Updates

A page for area organisers especially to pass on messages to folk in your area interested in joining us at our next action in September. If the info you want isn’t here, try the FAQ. If it’s not there either, contact us!

We know this page isn’t very pretty yet, but hopefully it’s useful!

New stuff/changes 2/09

If can’t make today’s briefing at Friends House, make sure you’ve had a look at the Know your rights info from Stop the Arms Fair.

New stuff/changes 28/08

This is really helpful! Stop the Arms Fair have an accessibility page which gives more info about the information tent, step-free access, chairs, assistance, toilets, off-site space, Support and Recovery space, food and water, transport and parking, large print materials, D/deaf attendees, neurodiversity, medical information and maps. Find it here.

Accessibility: if you arrive at Prince Regent DLR station, there is step-free entry and exit available. You can find out about the rest of your journey on the step-free tube guide. As we’ve said earlier, the ExCel centre have given permission (in writing) for people to use their accessible (Changing Places) toilets – but if this would be important for you we suggest that you directly contact them by email (you can do that here( or on social media, so that you can show them evidence of your exchange directly if needs be. There will be provide two toilets on site, one of which will be wheelchair accessible, at the East Gate. Information about the disabled access toilet can be found here.

New stuff/changes 25/08

You can find the schedule for the briefing at Friends House on 2nd September here.

If you can’t make the briefing on 2nd September at Friends House, then join our online briefing on Saturday 31st August, 8pm. Info here. NB these aren’t compulsory! You can still come along without attending a briefing and many people will do so. It’s just good to attend either the online or in person briefing if you can.

Location: read this where to go doc

Money: we still have money to help folks who need financial support to get to London for the action. To request a bursary, please send an email to hello@rootsofresistance.org.uk with the subject line ‘Financial support’ – these will treated confidentially and only be viewed by our two finance officers. If individuals or meetings would like to donate to the bursary fund, you can do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/stop-the-london-dsei-arms-fair, or by sending a cheque (email hello@rootsofresistance.org.uk for details.)

Welcome tent: there will be a welcome tent staffed all day with folk w ho are there for you to ask questions of. They will have the number of a first aider and a first aid kit if you need any medical help (though if it’s serious of course as ever call 999).

We have written to Clarion Events (who run DSEI) calling upon them to cancel the arms fair and telling them that, if not, we will be coming to witness to another way. We sent them our epistle which explains why we need to do this.

New stuff/changes 19/08

Make sure you’ve seen our ‘Things to take to DSEI‘ zine here!

You can download our template press release for local press here.

We still need volunteers! Please let us know if you’d like to help with pastoral care, first aid or eldering by emailing us at hello@rootsofresistance.org.uk

New stuff/changes 10/08

More news on mini banners! There will be a chance to put these together to make larger banners if you would like to at the briefing on Monday 2nd (there’ll be a table all throughout the afternoon), and also a space to do this on the action day itself by the side of the road. On the day, some people will join them together to make a kind of mini tapestry/mosaic and use it as a banner to hold, some people will tie them/hang them on things like posts near the fair or trucks that get stopped, etc. After the day, some will be taken to Art the Arms Fair to be part of their exhibition, others will go to the Peace Museum in Bradford to be exhibited. Some people might just want to take theirs home and use them another time!

Welfare/pastoral care: there will be a space (probably in a gazebo) with a first  kit and someone you can talk to and ask questions of throughout the day.

There will be Legal Observer training on Sat 24th August at Leeds  Quaker Meeting House – this is now full, but there is a refresher training for those who are already legal observers and who want a refresher session taking place in London in August – we’ll update this page when we have details.

Offering / requesting accommodation overnight Monday 2nd Sept: we currently have six more offers than requests, but some people may be putting in a late request, so we’re seeking more offers. Please fill in the forms below if you either need or can offer accommodation!

Protest singing: the songs are now available here: https://rootsofresistance.org.uk/action/protest-songs/ We have chosen simple, well known songs, so hopefully there will be no need to faff about with song sheets.  This does mean it’s helpful to have a practise beforehand (and this is a nice event to hold e.g. after meeting one Sunday). There will be some singing practice at the briefing on Monday afternoon at the briefing.

Solidarity action: are there people in your meeting who can’t come but would like to? What about a vigil in your local town on the day? You can use this leaflet – edit the parts in yellow for use in your area. DSEI Solidarity event flyer

01/08

Know Your Rights and confidence building Zoom: you can view the recoding of the first of these session – please email us for the link at hello@rootsofresistance.org.uk.  There will be a repeat of this session via Zoom on Tues 20th August at 8 pm.  It is led by an experienced trainer from Turning the Tide and feedback from the first session was very positive, so it’s worth joining & encouraging people in you area to join, especially if they are feeling a bit nervous.

