MONDAY 12th September
We'll meet at 3:30pm in the London Buddhist Centre (on Roman Rd., signposted from Bethnal Green tube station). This will be a chance for those who couldn't come on Sunday to meet people and hear all that we've been discussing and where we're at. It will also be a planning meeting for a highly interactive and gently humorous action based around the theme of 'Right Livelihood' (in other words, an attempt to convert individuals associated with the arms fair to more ethical ways of earning their living). This action will probably take place on Tuesday.
From there we'll leave together to join the silent inter-faith candle-lit vigil taking place inside the conference venue security perimeter. If you don't come to Bethnal Green, you can join us for this by meeting at 6:30 at Tidal Basin Road, by Royal Victoria DLR station. This is generally the closest you ever get to the conference venue during DSEi, due to special dispensations arranged by local church leaders. Hopefully, we'll have a big pink banner to recognise us by, if it's arrived...
No-one at the discussions was much interested in joining the official CAAT demonstration, which leaves at 12 noon from East Ham Central Park, High Street (nearest tube: East Ham), so we won't have a specific presence there, but we haven't organised any alternative so you may want to join that. For those who are interested, we have also been invited to generally help out with the "kids bloc" on the march also known as "Diaper DSEi". This is basically a chance to have fun dressing up and making noise with children who are going on the march. I think I'll go to this: if you want to join, it's meeting at 11am at Custom House DLR station - bring fancy dress, instruments etc. if you have some.
In the afternoon, we'll probably do our Right Livelihood action (*) (see above). If you want to get involved with this, please try to come to the planning meeting in the LBC on Monday (we'll repeat after the vigil for those who can't make the meeting before the vigil.
Wednesday morning will start bright and early for those with bikes, with a big critical mass ride leaving from outside Bank station at 8:30am. We decided we'd also like to support the mass blockade of Custom House station at 11am, which will mean leaving the critical mass early for those who want to do both. The general idea is to support those blockading the station but to calm what might be a hectic atmosphere by chanting mantras or engaging in some other meditative activity. It is suggested that those taking part dress smartly to merge with the exhibition delegates until the last moment to maximise chances of getting to the location. In our Meditators' bloc, we will meet at East India station at 10:30 am, on the Eastbound platform. We will then take the DLR to Custom House. Make sure you have valid travelcards for all DLR-based activities - don't want to be caught out on a technicality!
On Wednesday afternoon, we will meet for a public meditation for peace in parliament sqaure at 5pm (*), to stretch the limits of the draconian new laws forbidding protest outside parliament. Join us any time between 5 and 6:30. Bring cushions, and maybe umbrellas... PLEASE PUBLICISE!
This will perhaps be our central action, continuing the theme from last time (2003) of combining meditative protest (public meditation) on the DLR trains with an attempt to engage directly with the arms fair delegates. We'll meet at Tower Gateway station at 11am to begin the day (*), and work in teams travelling up and down the DLR trains meditating, flyering and talking to delegates.
If we have any energy left, we may join the protest outside the delegates' banquet, details of which are yet to be announced.
- It's been suggested that we wear distinctive clothes when we do meditative actions together so that we have a bigger impact as a group. We decided on light blue shirts (especially the 'dharmachari' shirts of the kind used in the Western Buddhist Order - this is for distinctiveness) with a pink 'loving-kindness' badge (to be assigned on the day - where are the spares, Liz and Chris?), and an optional white scarf...!
- Please forward this diary around to as many people as possible and/or post on the web.
- Don't feel you need to be a seasoned meditator to join us - just sympathetic or interested!