On Wednesday the 4th of June approximately 500 people marched through Brighton to an arms factory run by the firm ITT, previously EDO MBM. A delegation travelled from Nottingham and distributed Veggies food to demonstrators.
Billed as a Carnival Against the Arms Trade, this event was called by Smash EDO, a Brighton-based group with the aim of shutting down the EDO/ITT arms factory. EDO/ITT make bomb racks, release clips and arming mechanisms for warplanes used in the Iraq war and the Israeli bombardments of Lebanon and Gaza.
Police attempted to force the crowd into a small pen made of crowd barriers, which was quickly dismantled by protesters. One of the factory gates mysteriously opened, and a police van attempted to block the entrance to the EDO/ITT car park, but protesters seized the opportunity to enter the car park and vent their rage against the arms company.
Some of EDO’s windows were smashed and the building was graffitied. The police escalated the situation with the use of batons, pepper spray and dogs to force protesters back away from the factory. Several protesters were injured and there were many reports of police brutality.
Over the day ten people were arrested and were held for up to thirty hours and eight people had their houses raided. The police applied for a twelve hour extension of the 24 hour maximum period of detention, but failed to press any charges. For full coverage, check Indymedia.