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View Full Version : A good news story. Activists against UK arms factory Found Not Guilty



Magda Hassan
07-03-2010, 01:10 AM
Press Release

Smash EDO

Press Contact: Andrew Beckett or Simon Marsh

07526557436

07722953180


2 July 2010 (11:am)

Hove Crown Court, Brighton UK

Final two Decommissioners Found NOT GUILTY!

The jury in the trial of seven activists who decommissioned a Brighton
arms factory to prevent Israel war crimes in Gaza in January 2009, have
now found all seven activists not guilty of Conspiracy to Cause Criminal
Damage by unanimous verdict in Hove Crown Court.

The seven entered the factory on 16th Jan 2009, causing nearly £200,000 of
damage and shutting down production. They offered no defence other than
the prevention of imminent war crimes.

Simon Levin, Tom Woodhead, Ornella Saibene, Bob Nicholls, Harvey Tadman
were all acquitted on Wednesday.

The final two Elijah Smith and and Chris Osmond were acquitted this morning.

Chris Osmond said "This action was taken was taken because of EDO MBMs
illegal supply of weapons to the Israeli military. We brought the suffering
of ordinary Palestinians into a British courtroom and confronted with the
evidence they took the brave decision to find that our actions were
justified"

All have now been found not guilty by unanimous verdict.

A press conference will take place at:

1:pm at

Mary MagdaleneCommunity Centre
55 Upper North Street
Brighton

Messages of support have already arrived from Caroline Lucas, MP for
Brighton Pavilion, and Noam Chomsky.

Caroline Lucas said:

'I am absolutely delighted that the jury has recognised that the actions
of the decommissioners were a legitimate response to the atrocities being
committed in Gaza. I do not advocate non violent direct action lightly;
however in this situation it is clear that the decommissioners had
exhausted all democratic avenues and, crucially, that their actions were
driven by the responsibility to prevent further suffering in Gaza.'

Noam Chomsky said

'I would like to express my respect and admiration for those who are
undertaking non-violent resistance to oppose British participation in
Israel's cruel crimes in Gaza.'

News site Ynetnews.com reports that the Israeli Ambassador in London is
'furious.'

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3914014,00.html

Press Contact: Andrew Beckett

07526557436

07722953180

Wikipedia on EDO Corporation
: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_EDO_Corporation#EDO_MBM_and_UN_Peace_ Messenger_City_Brighton_and_Hove
"EDO Corporation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EDO_Corporation) is an American (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States) company that designs and manufactures products for defense (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_%28military%29), intelligence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence_%28information_gathering%29), and commercial markets (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerce), and provides related engineering (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineering) and professional services. It has been the object of criticism in the United States and in the city of Brighton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brighton) in the United Kingdom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom). In December 2007 it was bought out by ITT Corporation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITT_Corporation) ."
Regular anti-war protests outside EDO (UK) factory
On 21 September 2006, protesters blockaded the EDO MBM factory in Brighton for several hours forcing the Managing Director Paul Hills to scale a security fence to enter the premises. He then used an angle grinder or wire cutters to cut a hole in the EDO's fence to let the employees in to work. The protesters left the scene without being arrested.[28] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_EDO_Corporation#cite_note-27) On 16 September 2006, 100 protesters marched through Brighton to deliver a petition calling for the closure of EDO MBM to Brighton Town Hall.[29] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_EDO_Corporation#cite_note-28) On 23 August 2006 two protesters climbed 40 feet onto the roof of EDO MBM Technology Ltd (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EDO_MBM_Technology_Ltd) to unfurl a banner protesting the company's supply of weapons to Israel used in the Qana (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qana) bombing in which 16 Lebanese children were killed.[30] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_EDO_Corporation#cite_note-29) On 19 July 2006 protesters staged a 'Horrors of War' demonstration outside the Brighton factory recreating scenes of violence and mutilation that result from aerial bombardment.[31] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_EDO_Corporation#cite_note-30) On the morning of 17 July 2006, three activists completely blockaded EDO's Brighton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brighton), United Kingdom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom) subsidiary EDO MBM Technology Ltd in protest at EDO’s supply of weapons technology to the Israeli military being used to attack Gaza (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza) and in the then ongoing 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Israel-Lebanon_conflict).[32] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_EDO_Corporation#cite_note-31)[33] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_EDO_Corporation#cite_note-32) These are just a few actions in an ongoing campaign of protest, civil disobedience and non-violent direct action against EDO in Brighton that began in 2004 and has come to be known as the Smash EDO campaign.[34] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_EDO_Corporation#cite_note-33) There has been at least one demonstration a week outside the factory since 2004, and the number of protests against the EDO MBM since 2004 now numbers in the hundreds.
[edit (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Criticism_of_EDO_Corporation&action=edit&section=10)] Smash EDO campaign

There have been numerous protests and direct actions since 2004 voicing the opinion that EDO MBM should close or convert its factory to civilian use. Protest actions have included road blockades, rooftop occupations, attempted weapons inspections, and three peace camps set up in woodland next to the factory. There have also been several large marches through Brighton city centre against EDO involving hundreds of protesters. In the process several arrests have been made by Sussex Police, mostly under public order legislation. [citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)]
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome_Statute_of_the_International_Criminal_Court) brought into UK domestic law by the ICC Act, makes it an offence for UK citizens and residents to act in complicity with war crimes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_crimes) and any war of aggression (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_aggression) that takes place anywhere in the world. In nearly all criminal trials, protesters against EDO MBM have argued that the company is acting unlawfully by assisting war crimes, in particular those committed by the UK/U.S. forces in Iraq and the Israeli forces in occupied Palestine. Magistrates in Brighton, have generally refused to acknowledge the argument, but have found other reasons to acquit the demonstrators to avoid the cases going to appeal courts. The ongoing campaign of protest, civil disobedience and non-violent direct action against EDO in Brighton, began in 2004 and came to be known as the Smash EDO campaign.
In March 2008 a feature length documentary about the Smash EDO campaign was released. See On The Verge (Film) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_The_Verge_%28Film%29)
On 17 January 2009 protesters raided EDO's factory in Moulsecombe. Computers and filing cabinets where thrown out of windows and according to Sussex Police, "extensive damage was caused". Smash EDO said that their protestors had performed a "citizen's decommissioning" of the factory in response to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.[35] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_EDO_Corporation#cite_note-34)
____[end Wikipedia extract]

Jan Klimkowski
07-03-2010, 12:00 PM
The jury in the trial of seven activists who decommissioned a Brighton
arms factory to prevent Israel war crimes in Gaza in January 2009, have
now found all seven activists not guilty of Conspiracy to Cause Criminal
Damage by unanimous verdict in Hove Crown Court.

The seven entered the factory on 16th Jan 2009, causing nearly £200,000 of
damage and shutting down production. They offered no defence other than
the prevention of imminent war crimes.

The jury, ie the people, understood the real issue was war crimes, not criminal damage.

However, I am amazed that the politicians ever allowed this to go to jury trial. How they must be wishing they'd found a bought and paid for judge, or settled out of court. :boxing: