As with all previous demos here, the police appear to think it warrents a large turnout of officers. At least 25 - 30 this time in a two shift rotation! [having to change shifts within an hour for refreshments]. 2 serials and a few cars. As ever, the event was attended by 'evidence gatherers'. The actions here have attracted them in a number of guises. The local Nottinghamshire EG's, The Forward Intelligence Team of the MET Police [sometime accompanied by intelligence officers from other forces]. This time surveillance was carried out by yet another set of EG's. The filming is oppressive to many. They were in most protestors 'faces' and made sure they did all new arrivals, with the occasional passer by for heavens sake!
To those involved in lawful protest, this is a mystery on what evidence of wrongdoings, that they hope to record and gather. The only other explanation of course, is that such tools are applied with a view to intimidate those assembled from future attendance. As ever, they find my own presence at this [and other] event of this nature, interesting. This is yet a further example of what some of us face, daily. The NUJ is collating police actions of this type, and I continue to help with this process.
NUJ reports to parliament on police Obstruction
http://www.nuj.org.uk/innerPagenuj.html?docid=947 - NUJ 12 November 2008
Home Secretary told 'end police surveillance of journalists'
Gov acts on photographer rights - BJP 22 October 2008
[this is from my FOI requests]
Home Office Pledges to improve police relations with the press
and, video Press Freedom: "Collateral Damage"
Protesters were grateful for the arrival of the 'Veggies Van' bringing instant refreshments; hot drinks, gooooey cakes and samosas [for social change] . This exercercised the EG's yet more, making them much more animated. They filmed and photographed the unloading of the cake and drinks. They recorded various aspects of the van, and to some hilarity from those present, spent at least 20 minutes trying to document the piece of a 'google map download', that had been left on the van's dashboard. The route of a veggie delivery the previous day, apparently. Again, it would have been hard to imagine, the nature of any offence, they perceived.
One would have thought that a city infamous for its gun crime would be a poor location for a warehouse full of guns. Not according to H&K, who do great business equipping war-mongers on any side.
Proud owners of H&K weaponry include the brutal militias of Darfur - the Janjaweed. Funnily enough, despite the outcry against the massacres in Darfur, they obviously weren't quite bad enough to stop selling weapons to the perpetrators. Even a recent arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against a senior Sudanese politician accused of selling H&K weapons to the Janjaweed hasn't seemed to stem the flow of H&K guns to a militia accused by everyone including the US of committing genocide. (H&K guns also fill the arsenals of the US Dept of Homeland Security, US Navy Seals & the FBI amongst others).
H&K have a 'strategic partnership' with the world's largest mercenary company Blackwater. H&K supply the guns to the Iraqi and Afghan puppet governments, and Blackwater provide the training.
There was a plan for H&K to produce special edition 'Blackwater' weapons - complete with the Blackwater logo on them. However, after Blackwater made the headlines for killing 17 innocent Iraqis (not the first time that Blackwater have killed innocent Iraqis, but the first time that it made the news in a major way), the plan was shelved.
Interestingly, local media also came under pressure; Trent FM, who had shown some enthusiasm about reporting these demos, received a word in their ear from both H&K's press office as well as the police, warning hacks that it would be 'irresponsible' to publish the fact that H&K has a warehouse full of weapons in Nottingham, as it may prompt criminals to try and steal them.
In response the campaigners pointed out to the radio station that H&K's address was published at Company House, as well as in several business directories. About the radio station being leaned on, the campaigners said that "If the security policy of H&K and Notts police relies on no-one finding out the company's location, then clearly it is they who are irresponsible, not our campaign and not the media. A large warehouse stocked with high-power assault rifles and submachine guns with inadequate security to prevent a robbery is clearly a significant danger to the public, and publicisng such a danger is very much in the public interest."
The H&K warehouse, located at Easter Park, Lenton Lane, Nottingham, is next to the 'Trent Vineyard', an evangelist church that held the funeral of Danielle Beccan, a 14 year old girl who was killed in a drive-by shooting. At her funeral service the then mayor of Nottingham said, "Guns have no place at all in our community - not in Nottingham, not in my city nor any other city in Britain."
One campigner said: "The arms trade relies on secrecy. Most people abhor the idea of factories and warehouse making and selling weapons around the world, and arms companies know this. By lifting the lid on the business, anti-arms protesters can make a put the pressure on the government/corporate killing machine to stop killing for profit." [schNews]
As you can see from the front board, Unit 3 is simply 'let'. One feels that they might just be a little embarrassed about their presence on the Easter Park Estate. Previous occupants had been the Royal Small Arms Factory. Even during wartime, they had a sign on the gate, saying who they were! Another example might be British Aerospace Works at Filton, Bristol. Again, they say who they are on the gate. This lot still remain shy of folks knowing of their activities. In my opinion, lights need to be shone into dark corners .
Shut Down Heckler & Koch Campaign
Further Demo at Heckler & Koch weapons HQ in Nottingham : Pix 1
Further Demo at Heckler & Koch weapons HQ in Nottingham : Pix 2
Another Demo at Heckler & Koch weapons manufacturers HQ in Nottingham
Demo at Heckler & Koch weapons manufacturers HQ in Nottingham
Surveillance at Demo at Heckler & Koch weapons manufacturers HQ in Nottingham
Protest at Heckler & Koch weapons manufacturers HQ in Nottingham : Pictures
'Die-In' at Nottingham University to protest at un-ethical investments
Nottingham University Student Die-In :: to protest at un-ethical investments
Photographer - Media: One Eye on the Road. Nottingham. UK
Member of the National Union of Journalists [No: 014345]
"It is not enough to curse the darkness.
It is also necessary to light a lamp!!"
Tash [alan lodge]
How sick is this?
The stunt has been sharply criticised by MPs and anti-gun campaigners. MP Jim Fitzpatrick said “Giving young children real guns to handle is inappropriate. It could be glamorising the weapons and creating familiarity which is plainly wrong.”
George Galloway MP said “The foolish display at this festival can serve only to normalise firearms or make they appear attractive, even glamorous. We are tragically used to seeing images of primary school aged boys handling assault rifles in Liberia or Mogadishu, but in Limehouse?!”
Police defended the initiative, claiming that it is intended to “divert people away from gun crime”, but Lyn Costello, co-founder of Mothers Against Murder and Aggression, called it ”a serious error of judgment.”
And it seems that this event was not a one-off: “We’ve done this kind of thing in other places” said Superintendent Tarrant of the Met’s CO19 firearms unit. “We will continue doing it in future.”
BBC News website
Daily Telegraph.14th Aug 2008
At this exhibition, Royal Air Force recruitment, in particular, the RAF Regiment were doing a roaring trade in getting more young lads to play with the 'toys'. Thus to give them ideas of military careers.
You can see how they do this. The younger the better. The sense of excitement, skiing, basketball, rock-climbing and playing Rambo with large guns. All designed to make you feel invincible. I have always thought that this approach lacks responsibility, don't you?