Faslane Peace Camp | 20.11.2003 21:43 | Anti-militarism
The court refused to allow the defence to quote International Law, ruling that "International Law is a political issue and not to be discussed in this court." Activists insisted that their action was to uphold Nuremberg Principles and was morally and legally right.
The seven who attended court were found guilty of Public Order Act section 5 offences and fined £200 plus £200 court costs each. One protester was fined a further £50 for initially giving her name as Pat Freeborn when arrested. Sue Brackenbury was brought to court in handcuffs each day as she is being held on remand for a separate charge of trying to disarm a Trident submarine during its current refit at Devonport.
One protester had his charge of Police Assault dropped. He had been dragged from a gate by police after pressure points were used to remove him. All the protesters strongly refuted his charge and insisted that they were experienced protesters and remained peaceful throughout. The police video of the action showed there was no evidence of assault.
The defendants were saddened by the unprofessional behaviour of the police. There was clearly fabricated police evidence in court, with an officer saying that the protesters had charged at 10 to 20 employees during the blockade. The police again were not able to show video evidence or produce witnesses. Indeed the defence pointed out that there were only 4 or 5 security guards on the gate and that the protesters had strenuously avoided knocking anyone, saying "remaining peaceful was paramount."
At the time of the action one police officer had made his attitude clear in a revealing and outrageous comment, saying "Why do they have to dress like Big Issue sellers, why can't they be human or something?". Prescription medication was also withheld during their time in police custody, and no right of reply to charges was allowed at the time of arrest.
One of the defendants said "The UK government went to war and killed many people in Iraq based on dubious international law. Meanwhile in court we were not allowed to base our defence on International Law. This is despite our action clearly designed to point out that Britain's illegal WMD system is maintained in part here at Derby."
Rolls Royce make and refurbish fuel rods for the nuclear reactor cores of the British Trident Vanguard class of submarine. Rolls Royce manufacture and export military equipment to forty-seven countries world-wide regardless of human rights abuses within those countries.