Banner above entrance
Telling Raytheon what we think
Climbing to the balcony at Erinys
Number 25 Grosvenor Street
'Mercenaries making a killing out of war'
A very shy policeman
Keystone cop drop-outs
After the arrests
After an hour the group decided to move on to Erinys, at 25 Grosvenor Street. Erinys is a private security firm with 14,000 mercenaries working for them in Iraq. It was established by an ex-Apartheid era official called Sean Cleary, and was awarded a contract worth $80 million from the Coalition Provisional Authority. Despite this many of their local guards receive only $4 a day, with most of the money going to British and South African supervisors.
Another banner was hung from the balcony above their entrance reading 'Mercenaries making a killing out of war'. Again people handed out fliers. However, shortly after the protest started a very hostile member of the diplomatic police started harassing protestors, but in particular a member of the press who was at the event taking photos. The diplomatic cop used threatening body language as well as verbal language and refused to adequately identify himself to the photographer. He only calmed down when the photographer produced the NUJ guidelines to show that he was indeed entitled to take the policeman's photo in a public space.
Soon after this a keystone cop moment ensued with a number of diplomatic police arriving as well as some special constables. They rushed along to the building and spent a couple of minutes inside the building hunting for the elusive protestors only for it to be pointed out by one of the staff that they left a few minutes ago and were 'heading in that direction'. Eventually the police caught up and stopped the group walking away.
The police then proceeded to perform stop and searches on several individuals, and then decided against all bounds of logic to arrest two people for burglary.
The protests happened to coincide with a day of action against the arms trade, which was called by Disarm DSEi, a group campaigning against the world's largest arms fair. More information can be found at http://www.dsei.org
More information on Raytheon can be found at: http://www.raytheon.co.uk
And on Erinys at either: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Erinys_International_Ltd
e-mail: edd @ rnzine.co.uk