We have a fund for bursary support to help Friends travel down to the protests if costs would otherwise be a barrier. Please read our ‘FAQ’ on the subject here for more information! https://rootsofresistance.org.uk/faqs/#money

To request a bursary, please send an email to hello@rootsofresistance.org.uk with the subject line ‘Financial support’ – these will treated confidentially and only be viewed by our two finance officers. If individuals or meetings would like to donate to the bursary fund, you can do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/stop-the-london-dsei-arms-fair, or by sending a cheque (email hello@rootsofresistance.org.uk for details.)

We suggest that you come prepared with food to have over the day. It’s likely that lunch will be provided by the Hare Krishnas  (which will be tasty, vegan, and free – they’ll welcome donations), but this is not 100% confirmed, and it will be a long day, so it would be helpful to bring your own snacks as well. Don’t forget to bring water!

Portaloos will be organised for the site of action. There are also ‘inside’ toilets at the hotel (downstairs lobby and coffee shop) which are directly next to the site. The ExCel centre have given permission (in writing) for people to use their accessible toilets.

As you know, we will have a briefing on Monday 2nd September in The Light at Friends House, Euston (briefing 5.30 pm  – 8.30 pm, with the gathering time from 1.30 pm to talk to others, get holes put in your mini-banners, etc etc). If you cannot attend this briefing on Monday, but would like to prepare with others who are coming, there will be an online briefing at the weekend (30/31st August) – time tbc. We will email round when this is confirmed.

Please send us photos of your wonderful mini banners (either in preparation or the finished items)! These are great for getting people inspired for taking action with us. You can tweet them to us (https://twitter.com/Quakers_RoR), send them to us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/QuakersRoR/) or email them (hello@rootsofresistance.org.uk).

We are taking action as part of the No Faith in War day of action, which means that as well as the things we have planned as Roots of Resistance (meeting for worships, singing, etc), there will also be lots of other faith groups witnessing to peace in various ways. The plans are just coming together, but you can read the general plan on page 2 of this flyer. Amongst other things, there’ll be Sufi dancing, a Catholic procession and Muslim and communal prayers. It should be wonderful.

We’ve been asked if there are plans for media coverage: the No Faith in War groups are working on media coverage together to try and get ‘traditional’ (broadcast and print, rather than social) media on board. Campaign Against Arms Trade do excellent work drawing attention to the whole week of action, which we’ll be part of. Lots of those coming from various parts of the country are also planning to tell local media what they’re doing. Please consider doing this! We’ll share a template press release in advance.

Social media In recent years, social media has proved vital and effective for getting the word out – for encouraging people to come to protest themselves, for letting folk know that DSEI is happening, and for showing the arms fair’s organisers that opposition is widespread. So whether you are attending in person or not, you can post on social media using #stopDSEI and #nofaithinwar to spread the word.

A leaflet for use on the day is being created. There is very little passing public at the DSEI fair but Friends might want to give them out locally and on the way down to London to inform people of the arms fair and the action.

Roles on the day We need folk to help us! Is there something specific you would like to contribute Here is a list of some of the jobs you could take on – email hello@rootsofresistance.org.uk if you’re interested in taking on a role, and someone from the organising crew will be in touch! Photographers, videographers, stewards / welcomers, legal observers, first aiders, drivers, arrestee support , helping to put up/distribute the tapestry pieces.

Action consensus and police engagement: we’ve had a number of comments on our action consensus. Thanks for all the feedback! These are guidelines about how we hope to approach the day, and can be found here.

We’ve had requests to hear more about why we ask folk to avoid extended conversations with the police. This is a big topic, but we’ll try and be brief here in response: we have tried to line up with other groups taking action as part of the Stop the Arms Fair week of action, so there is consistency; many of us have had bad experiences of surveillance and information-gathering at protests – what might look like small talk will be used to gather information on fellow protesters; and finally, everyone must remember that our own view of the police is shaped by our personal privilege and status (a topic very live within the yearly meeting at the moment). For example, whilst white, middle class people might feel fine having a friendly conversation with a police officer, people of colour, people with insecure immigration statuses, trans people, and others, have often had very negative experiences of the police, and others engaging with police on protests can make members of marginalised groups feel unsafe and unwelcome at protests. This feeling of vulnerability is not hypothetical: there are real and recent experiences of racist policing at DSEI.

These are some of the reasons our action consensus reads as it does, and we hope you can respect it, even if it differs from the approach you have taken in the past. It seems that there might be a need for a longer conversation (nationwide? And no we’re not talking about letters to The Friend 😉) about Quakers’ engagement with the police. But we aren’t the ones who have capacity to do this before DSEI. Finally, all of the action consensus should be read in the light of how it opens: ‘We understand that throughout our action we will encounter many different people, including staff from the ExCeL centre, police officers, security guards, truck drivers, members of the public. We will recognise the humanity of all those we encounter, approaching them with dignity and respect.‘ We have found that these things are compatible.