London Indymedia

London DSEi 2003

12-09-2003 12:53 | 9 comments

Legal Update: DSEi, Anti-War protests and others...

Legal Update 16th September here.
Samba player in deep trouble after having been badly beaten by police and spending two days at Charing Cross police station; Witness appeal.

Liberty are asking for reports from people who were stopped and searched, ASAP. An email list has been set up for people who were arrested / beaten etc..

Since the 1st of September, 144 people have been arrested in protests against the Defence Systems and Equipment international arms fair (DSEi) that has been taking place in East London. Policing tactics have been condemned by a wide range of people and Liberty is have won the right to seek a High Court injunction over use of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000; they have also offered to provide legal representation for anyone stopped or detained under this legislation. Bindmans Lawyers have also requested information or witnesses from DSEi.

Numerous requests for witnesses have been made on the UK indymedia newswire [1 2 3 4 5 6]. There have also been several videos posted showing police violence against demonstrators which may provide evidence [ 1 2 - more can be found on the full reports from the 9th, 10th and 11th September].

Meanwhile, Anti-War demonstrators are still being threatened with - and receiving - harsh sentences. Protestors from Fairford come to trial next week while some are still fighting to get the charges reduced before they come to trial (Background to the case). Yet others are still looking for witnesses and some, like Ulla Roder (who was arrested for damaging a Tornado war-plane), have had their trials delayed numerous times.

Further afield, Simon Chapman and the Thessalonikki 7 remain imprisoned in Greece (solidarity website). Simon's first appeal has failed (against the charges) and he is currently awaiting the results of a second appeal. Key evidence such as the video have been re-submitted. In the United States, webmaster of Sherman Austin has been imprisoned for 1 year; he has since been subject to death threats and is being kept in solitary on the grounds of safety as a reason.


11-09-2003 13:27 | 7 comments

September 11th - DSEi Weapons Dealers' Dinner

The official week of events (6th-12th sept) against DSEi, Europe's largest arms fair had seen counter-conferences, vigils, film screenings, protests, direct action, and blockades all taking place - see the DSEi 2003 Special Section). Sept 11th was the penultimate day of the arms fair:

Trafalgar Square became Red Square, as anti-arms trade campaigners filled its famous fountain with fake blood. See Photos and Report and Report Two,

Sept 11th was also the auspicious date chosen for the DSEi / DMA Gala Dinner at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in central London. Arms dealers dined in luxury while around the world the dead were remembered (see Guardian article).

Anti-Arms protestors and peace activists showed their disgust outside the hotel throughout the evening with a noise demonstration. Diners arriving were greeted with shouts of "How many children have you killed today?", while the surrounding streets were repeatedly blocked by cyclists and drummers. Hundreds of police, some in riot gear sealed the area off and were overly aggressive, injuring at least one person who needed hospitalisation (see witness appeal).

There was strong support from passers by, while at least one person infiltrated the hotel dressed in a ball dress. Free food was given out as people stayed late into the night making as much noise as possible, banging pots and pans.

After holding their arms fair gala dinner on September 11th, the world's arms industry left the Lancaster Hotel under heavy police guard. They were able to leave the area via Lancaster Gate Tube Station, which, closed to members of the public, was commandeered for arms dealer only transport.

See Full Timeline

Reports: 1, 2
Pictures: 1, 2, 3, 4
Audio: Samba soundscape from arms gala dinner, Meeting the DSEi dealers
Video: 3 short clips, video 2
Recent mainstream articles: 1,2, roundup


10-09-2003 10:02 | 8 comments

Second Day of Action: Arms?- No Way! Shut down DSEi!

excel dsei underpass blockade 10th sept 03
The second main day of protest against the Defence Systems & Equipment International (DSEi) took place at London’s Docklands on Wednesday 10th September. Activists, anti-arms organisations, students and the public, angry, both about the items on sale, the well-known human rights abusing countries invited, and the devastation caused by weapons and munitions, attempted to "Shut DSEI by any means possible". This was the day that bargaining at the DSEi arms fair began in earnest and general press were prohibited from entering (see pics from inside: 1|2|3|4).

