With 56 people detained in the first few days of the DSEI arms fair protests in London and more than 30 arrested just on the 9th, it seems likely the total count for Dsei arrests will top 100 this year, though it’s worth noting that many of these will be “planned” arrests involving lock-ons and blockades where people are aware they will likely be pinched by police zealously guarding the event.
The arrest numbers are relatively high and represent a rise in direct action for the for bi-annual arms fair, which has cost the State at least £1 million per show in policing costs alone, according to government statistics. Court costs will have added significantly to that figure as police aim to make an example of protesters.
What’s currently unclear is how many people will be prosecuted, and court support will be important over the next few months. Following the 2015 arms fair eight people saw attempted charges for wilful obstruction of the highway quashed after they successfully argued they were acting to prevent greater crimes from occurring.
Commenting on the week of action, Campaign Against The Arms Trade said:
Thank you to everyone who helped create such powerful, effective and joyful resistance to the arms fair. The weapons sold at DSEI fuel the death, destruction and injustice perpetrated by militaries, police forces and at borders around the world. This is where war, repression and injustice start. But this is also where we can intervene to stop it.
Promoting a vigil happening tonight called by Pax Christie, Stop The Arms Fair organisers said they were happy with the turnout through the week of action, which “blocked deliveries to the fair for days.”
For more information on protesting Dsei and the law check out this guide from Stop The Arms Fair.
Picture: Daleks get arrested at Dsei, from CAAT