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EDO MBM desperate to stop protests as resistance increases

John Bailey | 08.08.2005 15:08 | Smash EDO | Anti-militarism | Iraq | South Coast

Brighton-based arms manufacturer EDO are producing electrical weapons components for the US, UK and Israeli militaries. For over a year, the Smash EDO campaign has been trying to shut them down by direct protest at their premises. Recently, EDO MBM have applied for a High Court injunction to stop all protest at their premises except at designated times. The Smash EDO campaign regards this as a direct attack on freedom of expression and calls for a week-long protest camp, starting with a peace march in Brighton [report].

Update 16 Aug: News from the peacecamp 1 | 2

The ‘cage’ roadblock with protestors locked on
The ‘cage’ roadblock with protestors locked on

As Smash EDO prepare for a mass demo) on 13th August to kick start the 2005 Smash EDO Peace Camp, EDO MBM have had two activists remanded in Lewes prison in a desperate attempt to stop the protests. Campaigners are planning a week long protest camp from the 13th-19th August.

Since the beginning of 2004 a broad cross section of activists in Brighton has been campaigning to shut down the weapon manufacturers, EDO MBM. The company manufacture electrical components for missiles, fighter planes and tanks at their premises on the Home Farm industrial estate, Moulsecoomb. In 2003 they gained a contract for the supply of release mechanisms for the Paveway series of guided bombs, the most widely used and lethal weapon during the invasion of Iraq. EDO also supply equipment to companies known to sell weapons to the Israeli state.

The movement against EDO MBM includes anti-capitalists, academics, students, peace/anti-war activists, human rights groups, Palestine solidarity activists and faith groups. Many were involved in the mass movement against the war in Brighton and some have been to conflict zones and seen the effects of the equipment EDO MBM manufacture. In Brighton, on the day war started, 5000 people took to the streets in protest. The campaign against EDO MBM aimed to galvanise those people into taking positive action to kick the arms dealers, those who had propped up the war, out of their community.

On 20th May 2004, in the context of the siege of Fallujah and massacres in Gaza, a group of activists blockaded the access road leading to the factory while another group occupied the roof [report]. The actions shut down the factory for the day and, according to EDO MBM’s Managing Director Dave Jones, cost £20 000. Soon afterwards noise demos began outside the factory where activists welcomed workers leaving work with drums, whistles and loudspeakers informing them of their complicity in mass murder. The demonstrations have gone on week after week with the slogan ‘we will be here until EDO aren’t’.

In August 2004 activists held a week long peace camp in Wild Park behind the factory [report]. EDO MBM were forced to hire extra security as demonstrations occurred every day and only half the workforce turned up. The peace camp concluded with a rooftop demonstration lasting over twenty-four hours.

Throughout the winter the noise demonstrations continued unabated while activists sought to inform the community in Brighton of what EDO’s business was really about. Indymedia postings were made by many anonymous groups directly protesting against the warmongers by smashing windows and throwing paintbombs at the factory [reports 1, 2]. Concrete and manure were dumped at the entrance to the factory [report]. Activists also disrupted conferences organised by EDO.

In December and January activists accused of blockading the factory and occupying the roof defended themselves in court by alleging that EDO MBM’s business was unlawful as they were complicit in war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. They argued that EDO’s directors bore criminal responsibility for the crimes committed with their equipment in Iraq and Palestine as they could reasonably be expected to be aware of the illegal use this equipment was put to. In February activists who had occupied EDO MBM’s roof were acquitted.

EDO MBM first sought to quell dissent against them by mounting a libel action against Indymedia UK. Indymedia refused to be cowed and soon EDO was deserted by their own solicitors. Around this time a group calling themselves the 'Masked Pixie Avengers of the Victims of EDO Corporation' cut through EDO’s perimeter fence and damaged the air conditioning system [report].

On the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, after at least 100 000 Iraqis had lost their lives, activists held a Citizen’s Weapon’s Inspection at the factory. Police declared a Section 14 order limiting their presence to an hour and arrested several of the Blix Bloc [report].

By this time EDO MBM realised that the campaign was there to stay. The factory sought a civil injunction under the Protection from Harassment act 1997, designed to protect vulnerable people from stalkers, which would restrict protest to ten people, two hours a week, in silence and would create an exclusion zone around the factory. Breach of the injunction would be punishable by five years in prison and anyone who could be defined as a protester would be bound by it [report].

