DSEI Protest Day 6: Festival of resistance

The sixth day of the Stop the Arms Fair resistance resumed yesterday with a full day of protests and performances by Inter Terrestrials, Boom Boom Racoon, Backyard Bully, Fedzilla, Thunder Tunnel & the Dangle Berry and Eva & Evie.

Activists, graffiti artists, circus performances and speakers such as Marwina Newton from Angel of Youths and London Mayoral candidate Sian Berry joined forces to carry out a “festival of resistance” to try and stop the Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) event, one of the world’s largest arms fairs, from setting up on Monday.

Police forces continued their week-long tactics of aggression and intimidation to disrupt the planned events.

Police even tried to prevent a Dalek calling out to “exterminate” the arms fair from crossing the road.

A van was stopped and searched in the afternoon.

However, despite police efforts to stop the day’s events, protesters and bystanders continued the musical resistance with defiant dancing.

Around 6pm, activist Marwina Newton, CEO of Angel of Youths, a charity committed to building projects to challenge inequalities faced by disadvantaged and marginalised communities, lifted up people’s spirits with a riveting speech. She called for solidarity with those affected by war crimes worldwide and highlighted the importance of the Black Lives Matter campaign. She said:

You’re fighting for me, you’re fighting for my children, for my children’s children, we’re fighting for our earth.

As the day became darker, Stop the Arms Fair captured an image showing three lines of police protecting the gates of DSEI at the ExCeL Centre.  Protesters went on to gather at a music marquee on a grass verge with lights around the roof to listen to more performing bands.

The coalition reports of another incidence of police violence yesterday. Officers violently struck protesters standing around in the road with a baton. One protester who was already under arrest and lying on the floor, received further baton strikes from a policeman.

The campaign to stop DSEI will resume today with another full day of action in solidarity with Palestine.

Stay tuned via our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages for more live updates from the ground. We are very grateful to have received some financial support from Stop the Arms Fair in order to report the actions against DSEI from 6 to 17 September.

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Featured image supplied to Phoenix Media Co-op, used with permission