entrance to sensitive production areas.
Roof Top Protest at Smiths Aerospace - West Midlands
Update 8.8:The last protester detained has now been released. See also anaylsis and editorial for August 7 on IMC-Israel
Latest from IMC-Israel, 6.8.: 1 2
Breaking news 5.8.2003: Indymedia Israel reports 45 detained,3 arrested in protests in Mas'ha against seperation wall.
For a year now, Palestinian, Israeli and international peace activists have been calling attention to the building of the Separation Wall by Israel in Palestinian areas. Although it is the most acute threat to Palestinians getting bigger as we speak, the US sponsored Road Map to peace nor the corporate media paid attention to their pleas. But, this month it seems that finally the world is starting to listen. Dozens of pictures on the mainstream newswires and heated debates on Indymedia UK, and yes, protests too!
Jeremy Hardy v. The Israeli Army is a feature documentary about the International Solidarity Movement in Palestine as experienced through the eyes of British comedian Jeremy Hardy.
Leila Sansour, the filmmaker with a degree in philosophy, grew up in Bethlehem in the Occupied West Bank and will present the film in Glasgow on Sunday and Monday, the 28th at the Glasgow Film Theatre and in Edinburgh from Monday to Thursday in the Edinburgh Filmhouse.
Each screening will be followed by a question and answer session with the filmmaker.
More background info: [prisoner report, pics, audio , spontaneous demo at police station, ], all 22nd of march.
On Thursday July,17th 2003, a more or less spontaneous solidarity action called by the comedian Mark Thomas and supported by Members of Scottish Parliament Mark Ballard and Colin Fox, took place in front of the St.Leonards police station, Edinburgh, with about 60 protesters ready to hand themselves in for displaying postcards with a similar design in public. pics [1, 2 ]
LIBERTY Slams Use of Anti Terrorism Act to Suppress Peace Protests - Did the Home Secretary Lie to Parliament?
Download full Liberty report: (pdf)
Corporate Media Coverage of Liberty report
War on Freedom and Democracy (10 page Statewatch pdf, Sept 02)