UK Anti-militarism Feature Archive
Campaigners against EDO MBM (Smash EDO), a Brighton factory manufacturing electrical weapons components for conflicts in Iraq and Palestine, have been fighting for their right to protest as EDO MBM, backed by Sussex Police, have applied for an injunction under the Protection from Harassment Act.
Smash EDO call on everyone who cares about freedom to protest to join them on Dec 10th, 12 noon, Churchill Square, Brighton.
Organising over 23,000 workers in Iraq's oil and gas industries, the Federation of Oil Unions in Iraq (IFOU) is struggling against both the US/UK military occupation and the corporate-led privatisation of Iraq's industry. The president of the federation, Hasan Jumaa Awad, is touring the UK and addressing public meetings during November and December.
The Union has stated that ‘The privatisation of the oil and industrial sectors is the objective of all in the Iraqi state/government. We will stand firm against this imperialist plan that would hand over Iraq's wealth to international capitalism such that the deprived Iraqi people would not benefit from it ... we are taking this path for the sake of Iraq's glory even if it costs us our lives.’
Ewa Jasiewicz, Co-Convenor of the IFOU Support Committee ‘Naftana’ (meaning ‘Our Oil’) said, ‘Hassan’s second visit to the UK is a wake-up call. Iraq’s oil has not yet been privatised, and the IFOU are in a position, physically, strategically and historically to make sure that it never will be. This union needs our maximum support’.
On November 16th, Anti war activist Milan Rai of Justice not Vengeance was sentenced to 28 days in Lewes Prison, for "wilful refusal to pay" a fine. The fine was imposed after an action in November 2004, when Milan stencilled anti-war messages onto the Foreign and Commonwealth Office buildings in Whitehall, to protest the impending attack on Fallujah. Actions against the invasion of Fallujah took place in several British cities around that time.
A month of events in November 2005 to remember what happened in Fallujah and other cities in Iraq and to demand justice for those attacked.
One year ago this month the US, with the support of the British, began its second major assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah. This massive and unprecedented offensive killed many hundreds of civilians, destroyed much of the city's housing and created tens of thousands of refugees. An earlier attack in April 2004 had killed at least 600 civilians. See Jo Wilding’s report of riding an ambulance inside the city during the siege. Report
US forces committed major war crimes during the assaults including: bombing residential areas and killing many civilians; imposing a 'shoot-to-kill curfew' and using snipers to fire on unarmed civilians; targetting and shutting health facilities; and, using phosphorus weapons. See the Italian documentary showing use of phosphorus weapons, background to film.
Over twenty UK Remember Fallujah events are taking place including: non-profit film screenings; a national speaking tour with US author and activist Rahul Mahajan (in Fallujah during the April 2004 siege Report); an international teach-in, Voices from Occupied Iraq organised by Iraq Occupation Focus; vigils to mark the attacks on Fallujah last year; a screening in Manchester of 'Caught in the Crossfire' about the second seige of Falluja 'Jo Wilding's Diary from Iraq' by Manchester Indymedia.
See www.rememberfallujah.org for more information on all the events, on what happened in Fallujah and the ongoing attacks on Iraqi cities.
It would appear that Derbyshire police is going to use the usual tactic of over policing a peaceful event and hamper anyone who tries to have a lawful protest. Despite the organisers liaising with the local police authority over the anti-Trident work being carried out at Rolls Royce factory, this Monday, Derbyshire Police have applied and got a Section 14 order from the local council. See police statement.
Previously Derbyshire police used Section 14 to control protests at the G8 ministerial meeting in March. According to the local rag there were "A thousand officers from 23 forces" and "policing the event was expected to cost between £1m and £2m", since there were perhaps 100 protestors it cost around £20,000 per protestor...
Links: East Midlands CND | Invitation to join blockade | Previous blockades at Rolls Royce: January 2003 - February 2003 - June 2003 | Rolls Royce Blockaders Found Guilty | Previous protests in Derby: M17 Section 13 and 14 Notices - G8 Clampdown in Derby - Abuse of police powers in Derby
The last two days saw the AIESEC careers fair taking place at Nottingham University. The Portland Building, where the Students Union is based was full of businesses promoting their oppertunities for the under and post-graduates. People within the university informed the students attending the fair about some exhibitors: 'the problem is, they supply arms to countries with appalling human rights records'.
Arms manufacturers such as Caterpillar, BAE systems and Rolls Royce exhibiting at the fair were targeted because of their non-commitment to ethical responsiblity and the way in which they 'lie about the truth'. The protest, organised by NSPM, took place on both days of the fair. The Student Environmental and Ethical Network (SEEN) is organising an ethical careersfair later in November.
