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Smash EDO protesters come unstuck at court

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.

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SchNEWS in Brief...
Twitter: @SchNEWS