"Whose streets? Our streets!"

Early in the morning the Dockland Light Railway (DLR) was stopped in the first of several actions (see reports: [1] [2] and pics: [1] [2] [3]) with activists D-locking themselves onto the train at various stations or climbing onto the roof (see video). This disrupted the DLR for much of the day. Also on the DLR, activists engaged in "train theatre" posing as arms dealers (report and pics). On their way to the Excel centre they announced they had arms for sale two opened their cases revealing various sets of arms (prosthetic and dolls arms) they had to sell.

At Custom House DLR (pic others went to a "Meet the Delegates" action. From eight in the morning a Critical Mass left from the City of London to the Docklands (pics: [1] [2] and video. On their way to the Excel around a hundred cyclists blocked traffic while comedian Mark Thomas entertained the crowds. Just after nine the Palestine support group, International Solidarity movement (ISM) visited the Israeli arms company Rafael in an attempted office occupation, later unfurling banners outside.

At eleven o'clock the two meeting points of "Storm the Death Fair" at Connaught Bridge underpass and "Blockade the Death Fair" at Canning Town roundabout allowed affinity groups to converge to form mobile groups forming and splitting as they engaged in their various actions. At Canning Town the group was prevented from moving by police but soon shoved their way through and moved off down Silvertown and along Victoria Dock road.

At Connaught Bridge a car partially blocked the ExCel approach road in a D-lock action (pics) while groups moved in a variety of directions, many up to Connaught roundabout and some down to the underpass (pics: [1] [2] [3]), blockading the traffic for several hours. Groups remained mobile; some pushing through police lines as other roads nearby were temporarily occupied or blockaded.

As pink and silver Samba drummed their way along Victoria Dock rd (pics), blocking the road with crash barriers, clashes occurred as police pushed the crowd against the railings of a recreation park. Samba managed to move off up Freemasons Road joined by Sheffield samba band and preceded to block the A13 main road (pics). There were scuffles and arrests as police chased the crowd in different directions.

Meanwhile at the ExCel centre six activists infiltrated DSEi, occupying two tanks, daubing them in ‘Stop Death’ banners and locking on, before being removed by security (see press release, pics and video). Some delegates are forced to walk to DSEi due to the disruption caused by the protests (see delegate video).

At 4pm the Reclaim the Streets party mobilised many of the roaming affinity groups at Rathbone Market where a crowd of around 300 took to the streets soon meeting up with a critical mass bicycle group complete with sound system. On the A13 the crowd was eventually blocked in by police (video), later being forced into a park (video), which police had cleared with mounted riot police (video). They were slowly released in small groups after being photographed (reports: [1] [2] [3]).

Meanwhile next to Canning Town DLR a second RTS group occupied the roundabout, as the DLR was again stopped, banners hung on top of the flyover ("Disarm DSEi"), arms delegate buses blockaded and riot police deployed. With another samba group playing, there were more arrests and scuffles as police cleared the roads, later blocking in two main groups of protestors for several hours as people tried to push through police lines (pics: [1] [2] [3]).

The day had seen a high level of disruption around the arms fair, especially given the relatively small numbers of protestors, while police continued using stop and search powers under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (reports: [1] [2] [3] pics: [1], [2]). There were many arrests, some targeted, some quite violently, throughout the day.

See Full Timeline.

Reports: [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27]
Pictures: [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,8, 9, 10, 11,12, 13, 14, 15,16, 17, 18, 19,20, 21,22,23, 24, 25, 26]
Video:[quicktime,wmv:1, 2,3,4,5, mpeg]
Miscellaneous: Pensioner protest, Corporate media: [1 ,2] Call for evidence of legal support [1,2,3]

Arrests update: 10th, 11th.