19/10/05: Students at Leeds University succesfully shut down BAe stall at the AIESEC careersfair at Leeds Uni.
Links: Nottingham Student Peace Movement (NSPM) | Environmental and Social Justice Committee | Student Environmental and Ethical Network | Stop Caterpillar :: Violations of Human Rights | Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) | The Ethical Student | AIESEC Nottingham Careers Fair | Environmental and Social Justice Committee | Previous article about NSPM
As part of an international week of protest, there were two major events in West Yorkshire.
On Saturday the 8th ther was a 'Keep Space for Peace' called by the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (GN) and organised by the CAAB. It took place at NSA MENWITH HILL, near Harrogate North Yorkshire.
Guest speakers were Bruce Gagnon - Coordinator of GN Drum Circle with Steve Hill of Daftasadrum. Fine grub as ever from Veggies
Yorkshire CND hosted a Conference on Saturday October 1st to launch Keep Space for Peace Week 2005. Speakers included Bruce Gagnon, founder of The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Stacey Fritz, coordinator of No Nukes North Alaska. [Full Report]
A request for activists to join a blockade of the Rolls Royce factory in Derby, where they make the engines for the Trident submarines is going out.
There will be a weekend of events starting on Saturday 22nd October with leafleting and events in Derby. This will be followed on Sunday by training for the blockade on the Monday morning. Trident Ploughshares have asked people who want to join the blockade to come to the training day as details of the following day will be given.
Davids 'crime'? - wearing a rucksack along with an 'unseasonal' jacket and checking his phone messages while waiting for his train. Luckly for David the police refrained from following the shoot-to-kill policy that had resulted in the tragic death of Jean Charles De Menezes less than a week earlier. Instead, they closed Southwark tube station and cordoned off the whole area while the bomb squad checked his bag. Eventually, finding nothing but a laptop in his bag, the orginal officers appologised then arrested anyway. His home was searched and his computers confiscated. You could be next.
London Multimedia Reports: [March Pictures 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ] [Rally Pictures 1 | 2 ] [Placards and Banner Pictures 1 | 2 | 3 ] [Audio Interviews + Rally Speeches 1 | 2 | 3 ] [Video Reports 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ]
See also Cambridge Peace Procession and USAF Croughton Peace Picnic
America Protest Reports: Meanwhile in the US hundreds of thousands marched against the iraq war and US military spending priorities in what activists say was a important illustration of the changing mood in America. Organisers said over 300,000 people joined the march on Washington, though again there was disagreement over the numbers [report]. Up to 50,000 people marched in San Francisco, and 15,000 in Los Angeles, while smaller protests were held in many other towns and cities across the US. See United for Peace and Justice | September Action
On Monday 26th September, the trial of the George Fox 6 commences at Lancaster Magistrates Court. Six student activists face charges in a three day trial arising out of an action that took place at Lancaster University in September 2004 where protestors had gone into the George Fox building at the university to hand out leaflets and talk to people at the "Corporate Venturing" Conference - a networking meeting for multinational corporations. Speakers at the conference were drawn from controversial arms manufacturer BAE Systems, Shell and other companies the six say have 'long histories of human rights abuses and environmental destruction'. Police attended and told the protestors they were doing nothing wrong, but some months later they received summonses through the post. The defendants are seeking support at the trial.
DSEi 2005: There have been 57 arrests in relation to the DSEI policing operation to date +++ Convergence Centre +++ For full list of anti-DSEi actions, protests and events see: [ Disarm DSEi - CAAT Listing ] +++ Legal Advice Card (pdf) | Legal Briefing (pdf)
Reports and Pictures 1 | 2 | 3 | Security breached at gala dinner
Video | Audio coverage
See [Full Timeline of Events]
More News and Comments: Banned stun guns and leg irons were advertised at DSEi arms fair | Why cops failed to prevent disruption to DSEi | Anarchists ‘passed off’ Advertiser, claims editor | Greatreporter.com article
Earlier in the day anti-arms fair protestors protested outside Reed Elsevier's offices in london, the DSEI organisers, while others staged a humorous action on the Docklands Light Railway - armed with numerous sex toys they embarassed the mostly male arms fair delegates over their liking of 'boys toys' and big rockets, as well as handing out anti-arms fair leaflets to other passengers [Photos and Report]
Actions and protests for the second day of the DSEi Arms Fair included a Critical Mass bike ride, a mass action at Custom House Docklands Light Railway Station, and affinity group actions targetting the fair. The day also saw the commencement of the trial of some Corporate Pirates, following an action against Windrush Communications, promoters of the Iraq Procurement events.
