The AIDEX 91 protest: A case study of obstructive direct action

Ian McIntyre’s 2011 Masters thesis and oral history on the 1991 AIDEX protest.

This thesis will provide a history of the AIDEX ‘91 protest. In doing so it will seek to understand why the issue of arms fairs arose at this time as well as how and why a particular repertoire of contention, which I have labelled ‘Obstructive Direct Action’, was employed by activists as part of a strategy of ‘coercion’. The organisation, promotion and unfolding of the protest will be examined and evaluated along with the outcomes it produced. The ways in which protests such as these reflect the tactical, organisational and strategic choices that activists make, consciously or otherwise, will also be considered along with how such choices are shaped by the context in which they occur.