3th-16th December — Trial of EDO Tech 6
Putting the arms industry on trial - Support picket at Brighton Magistrates!
In May 2004, a group of activists blockaded EDO/MBM technology on the Home Farm Industrial Estate, Mouslecoomb, Brighton. EDO/MBM is an arms factory manufacturing bomb release mechanisms for F-16, Hawk Hurricane and Tornado fighter jets, tank diagnostic systems and the controversial Paveway IV precison guidance system used in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. The factory supplies equipment to Lockheed Martin in the USA who equip human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Israel and Turkey.
Six activists erected metal fencing on the access road to the factory and chained themselves to it while a further five campaigners occupied the roof of the factory. The factory was paralysed for the day losing them £s;20,000.
The six activists involoved in the blockade are charged with obstructing the highway without legitimate excuse and will be on trial at Brighton Magistrates Court, Edward Street, Brighton on 14th-17th December. They will argue that their legitimate excuse was the weapons were to be used in breach of the International Criminal Court Act of 2001 to be used to commit crimes against humanity and war crimes by the US/UK in Iraq and by Israel in Palestine.
They will call eyewitnesses to the use of equipment like that manufactured by EDO Tech from Iraq and Palestine. They will emphasise that to supply such weapons for use in these conflicts is not only illegal under UK law but also immoral.
They are asking for people from around the country to join them on the 13-16th December to demonstrate outside the court and at EDO-Tech. Accomodation will be provided in Brighton. There is a demonstration and support march organised by Sussex Action for Peace on the 16th of December outside Brighton Magistrates Court, Edward Street.
Interested people should telephone (07900) 698-550 or email email@example.com. For more details about the campaign see http://smashedo.bpec.org
17-19 January 2005 - The Caterkiller 9
Defend Palestinian rights and the right to protest - Come and support us at Solihull Magistrates!
On June 25th a group of activists including campaigners from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign were arrested for protesting outside CATerpillar Financial HQ, Solihull.
The protesters were performing street theatre to highlight the fact that CATerpillar corporation holds the sole contract for the supply of military D-9 bulldozer to the Israeli military. D-9s are used as weapons by the Israeli army for the destruction of civilian homes, the bulldozing of Paestinian farmland, the construction of illegal roadblocks and checkpoints and the construction of the internationally condemned Apartheid wall.
Campaigners were particularly highlighting the fact that Jean Ziegler, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food for the United Nations in Gaza had stated that CATerpillar, as a corporation, was guilty of war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza because of their continued trade with the Israeli military.
The nine were arrested under antisocial behaviour legislation and subjected to up to 18 hours in police custody, They have already faced three court appearances and now face a three day trial for an offence the prosecution stated was similar in terms of severity to a parking fine. Their only crime was to take part in legitimate protest on behalf of human rights. The prosecutions case is based on the notion that there is something criminal about protest.
These campaigners are the first to be tried under this legislation but here are fears that it will soon be used routinely to stop legitimate protests. It is imperative that people come to the court to demonstrate on their behalf and on behalf of the right to freedom of speech. The case will include eveidence of the use of CATerpillar equipment in war crimes including witnesses to the death of peace activist Rachel Corrie who was crushed by a CAT bulldozer driven by an Israeli soldier.
If you want to support the case call (07900) 698-550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Come and join the support picket outside Solihull Magistrates 17th-19th january 2005 - Crash Pad Accomodation available in Birmingham.