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.
Read more >>
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 >>
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
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On 28th August campaigners occupied the offices of the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) in a protest against its role in the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and arms exports (see pics
At least five people, some from London Rising Tide barricaded themselves into Brown's office and, in the spirit of participatory democracy, attempted to open a constructive dialogue with ECGD staff over the Baku-Ceyhan project.
A banner reading 'Exporting Corruption, Guaranteeing Destruction' was unfurled, but security guards for ECGD office building Exchange Tower and police refused to allow any protest to take place (including the leafletting of local shops) on Exchange Tower's private property.
In recent years the Export Credits Guarantee Department has come under increasing fire for using public money to subsidise the arms trade, for supporting projects enmeshed in gross corruption, and for failing to carry out sufficient research into the benefits of the projects it supports for local people.
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On Thursday 21st August activists occupied the head office of Spearhead, the company organising Europe's largest arms fair, Defence Systems Equipment International (DSEi), while a large banner reading "Spearhead - DSEing with Death!" was hung from the building. See reports 1
Leaflets were also handed out to passers by, and office staff, explaining the role of Spearhead in organising DSEi, and asking staff to consider conscientiously objecting to the event. There were four arrests, but all were later released without charge.
For more on DSEi see the special DSEi 2003 Section
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Recently a flurry of psychogeographical flyers have hit London exhorting people to destroy DSEi with 'Sex Majik'
Quote: "Our calculations show that the Fibre Optic Cables running from the City of London to the Docklands, along the A13, can channel the psychic currents we generate in our psychogeographical activities with enough precision to shut down the arms fair on September 11th 2003."
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| 2 additions
Peace campaigners have won the right to challenge police decisions to detain and prevent them from demonstrating against the war on Iraq at Fairford air base in March this year. Over 120 people from two coaches were searched, detained, and forcibly returned to London with a huge police escort. Granting permission for their judicial review case to proceed Mr Justice Richards commented that the issues it raised were "substantial" and "of importance" to merit a full High Court hearing.
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Update 8.8:The last protester detained has now been released. See also anaylsis and editorial for August 7 on IMC-Israel
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Latest from IMC-Israel, 6.8.: 1 2
Breaking news 5.8.2003: Indymedia Israel reports 45 detained,3 arrested in protests in Mas'ha against seperation wall.
For a year now, Palestinian, Israeli and international peace activists have been calling attention to the building of the Separation Wall by Israel in Palestinian areas. Although it is the most acute threat to Palestinians getting bigger as we speak, the US sponsored Road Map to peace nor the corporate media paid attention to their pleas. But, this month it seems that finally the world is starting to listen. Dozens of pictures on the mainstream newswires and heated debates on Indymedia UK, and yes, protests too!
, the human rights group, has released a 13 page report focusing on the policing of anti-war demonstrators around USAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, during the concentrated bombing of Iraq earlier this year. The damning report details 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 (by mid-april the campaign group Gloucestershire Weapons Inspectors
alone had recorded 89 stop and searches under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000
carried out against just 26 people!), as well as the excessive use of various other public order legislation. At its most extreme an anti-terrorist order was served on an 11-year-old girl (her father is now seeking legal redress) and 3 coach loads of demonstrators were "kidnapped" by police (see indymedia feature
), also the subject of a legal action
(also see Fairford Coach Action
). Download full Liberty report:
(pdf) Corporate Media Coverage
of Liberty report War on Freedom and Democracy
(10 page Statewatch pdf, Sept 02)
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Between 6-12 September, one of the world's largest weapons and arms fairs, Defence Systems Equipment International (DSEi) will take place at the ExCeL Centre in London's Docklands. In parallel a coalition of over 30 groups are organising a week of events against the arms trade, including a two day counter conference, film screenings and exhibitions, vigils, protests and direct action against the arms fair itself. Further explanation of DSEi
Two years ago up to one thousand campaigners demonstrated outside the Docklands arms fair with a carnival style 'Fiesta of Life Against Death' - see Indymedia coverage
| archive (1
) | SchNEWS (1
) | Squall
. That day would prove to be more significant than anyone could have imagined, with the date being 11th September 2001
. This year the arms fair will be open for business on the anniversary of the Sept 11th attacks
, with the counter mobilisation running from 6th - 12th September, (which also coincides with the WTO Meeting in Cancun
, Mexico 10th-14th). Campaigners are also calling for a boycott
of the ExCeL centre where the DSEi exibition is taking place. There is also going to be a weekend of anti-DSEi events in London
taking place on July 26-27, and a "counter conference"
is being planned as part of the Disarm DSEi week of actions.
