The meeting was also used as the first public call to resist the Forward Intelligence Teams (the cops who stand outside meetings taking photos and making notes about those in attendance).
Around ten people attended the protest outside the meeting with two large banners and a couple of small ones. One was particularly effective as it was on poles which meant it could directly obstruct the photographer’s view. Our aim was to prevent them from taking photographs of those entering the meeting and we were largely successful both because their attention was mostly directed at us and because the banners were large enough to block their view.
No arrests were made and people were able to attend the meeting without having their photographs taken.
The meeting itself was well attended.
At first we discussed the days of action planned for 29th and 30th July. The present call is for affinity group actions around the country to highlight the arms trade and DSEi. There was the suggestion of doing a public action on one of these days, but this was not finalised.
Most of the meeting was spent discussing a public call to action for 11th September and it was agreed we would organise an action at Custom House DLR station at 1pm to disrupt DSEi.
We also discussed the need to have maps and information on previous protests and police actions at DSEi.
The plan to buy a tank was also discussed and we had a productive conversation about how this piece of equipment could best be utilised.
Convergence spaces were debated and the pros and cons of either having a camp, a convergence centre near ExCeL or one further into town. People are going to investigate the practicalities of different options.
The dreaded press conversation was also broached with surprising ease and people agreed it was a wasted opportunity not to use the press interest generated by DSEi. Press and publicity working groups have been set up for anyone wanting to get involved in these areas.
Finally we discussed outreach and doing events such as bike fixing and food not bombs in the local area.
It was a productive meeting – it took a while to reach some of these decisions, but those attending felt we had reached some important decisions and had a clear idea of how we are going to proceed.
Get involved and come to the next public meeting – Saturday 28th July, 2pm, location to be confirmed.
There will also be an anti FIT presence outside this meeting.
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