When people heard the news about this new attack on civil liberties, the campaign became of national importance for anyone who valued the right to protest. Two demonstrations of over seventy people were held outside the factory and groups around the country began taking an interest.

At the interim hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice Judge Gross asserted ‘freedom of expression was jealously guarded in English law’ and refused to grant the majority of EDO MBM’s proposed injunction. EDO had shelled out in excess of £50 000 on mounting the case and had succeeded in increasing the size of the campaign against them. However, Judge Gross did ban protesters from photographing EDO employees and sub contractors and from protesting in the road outside the factory. Protests are allowed on the grass verge opposite [report].

In May 2005, a demonstration of nearly eighty protesters assembled outside the factory on the first day after the interim injunction came into effect. A few weeks later, hundreds of protesters marched to Brighton police station to demand that the police investigate EDO MBM’s complicity in war crimes [report].

In mid-June a legal observer at a demonstration outside the factory was remanded in Lewes prison for 4 days for allegedly filming a security guard at the factory. He is charged with breach of the interim injunction which carries a maximum term of five years imprisonment. He has elected for a jury trial at Lewes Crown Court which would be the first time anyone has been tried for breaching an injunction under PHA. He was released on bail after five days in custody [report].

Two weeks ago another activist was remanded in Lewes prison, this time alleged to have assaulted a security guard who was illegally detaining him with handcuffs [report]. According to the Smash Edo campaign, this is "clearly a desperate attempt to scare activists out of protesting at the factory by arresting and remanding vulnerable activists" (both activists arrested were already on bail and so could be easily remanded). The Smash Edo campaign states: "The challenge EDO have set us is to carry on protesting in greater numbers and show solidarity with each other so they cannot victimise us further".

Campaigners believe that the example of Smash Edo in Brighton shows how successful dedicated and sustained campaigning can be and that it also shows that when campaigning is successful repression against it is strong. Those campaigning against EDO MBM in Brighton will need national support if they are to succeed and their fight against the injunction will affect the future right to protest and the battle for civil liberties in the UK.

The Smash EDO Peace camp will be held in the Wild Park from 13th-19th August 2005, the campaigners expect it to be "a celebration of life and resistance in the face of repression and genocide". More details can be found on the SmashEDO website.

John Bailey


Hide the following 9 comments

Police backing of the arms trade

08.08.2005 16:45

It would seem then the the police are quite openly supporting the export of arms to places like Isreal by sytermatically harrasing people involved in legitimate protest and not recognising the rights of citizen's in this country (UK) to object to crime whether in the UK or abroad.
Has it come to the point were the only thing that the police are worried about is serving there own interest and acting as a protetion racket for criminal organisations like EDO. Murder is wrong here as well as in Palestian/Isreal. When weapons are sent to a conflict zone like the the isreali aparthied wall then deaths will occur as they are. However the police refuse to recognise peoples right to protest and seem only intent on supporting the interests of the british state and not it's citizen's.
This certainly seems to amount to clear racism when they attack protesters becasue they object to the killing of others of non UK origin. Do the police atcually make any money from the export of arms? do the have shares in companies like BAE systems Ltd?
And what about the use of minimum force? it would seem that the police are rapidly becomeing an army themselves and as such not interested in ensuring the protection of rights but just acting in the interestes of national pride. How can a police force tell us that it is ligitimate and wants to stop crime when they see no wrong with rape and murder in places like Palistine. Oh perhaps its o.k. to kill a few foreigners it's only certain people who the police see to like that gain from there service.

Toby Clarke
mail e-mail:

Contact EDOs Biggest shareholder and ask for divestment.

08.08.2005 17:52

EDO Corps major shareholders are around 10 large US financial institutions.

The largest shareholding institution of the all is Cardinal Capital Management.

The President and Chief Investment Officer has an email address which is:

Why not drop him a line and ask him why his company invests in EDO, that is busy
trying to stop the freedom to protest in Brighton, and at the same time making profit from the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq and Palestine and elswhere. He might not sell all 1.7 million shares held by CCM but maybe he might get some idea of whats going on in Brighton, and maybe consider what he is doing.

As a member of the Presbytarian Church which is divesting from several major companies supporting the brutal occupation of Palestine, he may wish to consider his faith in light of the fact that his company is supporting EDO, closely linked to the Israeli arms business as well as supplying the IDF and the war in Iraq.

impede edo


11.08.2005 10:02

The old cry of "get a job" when actions like these are announced.

