David 'Disco Dave' Dragonetti
David 'Disco Dave’ Dragonetti is an activist and writer from London. From 1995-2000 he was a full-time environmental protester.
He came to Scotland in 1995, residing for eight months on the 'Pollok Free state - No M77 Campaign' camp site. In August of that year he moved to the anti-nuclear Faslane peace camp where in 1996, along with Mhari Logan, he prevented the camp being closed due to low numbers.
In March 1996, Disco Dave debut the D-lock as a prop for protest, deploying the bicycle security device on a 'convoy action' - locking his neck to a nuclear convoy to prevent its movement. Despite physical injury he used the same process on numerous protests over the next few years. At this juncture he was educating peace campers on the Trident system. Later in 1996 he got involved in the gruelling evictions from the Newbury by-pass site.
In 1997 Dave penned a weekly column for Big Issue Scotland from the Faslane camp. This year also saw him protesting against the second runway at Manchester Airport, where he discovered the joys of tunnelling. He lasted a full week underground at the site before being evicted. Returning to Faslane he gradually took over the management of the camp, in preparation for a possible eviction by Argyle and Bute council.
In 1998 further tunnel protests against the Birmingham northern relief road almost led to Dave’s hand being amputated due to cold and lack of circulation. Undaunted, he proceeded to break into a decommissioned nuclear bunker (using hammers and oxy-acetylene torches) as a starting point for a tunnel under the route of the road.
In 1999 he resided underground for two months in County Wicklow, Ireland, before returning in the midst of a British winter to re-join the fight against Manchester's second runway. Dave lasted twenty two days before that tunnel's collapse, a process that subsequently saw him being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder. This was the first sign of further multiple health issues which, following his departure from a saved Faslane camp and time as a protest liaison officer with the Essex police, saw him leave the full-time protest movement in the year 2000, with a record of fifty five arrests, one house arrest and one month in prison.
He published his first book, ‘Eco Warrior: Battle for Mother Earth’ in August 2005. A novel, ‘The Darkness of White’, followed in 2013.
- Biographical material included in the collection