Reports from corporate press: [1] [2] [3]

08-09-2003 13:36 | 2 comments

Samba! Monday Events against DSEI

A samba action has taken place in London at the BAE offices in London just before 9am this morning. An attempt was made to bestow an award to the company. Entry was gained to the foyer by 6 suited anti-arms campaigners. There were two arrests of people using D-locks on tables. The people arrested are now at Charing Cross Police Station where there has been a supportive samba noise demo. Click here for full report - pictures [1,2] - [ 2 short video clips, longer video clip on Imc Italy]- audio.
On the way from the BAE action to Charing Cross police station the group stopped by at the Army Recruitment Office to voice their protest against the war machine.

In the morning, delegates to the NATO military committee meeting in Cambridge were greeted by a lively show of the street theatre "performing for peace" on Monday morning.Pictures.


07-09-2003 20:02

Round-up of Weekend Events Against DSEi

Sunday, September 7th:

The two day long Disarm DSEi Conference has started this morning in London. Several workshops, trainings and presentations have taken place at the Convergence centre. Issues discussed have ranged from war and arms trade to Climate Change, whilst, at the same time, workshops on Non Violent Direct Action, Indymedia and Legal briefings have also taken place. All of this has taken place under increased police surveillance. Police stationed just outside the main entrance to the convergence centre, kept taking photographs and video of all those going in or out of the building [Photos]. Some cases of police harrassment were more extreme as several activsts have been followed around the streets of East and North London [Report]

In Cambridge protesters marched on a hotel where defense chiefs from NATO countries have been meeting. The De Vere's hotel was described, by a demonstrator, as having "become an extension of the military bases in the area putting up soldiers from the USA, the UK and other countries". Speakers voiced their discontent about De Vere's involvement with arms dealers and armies and linked the Cambridge NATO meeting with the DSEi arms-fair. [Report & Photos]

Saturday, Sept 6th:

In the morning a boat action took place in order to prevent military ships to enter the Docks for display at DSEi. Several activists were arrested, but released later co-inciding with a solidarity protest in front of Charing Cross Police Station. Read more.

At midday, several hundred people marched from Victoria embankment, past Downing street and Parliament Sq to the Imperial War Museum with two samba bands adding funky rhytms and a positive athmosphere. The march ended at the museum's gardens where a rally took place with speakers from different groups addressing issues of arms trade and in particular the DSEi arms fair.

Read report.

Photos: [1 | 2 | 3 | 4| 5 | 6]

Videos: [1 | 2]


06-09-2003 23:00

Waterborne action defeats navy

Saturday, Sept 6th: DSEi attempted to sail 4 warships along the river Thames, through Gallions Reach Lock and into the Royal Victoria Dock near the Excel exhibition centre on Saturday morning.
Three sperate affinity groups attempted to stop the naval vessals getting into Albert dock and DSEi by trying to block the lock gates with people in the water and to prevent the swing bridge from opening by locking-on with D'locks. There was a four hour window in which the tide allowed entry into the docks. The 30 activists succeeded in disrupting the manoeuvre, and the last 2 ships in the convoy aborted their mission and had to stop 7km down stream. Around sixteen people were arrested and taken to Charing Cross Police Station, where a solidarity protest took place to support the arrested and to wait for their release. Some were released without charge - others were charged with swimming in the dock or attempted criminal damage....

Boat action: reports [1,2]; pics [1,2] - video;
Charing Cross police station prisoner solidarity assembly: [pictures | video]


06-09-2003 03:26

Background Information on DSEi

Campaign Against The Arms Trade (CAAT) has published a full report and briefing about the companies, countries and issues at the DSEi arms fair. The report contains details, including names and addresses, of the companies - what they make, etc, as well as countries and issues of concern (see report summary, full pdf report).

Companies at the fair include Bulgarian small arms firm Arsenal Company, which is reported to have ‘sold small arms for $7-8 million to Chad and Angola’ and in was named as a supplier of arms to Sierra Leone, in breach of the UN embargo. Other CAAT briefings and press releases include:

Debunking the DSEi Myths
DSEi Secret Invite List Exposed
Syria (axis of evil country) Invited To Arms Fair
Public to Foot £1M Policing Bill

Other News:
Mark Thomas to Open DSEi Convergence Centre - 6th September
Disarm DSEi Press Release: International Protestors to Target UK Arms Fair
Fluffy DSEi NVDA Press Release
Corporate Watch on DSEi Arms Fair
CAAT Release: Protests Challenge London Arms Bazaar

Links: Disarm DSEi, Destroy DSEi, Fluffy DSEi


06-09-2003 00:01

More Actions Against DSEi

In recent days three more actions have been carried out against firms due to exhibit at the DSEi Arms Fair in London 9-12th September. Further protests against DSEi in London and NATO's Military Committee in Cambridge are expected over the next few days.