Well in the case of the protests at MBM not really a problem, take a look at the calender, holiday from university time !

A few days poncing around with some self rightous protesting before a couple of weeks in the sun paid for by Mummy and Daddy. In the meantime the working class people at MBM/EDO face prolems because of your lack of maturity.

When you understand the need for defence, when you understand why people choose to work in the defence industry (it's sure not for the money) your opinion will be worth something. When I see people truly commited to protest rather than indulging their Middle Class sense of outrage I will be convinced.

Grow up


It's the bombs, stupid

11.08.2005 15:37

Hey Larna, try reading The Rough Guide To The Arms Trade if you are interested in finding out why people are protesting against the arms trade. The book covers the production of military equipment over the last sixty years from WW2, from government-led production to what we have at present where private companies are propped up with taxpayers money to produce weapons for a global market. It explains how weapons systems and small arms are supplyed to war zones and dangerous regimes through intermediary countries that are approved by the UK government but have no export controls themselves.

As the UK faces no conventional military threat, I don't see how you can justify the argument of defence. Most people are aware that the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the possibility of airstrikes on Iran have very little to do with national defence. If the West is really fighting to bring democracy to the Asian oil belt (The largest reserve of fossil fuels on earth are concentrated in an area streching from Saudi Arabia to the Caspian Sea and Central Asia), then why is there no warmongering rhetoric being levelled at corrupt, murderous regimes like Karimov's Usbekistan?

The so-called 'defence' industry is propped up by subsidised export sales to corrupt and unstable countries that can barely afford them. Saudi Arabia is one example. The depicable Saudi royal family have received billions of pounds in taxpayers money to spend on British made weaponry over the last 20 years. The Saudi arms deals in the 80's is what made that 'middle-class' mummy's boy Mark Thatcher rich.

The old cry of 'get a job' is fairly run of the mill. It smacks of complacency and narrow-mindedness. Isn't the true definition of work is to be engaged in some form of useful production or sevice? Well that rules out the great 'working class' of EDO MBM! Try getting a real 'working class' job, ie (postman, binman, etc) then you'll know what a shit wage is.

Disarmnament has to start somewhere, and EDO is a good place to start. See you at the camp!

Bill Clinton

My letter to EDO Corporation

12.08.2005 05:57

My letter to EDO Corporation:

Today, I first learned about EDO Corporation through Internet circulation.
First, my favorite website -
which led me to

As a native and deaf American living in America, I looked at your profile briefly. I am highly impressed by the great variety of high tech products. Mostly or probably all of them seem to be military related.

My belief is not anything but recognizes importance of knowledge building. I am not involved in any religion but paying my respect to technology. If any company in the world is working on military technology, then it is going in completely wrong direction. Every company implicated in researching, developing, and manufacturing should realize some consequences of a war and its bad-taste personality which a society strongly dislikes.

Western technology should not be abused to exclusively benefit a certain group such as Israelis, American Jews, Zionists, and other pro-Israel people. Technology should not be misformed and errorly created to subtly intertwined with economical, religious, and political doctrines. Instead, it must be limited to civilian using such as peace-related space, sea, air, and ground trasnportations and non-military satellites in space.

War/prying-related survelliances, tracking machines, and reconnaisances must be permanently excluded. Antennas and radars, which are put to work to play childish games of catching some motions, should be also globally obsoleted. Their influence on humankind unity is far from being as powerful as Internet but help EDO making more money. Money does matter to some high-tech companies in the capitalistic world. It leads to higher living standard for some people who are watching their salaries very closely until they finally increase for their good and creative works which have nothing to offer to the world as long as it is related to a war. War is war. Nothing more but fragile and two-legged humans paying price for fighting and get killed for the kingdom of nothingness where God-playing losers and bums are blessing their death and feeling blood lust over maimed and burnt bodies and red blood spreading all over the Iraqi ground as other bodies are/were in Middle Eastern waters after drowned and dumped.

All high-tech companies in the world are expected to know the philosophy of technology well enough. Many men around the world seriously misunderstand technology. Mixing advancing technology, religion, economy, and politics together is a lot like mixing water and electricity to produce dangerous shock.

