In weather conditions akin to the storm scene in King Lear, what was I, an elderly ex-commercial property solicitor, doing sitting in the road, locked onto a car at the Western entrance to the Excel Centre at 6.20am on a September Wednesday? Yes, it must be - yet again - to protest against the Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair.
The governmentissues official DSEI invitations to eight countrieswhich even the Foreign Office classes as having a rubbish human rights record - including Saudi Arabia. Court of Appeal judges found ministers Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt and Liam Fox had not even bothered to assess whether past uses of UK manufactured bombs in Yemen had amounted to breaches of international humanitarian law. So licences for these sales are still prohibited while the government appeals.
The United Arab Emirates are another member of the coalition attacking Yemen, bombing hospitals, schools, weddings, funerals, markets and school buses, killing tens of thousands, while 8 million starve. The UAE also sponsor DSEI. My government islooking to add to its £6.2bn arms sales to the coalition since 2015.I am so ashamed.
DSEI is one giant networking event for the authors of world obliteration and human misery. These are arms dealers who sell to any side of a conflict.And as to nuclear obliteration - I was also protesting BAE, Rolls Royce & Lockheed Martin's roles in the replacement of the Trident weapons system.
Non Violent Direct Actionis also achance to highlight militarism's effect on climate change. The US military is the world's biggest user of oil. Globallyno military has even to monitor its contribution to carbon emissions.An NVDA is also an opportunity to proselytise to the dozens of police officers who arrest you, give you a survival blanket,(, as Team Fantom) carefully cut you out, or cart you off in a Pixie van, or charge but also look after you -at Plumstead police station.
In the end, though, what a glorious bit of old fashioned Leftie solidarity, lying about in the road in the rain on No Nuclear Day. Feeling a bit "in control" - and not an angry exchange about differences in policy or world view in sight. And to be part of a Twitter storm of coverage all week culminating in Mayor Sadiq Khan issuing a strong "Not Welcome" here letter to those arms dealers.