On 5th Friday activists from Birmingham staged a roof-top protest at the headquarters of Caterpillar(UK), in Desford, near Leicester, unfurling a banner reading "Caterkillar – Demolishing Palestine – Demolishing Peace". The action was in protest at the sale of Caterpillar D9 armoured bulldozers to Israel (see report and pics).


On Wednesday 3rd activists occupied the roof of a BAe Systems Factory in Byfleet, Surrey hanging a banner reading "Destroy the arms trade" (see report).


Meanwhile on Tuesday 2nd around twenty people took action against Fluent Ltd, a computer modelling software company in Sheffield. Several campaigners barricaded themselves inside the revolving doors while more people climbed up onto the canopy above the main entrance and hung a banner reading "Fluent Deal in Death" (see report, pics). The action followed anti-arms street theatre in the city centre.


04-09-2003 09:58

Anti-Terrorism Laws Used Against Anti-Arms Campaigners

In a truly hypocritical move, police have been using Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to stop and search people suspected of being anti-arms campaigners in and around the area of the DSEi arms fair, due to be held next week. Reports have come in of several instances of the anti-terror legislation being used to stop, detain and search people.

The use of Section 44 allows vehicles and pedestrians to be stopped and searched for no reason. People may be asked to remove outer clothing (coat, hat even shoes) but no more than that. Bags may be searched and pockets emptied. Male officers may search women although they should not touch them. People should receive a ticket after they have been searched which should specify the date, location, officer conducting the search and the results of the search. There is no legal requirement for people to provide their name and address.

LIBERTY, the human rights group, released a 13 page report (pdf)in July focusing on the misuse of Section 44 against anti-war demonstrators around USAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, during the concentrated bombing of Iraq earlier this year. The damning report detailed fundamental breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights in the extensive use of anti-terrorism laws to prevent citizens taking part in legitimate protest and to harrass them. At its most extreme an anti-terrorist order was served on an 11-year-old girl.

See Indymedia Feature - more on Section 44 Read more >>

02-09-2003 10:48 | 5 comments

DSEi Arms Fair Venue (Excel) Blockaded

Around 40 campaigners blockaded the two main entrances to the Excel Centre in London's Docklands throughout the morning on Monday 1st September, while tanks and other military hardware waited to be brought inside. Excel is the venue for the DSEi arms fair due to be held next week from 9th-12th Sept - a week of counter events, protests and actions will run alongside starting on the 6th (see Disarm DSEi.

One of the activists, Laura Semple from Oxford, said "DSEi is one of the leading arms fairs in the world, where more than 600 arms companies will be queuing up to strike deals with oppressive regimes and to fuel conflicts all over the globe. We intend to shut it down."

See: Report 1, Update 1, Update 2, Photos, Videos.


London DSEi 2003 Feature Archive >>

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Image NUJ drops support for Indymedia?
24-03-2006 17:22 | 2 additions

Audio Law Lords Rule DSEI Arms Fair Section 44 Terrorism Act Use Valid (Liberty Audio)
08-03-2006 15:42

Image East End Adversaries
13-09-2005 18:29

Text DSEI policing cost over 4million
05-03-2004 03:40

Image Young people protest in trenches against the arms trade
02-03-2004 16:32

Text Police Harassment of DSEi meetings and future meetings
28-02-2004 12:12

Text Four arms fair protestors jailed
23-01-2004 18:52

Text DISARM DSEi - London Meeting - 26th February
23-01-2004 18:04

Image Turin Samba Player freed
14-01-2004 17:59

Text British Iraqi Goes On Trial for Protesting at Arms Fair
13-01-2004 18:03

Text SAMBISTA IN COURT tomorrow, jan 6th, 10am
05-01-2004 11:54

04-01-2004 22:37

Text Police praise DSEI tripods action
21-12-2003 11:36

15-12-2003 16:34

08-12-2003 17:25

05-12-2003 17:10

Text Anti-Bush organizers: ''Thursday's protest will not be hijacked by anarchists''
16-11-2003 03:47