Soldiers carrying shields, arrows, and armors were highly acceptable to the ancient world, because of mystical/spiritual comprehension and simplicity despite a bloody war. But, in the modern world, a story is completely different. Many present individuals are now hunger for higher consciousness whose level goes beyond the ancient people's imagination and surpassed their abilities. The apparent difference indicates the irrefutable evolutionary process which is proportional to knowledge and awareness growth.

Civilized people don't mind watching some war movies but know better to avoid participating in making a war to become reality to keep humans entertained. Electrical entertainment, cruising pleasure (Remember that two rich civilians paid for rides to the space station in Russian rockets?) and online communication are now replacing ancient fighting which was designed to needlessly sacrifice for an empirical region which changed all the time. Regions are just regions. Areas are just areas. Any idea what does it mean? Some resources and prizes are suspiciously found? Secretly expanding national terrority, maybe for Israel? These answers are what we are constantly looking for.

Because of average people's unique senses, they understand the situation of the war far better than traditional politicans, central and national bankers, corrupted investors, CEOs, propaganda masters, professors, and lawmakers who don't care about the civilians' well being but are too interested in running a society as they become deeply worried about Internet's incredible ability of disseminating a huge volume of information across many thousands of miles to establish contact with another human being in a matter of some seconds or minutes. So, a clash between the average people with higher conciousness and wealthy people with lower conciousness now begins.

It can be anyone's liability. Too many dilemmas and consequences, as I learned about some protesters were mercilessly disturbing EDO Corporation afterward. Better and improved technology does not always indicate that it can give more power to an isolated and lonely individual but a whole humankind. Advancing technology does not mean that it is pushing mankind closer to fictious God/G-d. It does not make money infinitely either. Technology can't boost people's security alone. Real security is knowledge-building, education, honesty, and production not related to military and weapon.

Technology is merely a member of materialism which can be a machine, knowledge-building tool, explorer, uniter, or communication spreader, but never mean to be exploited into making a lot of money, winning a war, committing genocide, becoming dominant, depopulating to reduce resource and environment stress, and other negative factors that benefitting a cabal of inconsiderate and primitive humans.

Technology is just technology. Its mission is educate millions of techno-participants (such as Internet users) beyond their bounded worlds. So, it is supposed to be cultivatized and cultured instead of being invested for someone's profit and power. Get the point? Technolog needs to be treated with care.

Understand that EDO Corporation is not the only one who manufactures many different kind of military components, communication devices, electronics, and other military machines. Other countless companies are, too. My sympathy for EDO Corporation who happened to be unfortunate enough to be picked over any other company by the protesters as a target to be hated, shamed, and bashed in order to bring the anti-war inspiration and a message to the modernizing world. So we can get peace sooner than later, but not without using some considerable effort and unethical force meant to raise the world's attention.

Anonymous writer

Get a job! Yeh in the nail industry.

12.08.2005 13:33

There are many conflicts around the world today and that is a great shame for the 21st century. This decade of peace has brought us many things but it would seem that peace at the moment is not prevalent. From what I have read there a many reason’s for war religious, resource extraction or state oppression. Do we remember the civil war’s of our time e.g. Apartheid South Africa.

There are wars going on in Africa and there is violence on our street here in the UK. I am sure that currently we spend plenty on our defence needs, with those working in the industry on good salaries especially compared with the common nurse. Palestine is currently occupied in contravention to ILO resolution 192. Israel, (and please to correct my spelling and grammar) is a state who is well recognised to break international law on a regular basis. Will the continue supply of armaments to these war zones e.g. water cannons, tanks and bulldozers etc really help to foster a more peace loving world? Of course we need jobs and I am quite happy with mine, although the pay’s not great. However the small amount of jobs done by those who see no wrong with supplying weapons systems for the continued and illegal killing of people, including civilians, cannot be justified.

mail e-mail:

EDO are doomed in Brighton

13.08.2005 11:38

We're here for the long haul - Brighton is an anti-war city and we won't tolerate arms companies. There's plenty of activists, and plenty of energy !

Larna- why don't you grow up? and fuck off?



13.08.2005 18:44

4.15 pm August 13th 2005
EMBARGO. For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Andrew Beckett 07875 708873


Police made four arrests in Brighton today (Saturday 13th August) as they prevented a peaceful march from proceeding through Brighton town centre. Initially a march of around forty people was allowed to leave Churchill Square and march down North St. Approximately 100 metres down the road the demonstration was brought to a halt by a large number of officers (some in public order gear) backed up with Alsatians. The crowd, which included children and OAPs, was pushed into a side street as the police mounted a show of force. Four arrests followed including one of an eighty year old man who was led away in an arm lock by two officers. Shoppers and onlookers were visibly shocked.

