The campaign holds regular monthly demonstrations, [These are normally held on the 2nd monday of every month]
How strange then, that some of this crew should appear on the road opposite while people protested about the activity of this arms manufacturer.
I went over to take these photographs. The first thing I noticed was that the car contained some of the usual suspects, who have engaged in much surveillance of anti-militarist and environmental actions in the past. Sgt CO996 Mark Sully of Forward Intelligence Team from the Metropolitan Police and his collegue PC 1818 of South Yorkshire Police. Bearing in mind the scale of this gathering, I thought the presence of such illustrious officers a little excessive.
The other thing I notice, was that they were parked on double yellow lines near a road junction, causing all traffic turning up that road, to the nearby industrial estate, to go onto the wrong side of the road. Seeing my interest, they reversed slowly off the yellow lines. They were a little camera shy pulling the sunshades down etc, eventually driving off at some speed. [Helpfully, I've added previous pictures of these officers at the bottom of this page.] This obviously not being an emergency call, I'll be making a complaint.
In addition to this surveillance, also necessary to police these six people was a car on patrol, a police 4x4 style vehicle and a 'serial' van full of officers, parked further down on the estate
Just after taking these piccys, it rained, oh my, it rained loads, I mean a complete torrent. I thought it showed real diligence that people stayed, braving these elements all getting soggy.
Heckler & Koch's UK office is NSAF Ltd, Unit 3, Easter Park, Lenton Lane, Nottingham NG7 2PX.
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 campaigner 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]
Looking at the front board of the industrial estate, 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 .
For info on the surrounding issues, please check the Indymedia Feature on H&K at:
Campaigning against Heckler & Koch Weapons in Germany and the UK
This article also contains many link to reports on the previous monthly demo, held there.
Heckler & Koch Campaign :: Mark Thomas in Nottingham [May event]
Heckler & Koch Campaign :: Demo & Picket in Nottingham [May event]
Shut Down Heckler & Koch Campaign
Poster / Flyer PDF of H&K leaflet
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]