There are also plans for demonstrations at the RAF Fairford Air Tattoo
that is taking place between 15-20 July. The event "provides western military powers with the chance to flaunt their power" and "an opportunity for arms companies to advertise their wares" (see Fairford Peace Watch
For more information and background see: Disarm DSEi Campaign Campaign Against the Arms TradeRecent SchNEWS on UK Arms Industry
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Update Saturday 19
: Simon, thessaloniki prisoner, has just phoned and said that letters, which DO NOT have a return address on the ENVELOPE will not be delivered to prisoners.
If you want to send a card Simons 30th birthday is the 24th of july.
This new procedure applies to all prisoners. Update Sunday 13
: The greek government has seized the account at the Pireus bank which had been opened to receive fundings for prisoner solidarity (concerning the last EU summit in thessaloniki). It's important to avoid depositing any money into it, and to wait for more updates before sending more funds. Meanwhile for financial support please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Update Saturday 12
: On Thursday, 10th of July Solidartiy actions
so far known of, were taking place in London
, Graz, Athens
, Bilbao, Torino, Rome
, and Buenes Aires
. Update Friday 11
: Letter received from Simon Chapman
from Thessaloniki's prison.
Thursday, July 10, will mark an international day of solidarity
with the eight protestors arrested and imprisoned after demonstrations against the European Union summit in Thessaloniki three weeks ago. In London, supporters will gather at 3 pm at the Greek tourism office and the Greek airline, on Conduit Street, to raise awareness about the injustice being perpetrated by the Greek government
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London Rising Tide (LRT) took the struggle to bury BP's planned Baku-Ceyhan pipeline to the heart of the British cultural establishment on Saturday 5th July 2003. Following on from last month's protest at the BP-sponsored National Portrait Awards in June, this time they could be found at the British Museum in central London, which is currently hosting the BP-sponsored 'Museum of the Mind - Art and memory in world cultures' exhibition.
After 2 of the group, impersonating BP operatives in dark suits and dark glasses overlaid with spoof 'flaming helios' company logos, began loudly to sing the praises of BP, museum security insisted that they leave the building. Other LRT-ers offered 'spontaneous' critiques of the BP line, video'd the proceedings, gave out leaflets and unfurled a 'BP sponsors climate chaos' banner wherever they could. One of the BP types was told that his invitation to visit the museum had been permanently revoked. Police arrived for some reason, were aggressive, and left, while LRT-ers gave out leaflet and chatted to supportive visitors at the gates.
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London Rising Tide (LRT) took the struggle to bury BP's planned Baku-Ceyhan pipeline to the heart of the British cultural establishment on Saturday 5th July 2003.
Following on from last month's protest at the BP-sponsored National Portrait Awards in June, this time they could be found at the British Museum in central London, which is currently hosting the BP-sponsored 'Museum of the Mind - Art and memory in world cultures' exhibition.
Read more >>
On 25 June, a court hearing took place against 8 protesters who were arrested during the demonstrations against the Thessaloniki EU Summit on June 22. A British protester, and 6 other people from Greece, Spain
and Syria will be remanded in custody for the next three months until their cases are dealt in Court.
They were charged on three separate counts, all of which carry sentences ranging from 7 to 25 years in prison.
Supporters are calling for a protest
at the Greek Embassy in London on Saturday 28th June, 2PM. Reports [1
]. Update #3 | Update #2
| Support for Simon (UK)
and Jonathan (US)
| Anarchist Call
| Situation in Thess Prison
| International Solidarity Group
Read more >>
London, 23 June 2003. As part of an international day of action
against Swiss Embassies and Consulates around the world, a small (but perfectly formed) group of mixed pink and silver and black paid a visit to the Swiss Embassy in London this morning and handed in a letter
. We went there to voice our outrage at the political repression and police brutality during the recent G8 meeting in Evian [Injury report
. Martin Shaw
Links [imc uk
| imc norway
] | Statements [1
] | The Incident report
& pics 1
| 4 Guy Smallmann letter
| PR -Stunt
| The Incident [report
Read more >>
imc london is part of the imc network of the united kollektives (uk) [mission statement]. We are a local imc in transition.