Andrew Beckett, press spokesman for SMASH EDO said: “We think that Sussex Police should stop trying to intimidate protesters and investigate those who have committed crimes against humanity. 100,000 civilians died during the aerial bombardment of Iraq and many more had their lives ruined. EDO directly profited from this bloodshed and yet Sussex Police so far have diverted huge resources to undermining the campaign against the warmongers. EDO failed to get an exclusion zone in court and yet the police seem determined to enforce one anyway. We know that people of Brighton were overwhelmingly against the war so why is their police force so vehemently against the freedom of speech and assembly on this issue. This was clearly a peaceful demonstration ”

The march was intended to publicise the week of action and peace camp happening in Brighton. (See below for details)

Week of Action
Sunday 14th August
A day for planning and preparing actions
Campsite, Wild Park, Brighton
Workshops will be organised by related campaign groups.

Mon 15th August
Carry on up the Injunction
A day to creatively mock EDO MBM’s High Court injunction
· 12 noon: Lunch against the Arms Trade
Outside EDO MBM, Home Farm Road, Brighton
· 6 pm: Know Your Rights
Campsite, Wild Park, Brighton
Legal workshop

Tue 16th August
A day of creative action against the arms trade

Wed 17th August
Palestine Day of Action
· 4 - 6 pm: Including a demonstration to remember the Palestinian victims of EDO MBM’s products
At EDO MBM, Home Farm Road, Brighton

Thu 18th August
· 4 - 6pm: Noise Demo
At EDO MBM, Home Farm Road, Brighton
· 7pm: Peace Camp Party
The Prince Albert, Trafalgar Street, Brighton

Fri 19th August
· 11 - 1 pm: Noise Demo + Packing Up the Camp
At EDO MBM, Home Farm Road, Brighton
Notes for Journalists
Brighton&Hove is a UN Peace Messenger City.
The injunction referred to was served under the1997 Protection from Harassment Act (originally designed to protect women from stalkers) and is the first of its kind directed at activists outside of the animal rights movement. Crucially it is a civil injunction but carries criminal penalties. It affects anyone deemed to be a protestor
Initially EDO/MBM requested a large “exclusion zone” comprising the whole of Home Farm Industrial Estate. They and Sussex police also wanted to limit demonstrations to two and a half hours, with less than ten people who had to be silent. Judge Gross refused to impose these conditions at the initial hearing. In his summing up he said, “The right to freedom of expression is jealously guarded in English law” and consequently refused to impose the requested limits on size, timing or noise made at demonstrations.
EDO MBM Technologies Ltd are the sole UK subsidiary of huge U.S arms conglomerate EDO Corp, which was recently named No. 10 in the Forbes list of 100 fastest growing companies. They supply bomb release mechanisms to the US and UK armed forces amongst others. They supply crucial components for Raytheon’s Paveway IV guided bomb system, widely used in the “Shock and Awe” campaign in Iraq. EDO also recently withdrew a threatened libel action against Indymedia over being named as “warmongers”.
Lawson-Cruttenden & Co, a solicitors firm working for EDO have been instrumental in developing the Protection of Harassment Act 1997 from a measure designed to safeguard individuals to a corporate charter to make inconvenient protest illegal. They have pioneered to use of injunctions to create large “exclusion zones”. They have secured numerous injunctions against anti-vivisection and anti-GM protestors.
Campaign against EDO MBM, People involved in the anti-EDO campaign include, but are not limited to: local residents, the Brighton Quakers, peace activists, anti-capitalists, Palestine Solidarity groups, human rights groups, trade unionists, academics and students.
The campaign started in August 2004 with a peace camp. It’s avowed aim is to expose EDO MBM and their complicity in war crimes and to remove them from Brighton.


Andrew Beckett
mail e-mail:

So what...

13.08.2005 22:58

The arrests today will not stop the protests. No one who reads these reports will be intimidated. However many the police target, harass, follow through the streets of Brighton with video cameras, arrest aor remand to HMP Lewes there will always be more who will come forward and keep up the fight against arms dealers who profit from war crimes, mass murderr and genocide.

The killers and murderers who work for EDO MBM will be shamed and they will be kicked out of Brighton.

We will be here until they aren't.

Justice will come.

not scared

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