Text Were you arrested for Obstruction of the Highway at DESi?
08-10-2003 11:52

Text Liberty goes to court
02-10-2003 16:59

Text BAE Systems spy on anti-arms trade activists
27-09-2003 23:30

Text NOTIFICATION: Bush State Visit...
26-09-2003 14:36

Text Searched by Police at DSEI? Liberty needs your help, Urgently!
24-09-2003 03:19

Image Police Badly Beat Samba Player- WITNESS APPEAL
18-09-2003 22:20

Text DSEI Witness Appeal - Tue 9th Sep
17-09-2003 14:23

Image DSEi activists run rings around the Police (literally)
15-09-2003 12:00

Image DSEi critical mass bike ride
14-09-2003 23:12

Image pictures from RTS on A13 - dsei wednesday 10th
14-09-2003 19:25

Image Pictures - police action on victoria dock road - wed 10th dsei
14-09-2003 19:13

Text DSEi protesters got it all wrong
14-09-2003 18:32

Video "Good Morning DSEi!"
14-09-2003 13:02

Image Indymedia Public Access Point for DSEi - thanks to all imc'istas
13-09-2003 18:02

Image DSEi Photos: Action at Delegates dinner, Thur 11th
13-09-2003 16:09

Image Arms & Leg Dealers
13-09-2003 11:58

Text First day inside DSEi
12-09-2003 20:20

Video DSEi Video: NVDA Tues - Section 14 Imposed after CAAT March
12-09-2003 19:54

Text Ministers "block police op on arms dealers"
12-09-2003 18:45

Video More from dinner with the arms dealers
12-09-2003 18:15

Text SchNEWS DSEi Roundup
12-09-2003 17:51

Text Witness Requests Disarm Dsei 9th Sept
12-09-2003 17:01

Video DSEi Arms Fair invaded - pictures and video
12-09-2003 15:01

12-09-2003 14:42

Text Charing Cross Police Station, Abuse of Rights for DSEi
12-09-2003 12:58

Text DSEi Are Doing Market Research
12-09-2003 12:03

Text Witness appeal - Lancaster Hotel 11/9
12-09-2003 11:02

Text DESi action 12.9.2003
12-09-2003 08:44

Image Actions on 10th and 11th September
12-09-2003 08:08

Video DSEi Dinner - three short video clips
12-09-2003 03:17

Image Assorted pics from DSEi Arms Fair Gala Dinner - Sept 11th
12-09-2003 03:00

Image Sept 11th: DSEi Dinner of Death Merchants Get Own Tube Station
12-09-2003 01:36

Text images from the 10 and 11th of september
11-09-2003 23:30

Audio Meeting the DSEi dealers
11-09-2003 23:20

Audio Audioscape from arms traders dinner
11-09-2003 22:31

Text DSEI Thursday: Text messages reports from the hotel gala demo
11-09-2003 19:24

Text Effective Anti Capitalism
11-09-2003 18:57

Text Critical Mass greets fat cats
11-09-2003 15:47

Image Trafalgar Square becomes Red Square
11-09-2003 15:36

Text Trafalgar Square becomes Red Square
11-09-2003 15:25

Text DSEI Reclaim The Streets: Protest Tactics Deja Vu
11-09-2003 15:24

Video short vid clips from RTS canning town - dsei wed
11-09-2003 15:14

Text This is a Local Arms Fair for Local People
11-09-2003 14:43

Image pics from rts group at canning town - dsei wed
11-09-2003 14:24

Image wed afternoon pics from dsei
11-09-2003 13:55

Video short dsei mpg vidclip - rts break through police line A13 - wed
11-09-2003 13:33

