London Indymedia

Why cops failed to prevent disruption to DSEi

scratching | 17.09.2005 19:13 | DSEi 2005 | Analysis | Anti-militarism | Repression | London

What a week, so many cops, so many resources, so few of us, yet still they failed to stop us.

DSE 2005 saw 4,000 cops mobilised to prevent protesters causing disruption to the 20,000 delegates attenting the what organisers would like us to think is the worlds largest arms fair (it's not). With a policing bill of over 4 million pounds you'd perhaps have expected the coppers to win hands down against the ragged remains of the anti-war movement who set out to cause as much disruption as possible and yet the police completely failed to stop multiply lock-ons, action on the DLR and much much more. The result of this was stations closed, replacement buses, arms dealers walking long distances past crowds of protesters and even breaches of security to delegates hotels, including the Dorchester when the delegates met for dinner.

So how come 4,000 coppers and months and months of preperation and intelligence gather failed so completely to have it's desired effect?

First of all it is the inability of the police to put themselves in the mindset of their opponent. They simply can not understand how we function, how we organise and plan without leaders and without a chain of command. They continually seek 'ring leaders', imagining that faces familar to them from multiple meetings on which they spy will actualy prove to be key people in the actions that take place but they don't understand the way in which things are facilitated (and I don't intend to correct their misunderstanding here).

Secondly their intelligence proved to be hopelessly out-of-date and inaccurate. Their Oracle 17 'bingo' card of faces to watch out for was like a who's who of some of the most obvious faces from the history of previous years mobilisation but it did not reflect any new intelligence on who would be active this year. Many of those on the card were this year either not involved at all or playing supportive roles in terms of the campaign infrastructure. If this is the best their constant spying can achieve then we can sleep more comfortably in the knowledge that they really aren't on the ball at all. It is clear that their Forward Inteligence Team really exists for no other practical purpose than to harrass and intimidate - it certainly has nothing to do with intelligence.

Another clue about how crap their intelligence really is has come from the daily observation of specific squats in east London. One of the squats was evicted three weeks ago but the police have had virtually a 24 hour presense everyday for the last week while the only occupants have been a few people living in trailers round the side of the building.

Cops from around the country were sent to keep an eye on their known 'trouble makers' but lost them as soon as they hit London.

Police stopped countless vehicles but failed to locate lock-on equipement before it was used and even failed to nick the vehicles involved after the actions so they got to be used again!

Likewise for some of those arrested and released. They lost their tails and went on to do further actions around the city while the cops pissed around with clowns near the docks.

Each day saw massive police presence at the convergence centre and yet people still managed to time their excape from the building loaded up with equipment for the next day, right under the noses of the cops who after a few hours on shift would sit on a wall and spent hours on their phones to wifes or boy friends or whoever without noticing those pushing trailers full of kit quietly out the gate and around the corner before they looked up.

So, a week of actions with so limited funds and resources against the overwhelming numbers of the cops and yet they still couldn't beat us. We might not have shut down DSEi this year but they certainly didn't stop us from causing the delegates a few headaches.



Hide the following 9 comments


17.09.2005 21:21

You probably have as good an idea as I, exactly what the police should've done to have gotten it "right". But, do you think there was an element of apathy towards the task somewhere in the chain of command?

Sounds to me like the HM Gvt may have not been enthusiastic enough to employ more effective methods???

But maybe you are right. Maybe they were simply just too bloody clueless.

It's a shame it doesn't get any national media attention.

equally baffled

The grunts

17.09.2005 22:38

Well, I guess there may well have been little enthusiasm from some elements of the command chain as certainly no real attempt went into providing accurate intelligence to those on the ground. However, while I spoke to a fair few police officers who expressed reluctance and even annoyance about being called on to perform such an onerous task as protecting the worlds most calleous business men at the expense of the tax payer, many of the grunts were well up for it. Petty arrests such as the woman arrested for writting on the pavement with chalk, or people stopped for shouting at arms dealers and threatened with Anti-Social Behavior laws illustrate just how pathetic and mean spirited some of the police really are. But you are right, regardless of how some of these Murdoch brainwashed skinheads behaved, there seems to have been very little effort by the more senior and intelligent elements of the force, leaving the grunts to posture and strut while action went on successfully around them without substancial problem.


I'm enjoying tax dollars and security

18.09.2005 08:02

The Eurofighter jet (a UK/European project) cost £50 billion (£30bn over budget and a decade overdue - some experts say it's already obsolete) - the cost to UK taxpayers was £20 billion, approximately £1,000 per household. (Source: BBC2 'Eurofighter', 11 Nov 2003)

Just one example. Some others are at

And come to think of it, you have a fucking nerve attending an event in *London* and telling us that your industry is providing security. It's like you sneezed on me and then offered to sell me some Lemsip.



18.09.2005 09:26

And let's not forget the SA-80 assault rifle fiasco. Already nearly £500 million in 2002... who knows what the final cost of thing bodge job is???,3604,808713,00.html

To respond to our so-called Arms Dealer (troll) and totally disregarding any "namby pamby" moral arguments:

All this public spending on junk and they still can't find the funds to send troops to war with even the crappy standard MoD issue equipment (that most ditch anyway)- thus forcing the troops to buy essential equipment out their own wages. Soldiers dying because there isn't enough kevlar to go round.

That's not counting the whole charade of purchasing noddy suits for chemical attacks they knew fine well wouldn't come and then the whole Gulf War Syndrome eminating from medicines given in Desert Storm that were never neccessary.

I don't call that security. It's a fucking pisstake and complete CONTEMPT for the people willing to die in the name of security.

The last time I looked at the figures (about 3 years ago) the Arms Trade in the UK was being SUBSIDISED by the tak payer (i.e. running at a LOSS)... anyone got current figures?

At any rate, the only people getting a good deal here are Tony's Cronies.


political decision making as well as incompetence methinks

18.09.2005 14:30

the fact that the blockade of the west gate was allowed to happen, that critical mass were facilitated so much and the fact that we were allowed to demonstrate opposite the centre across the basin water (unlike previous years), makes me think that someone in the met chain of command decided to allow significantly more disruption of dsei this year than before, and although there were arrests, and in the area by the basin a couple of manufactured token/quota arrests, this would all tie in with the recent statement from the met that they didn't want to have to police this exhibition again.

so maybe we've finally beaten them and there may be no dsei2007? let's hope so.



18.09.2005 18:35

You moan about the "Cost of weapons" to the tax payer, then a comment about the 4 million it cost to police the event due to your protesting.....

Get a life, and a job.

Police 2 ( Remember G8...! ;) Protesters 0



18.09.2005 19:10

standards dropped so low that they have scrapped the maths paper in the Plod entrance test??? 4 million compared to billions is what percent?

One day, you may even make desk sergeant eh!

Softly Softly

fuck law and order

18.09.2005 23:26

shut up, the pigs got their ass kicked at the G8


Isnae How it Looked Mate

19.09.2005 22:29

"shut up, the pigs got their ass kicked at the G8"

That's not how it looked to me, especially the trouble in Edinburgh when the anarchists and local yobs got their arses kicked. You're living in fantasy land, mate.

Big Bad Boab


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