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Two anti-militarist activists were found guilty of aggravated trespass at Brighton Magistrates Court on Thursday(23rd).
In the early hours of April the 27th the two intrepid campaigners, Gavin Pidwell and Jessica Nero, glued themselves to the gates of Mordor (or at least Brighton's secondrate answer to domain of the Evil Eye– the EDO MBM arms factory) – in protest over the sale of components used in military warfare in Afghanistan and Israel. The sale items in question are bomb rack connectors, known in the trade as umbilical cables- Field Replaceable Connector Systems (FRCS) to be precise. They are used by the US and Israeli militaries.
Paul Hills, the managing director of EDO MBM, was called in court to give evidence for the prosecution case. During the three hour cross-examination he confirmed a range of arms contracts the death dealers are involved in whilst claiming the firm is not breaking UK law. Hills confirmed that EDO MBM did have a contract to supply FRCS cables to Lockheed Martin for the F-35 fighter aircraft. He claimed that, although that the F-35 will be supplied to Israel, EDO MBM cables won't be on the Israeli F-35s. The defendant's Barrister Victoria Kerly asked him, “You cannot be certain that your product which ends up on planes for the American air force does not enable the use of cluster bombs, can you?” He replied: “I can’t stop somebody doing something wilfully with our product without our knowledge.”
The magistrates court found the two defendants guilty and handed them a sentence of a 24 month conditional discharge and a £200 fine each. Although disappointed with the verdict, the defendants told SchNEWS they're pleased with the information that came to light during the trial and hope it will eventually lead to EDO MBM and Paul Hill being charged.
The sticky pair plan to appeal.
Israeli arms dealers do business at Farnborough Airshow even as the bombs drop on Gaza.
Anti fracking campaigners have got their hands on a Sussex Police report that details an 'emerging' nationwide strategy on protests against the controversial drilling technique. The report has been exposed in a report about the policing of the protests at Balcombe, West Sussex, last summer.
We started writing about three interesting but unrelated things happening in June. Here is an amalgamated version, which is worth a read.
Smash EDO is back in the game of making an arms company an unpleasant place to work by playing broken musical instruments and cheesy songs outside
Re-occupation of the Hambach Forest, near Cologne in Germany, where activists occupy and fight the expansion of opencast mining.
A national week of solidarity with Afghanistan - drone capital of the world - takes place with Fly Kites Not Drones day, with our local event hosted by anti-militarists Smash Edo.
The badgers aren't out of the woods yet, as the decision whether to roll out culling hangs in the balance.
We got the low down on what's happening in the beseiged Gaza strip from Corporate Watch's Tom Anderson, and how the international BDS movement can support Gazan Palestinians.