Like imc london itself, the website is work in progress, an open space waiting for your input. After the Dsei Media Center, and the reporting of bush's pretzel tour the next project is an open day and social event with screenings at the end of january.
To find out more, check the archive of the imc-london email list, mail to the list, or meet us at the indymedia screenings (Spitz, Other Cinema).
Read more >>
MAYDAY: WEAPONS OF MASS CONSTRUCTION May 1st 2003 Mayday 03: "Serious Disruption To The Business Community"
LEGAL UPDATE: Were you arrested or injured on Mayday? Did you see anyone being hit or arrested? If so please read here and here for more details.
Read more >>
Around the world people were out on the streets celebrating Mayday. In London the stage was set for a series of protests making the links between Arms and Oil as well as other issues. For full coverage of Mayday in London complete with pictures, audio and video see the Timeline of Events. Overall thousands joined several protests throughout the day with smaller demonstrations during the morning. In the afternoon protestors gathered at the offices of Lockheed Martin (arms manufacturers), which had already been closed for the day by the protests. One march managed to break away and danced its way through the streets of london along with critical mass bicycle protestors, complete with mobile sound system and samba band, resisting several attempts by police to surround the crowd.
Others were not so lucky and were violently pushed back by police and surrounded (one person was knocked unconscious). This group was held for several hours and slowly moved to Trafalger Square with a police escort of around 40 police riot vans!
The breakaway group ran around the streets visiting covent garden, parliament square, leicester square and many other locations in a loud carnival like procession, police all the while trying to keep up. At the scheduled 4pm Shell Oil protest meet up point on the Strand police again tried to surround the crowd, but once again the people broke free and continued occupying different streets.
Later different crowds met at the Strand end of Trafalgar Square where people danced for several hours to a sound system while becoming increasingly surrounded by police. Police invoked Section 14 of the Public Order Act, giving people until 7.05pm to disperse or face arrest for causing 'serious disruption to the business community'. As the dancing people refused to disperse / were fully surrounded, riot police were deployed on top of the hundreds of officers on the ground. Trafalger Square itself (where people had been told they could legally gather) was cleared forcibly by police, with riot police chasing a split crowd away down different streets attacking several and making arrests. The surrounded group were held for several hours until late and slowly released one at a time, many being seareched and photographed.
Many observers commented on the completely over the top police reaction. Much of the media seem seemed to be disappointed that their much predicted 'bloodbath riot' did not materialise and while some said that this was due to the policing, it was clear that if a riot had been the plan then there had been plenty of opportunity for this during the afternoon when the streets really did belong to the Mayday crowd. Millions of pounds worth of lost revenue was reported, and many of the firms seen as part of the oil / arms death machine had warned employees to take the day off work, as had other companies who are part of the global capitalist exploitation of the planet and workers.
London's Metropolitan police had earlier issued "advice" to companies and City police were running their own timeline until 7:20pm when "no demonstrators within the City boundary" were left.
In the days building up to Mayday there had also been a series of supporting actions and protests by Campaign Against The Arms Trade. This Mayday was also the 3rd birthday of Indymedia UK.
The annual Trade Union march to Trafalgar Square continued to gather support this year, with Globalise Resistance, Stop the War Coalition, War on Want, World Development Movement, and the TUC coming together to oppose war, racism and privatisation. Both protests were joined by the Socialist Stockbrokers, and in the City of London people vacuumed up after capitalism!
Further protests were planned for Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Leicester, Bradford and beyond.
Press hysteria surrounding the protests has been at a lower level than in previous years, although there have still been a flurry of articles and some terrible journalism / propaganda (1 | 2 | 3)
Bristol:Dozens of protesters outside the army careers office at around 15:40.
Also in Bristol, the Labour Party headquarter was occupied early this morning. 5 protesters were arrested.
Glasgow:Mayday celebrators occupy a petrol station in the Southside of Glasgow.
Sheffield:Sheffield STWC staged a visual display of photos of people protesting all over the world outside the Town Hall at 5pm. Pictures. On Saturday 3rd Sheffield Against War also held a Mayday demonstration against War, Racism and Privatisation (pics)
Wrexham:Mayday protestors in Wrexham urged passing motorists to boycott McDonalds with a banner hang.
