main banner on march
heading to DESO's offices
police barriers transformed into a symbolic military trench
facing DESO's offices
kneeling to pray
about to take communion
The protesters slowly marched from Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church to DESO’s offices in Bury Place to the sound of a slow drum beat, with many holding daffodils as a symbol of hope and new life. Outside DESO's offices there was street theatre before the protestors knelt to meditate, pray and take communion in the makeshift war trench.
The action also coincided with the tabling of two Early Day Motions by Labour MP John Battle, which support SPEAK’s arms trade campaign.
Beccie D’Cunha, campaigns co-ordinator at SPEAK, said:
"UK arms exports are causing countless deaths and fuelling conflicts all over the world. Not only is our government allowing the sale of UK arms to dangerous and oppressive regimes - it is actually subsidising the arms companies to sell them! DESO is spending over £16 million per year of taxpayers’ money to aggressively market arms to countries like India and Pakistan. This subsidy is immoral and uneconomical and could be spent creating far more jobs that benefit society rather than destroy it."
SPEAK campaigner Lucy Cathcart said:
"DESO is shrouded in secrecy – most people don’t even know their taxes are being spent in this way. I’m joining in this action because I hope it will expose the myths that are surrounding the arms trade."
Indymedia Reports on Dsei Protests 2003: