Friday, 8 May 2009

Mayday! Mayday!

Monday the 4th of May saw BAN and friends take a large affinity group down to the Smash EDO hosday mayday shindig in Brighton. The theme of the event was to oppose militarism greed and war - the main target being EDO/ITT a Brighton based bomb building factory on its last legs after a relentless 5 year activist assault.

The 2000 strong march started peacefully enough, save the odd paint bomb lobbed at army recruitment centres and a little disagreement over wether or not the cops should arrest some activists hanging a banner from barclays. Things got livlier however when the cops decided to stop us airing our feelings outside a local McDonalds. During the scrap, a riot van got smoked out and spraypainted and the police tried uncussesfully to split the protest. From then on, the day became a running battle with angry police, back to the same tactics that have recently brought so much anger thier way. However, the crowd stayed mobile and free of police kettles at all times, using a variety of tactics (paint bombs to obscure police visors being our favourite!). We didn't make it to the EDO factory, but we did leave the police confused and out of control. Throughout the day, the activists were in charge, and despite a few bruises it was us and not the police that controlled the protest. Later in the night, several banks and companies with links to EDO were smashed in solidarity with the protest. Our tactics on the day showed that a fluid, leaderless movement is far more caopable of adapting to situations than the graey, authoritarian structure represented by the police. It is just such fluidity, creativity and diversity that we need more of to create a world of justice and peace, free from the deprivations of capitalism and the state.

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