LiverpoolBelated account of the Liverpool MayDay stroll here.
NottinghamNottingham had it's Mayday with a Stop the War demo on Saturday 3rd. Pics and Report.
ChesterfieldThe Chesterfield Trades Council Mayday demonstration was joined by the Sheffield Samba Band for the march through the town on Monday 5th May (pics and video)
Other London Reports
- Pre-emptive Mayday Action at Bechtel's HQ in Hammersmith.Full report
- Mayday protest at Victoria exposes Crown Agents' role in war profiteering.Full report
- Brutal Repression by the Metropolitan Police - eyewitness account
- Assorted photos released by Associated Press and Reuters from Mayday london.
- Zapatista MayDay action outside Mexican embassy in London. Report and photos.
- May Day - a taste of freedom, a personal account
- B&W Photos of demos,cycle ride, and the police riot that followed.
- Mayday Football Tournament 2003 (report)
Up to 20,000 people protested in Buenos Aires (Argentina) at Brukman and on the Plaza de Mayo (pics: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5).
In Bolivia about 100,000 took part in a march in La Paz, and another 50,000 in El Alto. 200,000 took to the streets in Bogota, Colombia.
In Sweeden, demonstrations with red and black banners were held in about 25 locations. About 1500 people marched and danced to heavy music in Stockholm, 600 gathered in Malmö, 200 in Uppsala, 1500 in Gothenburg. Clashes with police, and smashing of windows happened in Stockholm, reportedly started off by police. Read the report in Italian or in English .
Spain: around 10,000 people marched in Zaragoza in two different marches, around a thousand in Teruel, 1,500 in Andorra, where anti-Franco guerrilleros buried in common ground were paid homage, around 300 people in Huesca. Read report in Spanish.
In Madrid,the leader of the communist union suffered an aggression and had to be evacuated from the demonstration.
Read report in Catalan from Barcelona.
Italy (all reports in Italian): In Rome, 50,000-60,000 people marched and another 500 - 1,000 participated in a critical mass. Report and time line, pictures: |1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13|. In Milan, around 50,000 demonstratros took to the streets according to organisers, in a climate of festivity. Read report and picture. Reports also from Torino,Sicilia and Naples.
France (all reports in French: demonstrations were held in Paris, (reports, pictures) in St. Etiene, (pics and reports in French) and Liège, where a school was occupied and turned into a Temporary Autonomous Zone for four days.
Switzerland: Zürich (in German): 4000 people in Basle and 7000 in Zürich, 1500-2000 people in 'revolutionary bloc' in Zürich (after the official march had dispersed). Luzern (in German): Robocops in Luzern. Solothurn (in German): 300 demonstrators shouting "Nazis out!', 'several 1000 swiss franks damage'
Lausanne (French). Bellinzona (Italian). Lugano (Italian).
Berlin: in total 60 actions, demos and streetparties; biggest 'revolutionary May 1st demo' in Kreuzberg with 5000-10000 strong crowd; 6pm 'spectrum' demo of 2000 in Mitte (former East). According to police sources, around 1,300 people demonstrated, with 139 arrests, and 175 police officers injured. Read reports in Italian or in German: |1|2|3|, video, and pics kreuzberg.
Frankfurt: Antifa demo, (traditionally there are Nazi marches on May 1st; Nazi organizers didn't show up, few skinheads isolated, no clashes) report |1|2|
Nürnberg: 1000 demonstrators; 44 arrested (all released at 10pm). report and pics.
Hamburg: 1000 demonstrators; fluffy; report with pictures
Oldenburg: 400 strong demo; march briefly blocked by riot police who retreated after verbal exchanges; street party into the night:
Austria: Bregenz: 100 demonstrators, mostly kurds and turks;
Other Global Reports:
| Thessaloniki | Prague | Paris | Australia 1,2 | Dublin Pictures,report | Portugal 1,2 |
Mayday 2002 | Mayday 2001 | Mayday 2000
The Campaign Against Arms Trade and the umbrella group Disarm DSEI have joined in a "Fiesta for Life against Death" in the Docklands of London to shut down DSEI, the largest arms fair in Europe.
Read more >>
Timeline of events and actions in London on Mayday 2001.
Read more >>