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Disarm DSEI activist arrest for holding banner

July 26th, 2009 · post by Edd · 4 Comments

All photos by: TheGirl78

Yesterday, Saturday 25th July, a Disarm DSEi activist was arrested at a protest against the recently opened Army showroom in Dalston shopping centre, London.

Disarm DSEi activists holding the banner outside the army showroom

Disarm DSEi activists holding the banner outside the army showroom

According to a report from Indymedia:

By 1.30, around fifteen people had assembled by the main entrance. Two activists from Disarm DSEi, who had been inside the building looking for the demonstration, decided that they would exercise their right to peaceful protest inside the shopping centre. Unfortunately, the police and security guards seemed to have no interest whatsoever in facilitating this right.

The two activists had hardly got their banner out, before they were being told to leave. Naturally, they attempted to get a reason for this from the security/police. Aside from a bit of feeble mumbling about private property and obstructing people (despite the protestors having their backs to a shop front), no real reason was given. Instead, the police opted to remove the protestors by brute force, pulling and pushing them towards the exit, resulting in both of them, and at least one of the cops on the floor. The police tried to use this opportunity to seize the Disarm DSEi banner, but one of the activists, along with people from the protest outside, managed to hold on to it, before being pushed forced from the shopping centre.

Police handcuffing the Disarm DSEi activist in the shopping centre

Police handcuffing the Disarm DSEi activist in the shopping centre

While this had been taking place, the other activist had been placed in handcuffs and arrested inside the centre, with a line of police forming in front of the entrance. Knowing it wouldn’t do any favours to their public image to blockade a busy shopping centre on a Saturday afternoon, the police attempted to screen the crowd, not letting anyone who they thought looked like a protestor through (this included any member of the public who had happened to photograph the incident).

People holding the Disarm DSEi banner outside the shopping centre

People holding the Disarm DSEi banner outside the shopping centre

Chants were started outside of ‘Let him go! Let him go!’, but it wasn’t long before he was taken to nearby Stoke Newington police station. A small group followed him there and managed to get in contact to find out that he had been arrested for breach of the peace and assaulting a police officer.

Police block the entrance to the shopping centre

Police block the entrance to the shopping centre

The person arrested has subsequently been refused bail, and is being kept in until Monday morning, when he will be in Thames Magistrate’s Court at 10.30am. Court solidarity, would apparently be much appreciated.

The event is a continuation of protest against the Army showroom, which opened in Dalston in March 2009. The showroom includes a ‘battlefield simulator’, games and training videos. People in Hackney, and across London, have complained that the army is selling a fantasy in the hopes of attracting young people from the area. There have been protests since the opening including an invasion of the showroom and a roll call of those who have died in Afghanistan.

In related news Disarm DSEi, who protest against the world’s largest bi-annual arms fair, have recently announced their plans for the 2009 protests, under the slogan of “Destroy the banks! Destroy the Investors! Destroy the Arms Trade!”. More details can be read here.

→ 4 CommentsThis entry belongs to the following categories: News · notes of resistance

4 responses so far

  • simon posted:
    Aug 3, 2009 at 11:14 am. Comment #1

    how to you post on this website? because i wanted to add stuff about animal rights as last hours fanzine do not seem to cover animal rights issues/campaigns for some reason?!?! Remember the issue of animal rights activism covers human rights issues as well because the amount of unjust that happens to animal rights activists at the hands of the state goes against our human rights. There are loads of bands you do not cover either, you just seem to cover one sort of punk genre. Please open your eyes and ears to other stuff and you might surprise your self


  • edd posted:
    Aug 3, 2009 at 1:48 pm. Comment #2

    Most of us involved with Last Hours are quite easy to contact. You can click on the author name up at the top, underneath the headline, which will take you to an author page, where you’ll find an email. Or go to ‘contact us’ in the about section.

  • Tom Fiction posted:
    Aug 3, 2009 at 5:47 pm. Comment #3

    Hey Simon,

    If there is something we do not cover it is more likely due to the lack of contributors not that we actively ignore it. However I would say between us we have covered pretty diverse music from folk punk to hardcore to ska to hiphop to indie to post rock etc.

    As for animal rights we would love for someone to write some article on animal liberation issues. We are not an open news wire but you can send press releases, things you think should be covered, or best of all something you have written yourself to one of the editors (check the FAQ section)

  • Disarm DSEi Activist posted:
    Jul 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm. Comment #4

    I’m happy to report I was eventually not guilty of assaulting a police officer, about eleven months after I was arrested.

    My defence was essentially the classic “I didn’t do it” defence (because I didn’t), it emerged that the police had taken a statement from a security guard and lost their only copy, and the court found that there was ‘much more doubt than certainty’ about the case.