Monday, August 22, 2005

DISARM DSEi 2005: Protests Win Economic Battle
It looks like round one of the protests to stop DESi arms fair have been won by those fighting for life rather than fueling war. This particular battle has been won by the determined resistance of those who have protested the event over the last few years, building it into a major event. The victory is an economic one: Its now costs the police £4 million to police it and they are not happy about it at all, telling the Independent; "It is going to cost £4m with no money coming from the exhibition because the protests are taking place outside. There is a substantial public order threat, but the law does not allow us to charge for that. It's not dissimilar for people in football who are charged for policing inside the ground but not in the surrounding streets." The article also talks of a row over who should pay this bill; "The Metropolitan Police is planning to ask the Home Office to change the regulations to force exhibitors to pay for the external policing, or ask the Ministry of Defence, which jointly organises the event, to pay the costs." If the cops can pass the bill to Spearhead, the organisers, even partly then it stands a chance of making the whole event economically unsustainable and so close it. And that would be good news!

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