Posts Tagged ‘state terrorism’

No Faith In Arms – 2017

Tuesday, September 5th, 2023

No Faith In Arms: On Tuesday 5th September 2017 various faith groups came to London’s Docklands for a faith-based day of protest against the Defence and Security Equipment International (Dsei) Arms fair, the largest arms fair in the world, held every two years at the Excel Centre on the north bank of the Royal Victoria Dock in Newham.

No Faith In Arms

Before I arrived some protesters had locked themselves together on the approach road to the East gate of the site stopping deliveries for setting up the event for some time.

No Faith In Arms

People of various faiths were sitting beside the road and a number of Quakers held a meeting on the grass verge. A number of them went and sat down in the road to stop deliveries. Police talked with them for some time, urging them to move before carrying them away and depositing them on the grass.

No Faith In Arms

A few were arrested and led away to waiting police vans but the protest continued with more moving out to block the road.

No Faith In Arms

Then four protesters descended on ropes from a bridge over the approach road a few hundred yards to the north, dangling in mid-air, with each pair holding a banner between them and blocking the road for around an hour and a half before police managed to remove them. Others stood in a circle and held a mass on the blocked road closer to the Excel Centre.

There are just two gates to the Excel centre site almost a mile apart, and at the other, the West Gate I found a small group of protesters walking very slowly in front of lorries coming into the centre and being moved away by police. One woman who kept going back onto the road was eventually arrested.

I returned to the East Gate, where a small group of Buddhists was sitting and praying by the side of the road. An Anglican group arrived to sing peace songs and some protesters had brought small black coffins with photographs of some of the children killed in war taped to the top which were arranged along the side of the road.

The protests continued for a number of days and I returned several times to photograph them as you can see at the links listed below. I also covered protests against the arms fair in other years, at least since 2007.

Protests are taking place now over the 2023 Dsei Arms fair, again being held in Newham and you can find details at the Stop The Arms Fair web site. The include a vigil by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign today, 5th September 2013, and other events at the site and elsewhere until the arms fair ends on Friday 15th September.

Protests against Dsei Arms Fair in 2017:

Wreath for victims of the arms trade
#Arming The World
DSEI East Gate blocked
Festival of Resistance – DSEI West Gate
DSEI Festival Morning at the East Gate
Protest picnic & checkpoint at DSEI
Protesters block DSEI arms fair entrances
No Faith in War DSEI Arms Fair protest


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London’s longest running protest

Sunday, March 1st, 2020

The weekly vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy at 429 Strand has been taking place since 12th October 2002, and I’ve occasionally visited it and usually taken photographs, including on its 15th anniversary in 2017. But with long-running events such as this it’s always difficult to find a reason to make it news and to provide something visually different.

I’d been reminded of it as the bus I was on earlier in the day passed the area in which it is held, a small square of flower beds and trees on a wide pavement, quite unlike anywhere else I can think of in London, with the embassy at its right, and after photographing a protest in Trafalgar Square it was only a few yards out of my way to Charing Cross Station where I was to catch a train to cover another event, so I went to take a few more pictures.

What gave the event a little more news interest was the death of former President Mugabe two weeks earlier at the age of 95. There had been some hope that his removal from office in November 2017 would lead to reforms – and his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa promised them.

But Mnangagwa had been Mugabe’s right-hand man for 40 years, and stands accused of the genocide of over 20,000 Ndebeles in the 1980s. Despite his promises, he has delivered state terrorism and protesters have been killed, beaten, tortured and raped by the security forces.

One man held up a placard with a long indictment of the ruling ZANU-PF party, “a dictatorial regime run by murderers“. It goes on to say they “are corrupt and greedy,” and that while they go overseas for medical care they leave “Zimabawean citizens to suffer without adequate healthcare – this has led to a widespread strike of Zimbabwean doctors. This is why we are here today, supporting Movement for Democratic Change“.

I couldn’t stay long or I would have missed by train, You can see a few more pictures at Zimbabwe protests continue.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.