During the day's actions many delegate's journeys in and out the arms fair were disrupted, whilst major delays were caused to transport into the area. After the day's protests at least 27 people were reported arrested (we have 15 confirmed and named). Further affinity group actions are planned for tomorrow,as well as a protest and critical mass during the arms dealer's gala dinner.
More news: Reports of banned cluster bomb on sale at DSEi | Custom House Station: Attempt to intimidate journalist | Lower Lea Crossing: Van used to road block | Video advert of DSEi exhibitor | Video solidatity demo in Bristol.
The world's largest Arms Fair [official website] opened its doors for business at the Excel Centre in London's Docklands. Protets took place throughout the day which included a march, a Diaper Bloc and affinity group actions.
Around 400 people marched from East Ham central park towards the Excel exhibition centre. When the demonstration reached near Prince Regent DLR station, police blocked the road to prevent the march from going further. Several speeches were made by local groups, and eventually the crowd dispersed.
Nearby, a Diaper Bloc action took place outside Custom House station, where kids donned police helmets and riot shields whilst imposing a S60 on adults inside the designated protest zone. Meanwhile a batallion of the Clandestine Insurgent Clown Army toured central London visiting companies involved in arms trade and DSEi. At least 1 arrest was reported during the day's protests and, as it is becoming common place in London, police forces continued with their tactics of surveillance and harassment.
CAAT demo: pictures:     Pictures and report:  Audio: [Speeches mp3] Videos:   | Baby Bloc [pics 1 | 2 ] [comment] | Rebel Clown Army detained | Protestor blocks the east entrance to the ExCel centre.
The much criticised bi-annual DSEi (Europe's largest arms fair) runs from 13-16th September in London, sparkling protests in and around the East End docklands. This year condemnation of the arms fair has also come from Newham Borough Council and the Mayor of Newham. Events against the arms fair include two counter conferences, press briefings, direct action trainings, a Reclaim the Streets Party, candlelit vigils, marches and blockades. A delegate's dinner protest and critical mass have also just been announced for Thursday 15th evening.
Is spite of police intimidation, harassment and relentless surveillance, actions and protests started ahead the opening of the fair. On Thursday 8th, anti arms trade campaigners paid a visit to the offices of DSEi organisers Reed Elsevier in Kidlington, Oxford, to raise awareness of the companies involvement in organising and promoting the arms fair. See [report and pictures] [video] Also see The Lancet Medical Journal Attacks its Owners Reed Elsevier | Corporate Watch on Reed Elsevier | CAAT on Reed Elsevier [Reed Leaflet + Action]
On Saturday the 10th, a Beat The Bombers - Pary for Peace took place in the streets of east London. Some of those who turned out were subjected to somewhat questionable but predictable police tactics against lawful protesters. See Timeline of Events and photos [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5] [Videos 1 | 2]
On Sunday 11th, companies in the south-east of England involved in exhibiting at the arms fair were targetted with disruptive actions against their premises. On Monday 12th evening a Candelit Procession and Prayer Vigil took place outside Excel centre, while a noborder meeting was held in the convergence center.
Aberdeen: activists hung a banner outside an Offshore Europe oil and gas exhibition. Nottinghamshire: arms manufacturers at east Midlands expo. Netherlands: Reed Elsevier targetted.
Background to DSEi:
"DSEi Arms Fair 2005: The global arms trade comes to London", an in depth 30 page CAAT report (pdf) | SchNEWS on DSEi | The Arms Fair is Coming to Town a Red Pepper article | Indymedia UK DSEi Protest Archives [2003 | 2001- incomplete]
Smash EDO recently held a week long peace camp in the Wild Park behind EDO MBM in Brighton. The Peace Camp came just months after EDO MBM sought a civil injunction under the Protection from Harassment Act aimed to limit protest outside the factory. Smash EDO are a grassroots campaign group who have been trying to shut down Brighton arms manufacturers EDO MBM for over 18 months. EDO MBM manufacture weapons for the US/UK's war on Iraq and to the IDF for their oppression of the Palestinians.
Bombs on the underground, bombs in Iraq, guns in Harlesden, Euston, Kings Cross, in the car and under your pillow, destroying the lives of men women and children, and destroying the world in which we live, all sold to you by these nice men and women in suits, who only do this job because, "if I didn't, someone else would"..