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(en) Britain, Brighton, Anarchists Mayday Mayhem For Police As Summer of Rage Continues!

Date Sun, 10 May 2009 07:54:31 +0300

The head of the march http://www.indymedia.org.uk/images/2009/05/429579.jpg as it charged
through the streets of Brighton ---- South Wales Anarchists joined up to 2000 people from
around the UK in Brighton on May 4th for the largest demonstration to date against
Brighton based ‘EDO/MBM’ bomb component factory, organised by Smash EDO. ---- The MayDay
Mayday Street Party against war, the arms trade and capitalism was a lively and colourful
march that started at Brighton’s sea front. It continued through the town and paid visits
to a number of local branches of multi-national corporations, including McDonalds, RBS,
HSBC and Lloyds which invest in ITT, the corporation which owns EDO. ---- Activists scaled
scaffolding on Barclays bank to drop a banner demanding “arms dealers out of Brighton”.

Police paid special attention to protect a branch of McDonalds which proved to be a flash
point with a police van nearly being tipped over and a flare set off underneath it.
Mayday McMayhem outside a certain fast 'food' outlet that owns 61,500 shares in ITT

Mayday McMayhem outside a certain fast 'food' outlet that owns 61,500 shares in ITT

Compared with previous EDO demos, policing was relatively hands-off initially, without the
automatic attempt by police to cordon every man, woman, child or dog in sight. However,
batons and pepper spray were used on activists during the day as riot police attempted to
control the march and activists successfully forced back mounted police a number of times.
Of course, the police ‘Forward Intelligence Teams’ were present but were forced to retreat
behind police lines as FIT- watching activists made their job of intrusively filming
protestors more difficult.
A police officer attempts to de-escalate the situation...

A police officer attempts to de-escalate the situation...

It seemed that many activists had learnt from the G20 protests and refused to be drawn
into long fights with the police. Activists instead found alternative routes and kept
moving around the streets when unable to break through police lines quickly, outwitting
the cops and leaving them stranded waiting for orders. At one point the cops themselves
were ‘kettled’ (penned in) thanks to protestors’ quick thinking. The demonstrators’
refusal not to be kettled or subjected to violence by the police meant that officers were
often surrounded and outflanked.

Towards the evening, as the march appeared to retire to the park by St. Peters church and
just as riot police had storm-trooped away, the party took to the streets again taking us
all by surprise! The streets were again re-claimed by activists and local young people,
running through the streets of Brighton, through the Pavilion and back towards the beach
for more partying.
Police on the back foot

Police on the back foot http://www.indymedia.org.uk/images/2009/05/429591.jpg

Many felt that the police were on the back-foot at this time since the G20 protests and
due to the associated bad press officers received for their tactics. While the police may
have been aware of the public eye upon them and tried to behave themselves a bit more on
this occasion, the fact is that the police continue to protect private corporations who
profit from war and death; meeting resistance to this with violence and repression. While
slightly less violent and oppressive policing may be an improvement, better still would be
no police at all and the complete freedom to shut down EDO and all corporations who are
responsible for the continuation of the bloody war machine.
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