Text ARMS DEALERS and their lackeys PIED !!!
11-09-2003 12:39

Text Corporate Media on DSEi protests
11-09-2003 12:01

Text DSEI - silverlink stopped - try to block DLR
11-09-2003 11:13

Video DLR train action
11-09-2003 11:09

Video An angry arms dealer
11-09-2003 11:01

Text DLR shut down this morning
11-09-2003 09:55

Text Singing for Peace
11-09-2003 08:46

Image DSEi Critical Mass
11-09-2003 07:59

11-09-2003 00:27

11-09-2003 00:16

Video Police violence at park gates
11-09-2003 00:04

Video Running battle on Victoria Dock Rd VIDEO
10-09-2003 23:08

Video Canning town kids vs mounted cops VIDEO
10-09-2003 22:38

Text Activists Infiltrate DSEi
10-09-2003 21:11

Text Desperate call for photos or videos of arrest
10-09-2003 20:32

Image DSEI: RTS party pictures
10-09-2003 20:21

Image DSEI: IMC Liverpool pictures
10-09-2003 19:04

Image DSEI: pictures from inside the crowd at Custom House
10-09-2003 19:00

Text Excessive policing at DSEi Reclaim the Streets
10-09-2003 18:27

Text DSEi roundabout protest
10-09-2003 18:03

Image Mobile photos
10-09-2003 17:46

Image DSEI: Pictures outside Custom House DLR Station
10-09-2003 17:27

Text Police block cause chaos on A13
10-09-2003 17:25

Image DSEI: Pictures from inside the arms fair set 2
10-09-2003 16:23

Text Deputy Mayor of London horrified after visit to Arms Fair
10-09-2003 16:20

Image DSEI: Pictures from inside the arms fair
10-09-2003 16:07

Text Demonstrators arrested at Fluffy Dsei
10-09-2003 15:52

Text Mainstream support for Liberty
10-09-2003 15:48

Image DSEI: Critical Mass Pictures
10-09-2003 15:04

Video Video of DSEi Police Clash
10-09-2003 15:01

Image More pictures from the D-locked DLR train at Poplar
10-09-2003 14:47

Video Fire Alarm Cops
10-09-2003 14:40

Image DSEI Pictures Wednesday Actions
10-09-2003 14:32

Text police hold 40 near a13
10-09-2003 14:05

Image Insecurity @ DSEi
10-09-2003 13:49

Image NVDA Blockade of ExCel west entrance yesterday
10-09-2003 13:43

Image Pictures from the D-locked DLR train at Poplar
10-09-2003 13:29

Image DSEI: Pictures from the underpass
10-09-2003 12:50

Image DSEI: A woman D-locked herself to a car at Excel
10-09-2003 12:27

Image Arms for sale on the light rail to DESI
10-09-2003 11:30

Image DSEI: Photo of police surveillance van
10-09-2003 11:13

Image DSEI: Pictures from Custom House DLR Station
10-09-2003 10:41

Text Activist chaining herself to DLR train
10-09-2003 09:07

Text Corporate Media - DSEi protests
10-09-2003 09:05

Image Corporate Media - inside the arms fair
10-09-2003 09:03

Text Anti-DSEI action halts the DLR
10-09-2003 08:59

Text Police Now Admit To "Terrorist" Searches at DSEI
10-09-2003 08:53

Text DSEi delegates guilty and ashamed
10-09-2003 00:45

Image Fluffy DSEi photos
10-09-2003 00:11

Image fluffy dsei breakthrough pix
09-09-2003 23:36

Video DSEi Fluffy Samba Videos from 9 September
09-09-2003 23:09

Video scrubbers
09-09-2003 22:29

Video bloqueando la calle
09-09-2003 22:02

Video morning DSEi
09-09-2003 20:57

Video selected footage
09-09-2003 20:33

Video police stop me filming
09-09-2003 20:06

Video Police occupy school near DSEi
09-09-2003 18:58

London DSEi 2003 Newswire Archive >>


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