During the bombing of Lebanon last Summer the two campaigners had entered the property of EDO MBM in Brighton, a supplier of weaponry to the Israeli military, scaled the walls and hung a banner from the roof reading '16 CHILDREN DEAD IN QANA LEBANON, EDO PROFITS FROM MURDER'
The Protest came was in response to Israel's bombing of Lebanon, which claimed over 1000 lives last Summer and devastated an entire country.
In Brighton the Smash EDO campaign held a series of protests against the invasion including a blockade of the factory, a day of rage, an art installation and a demonstration in Brighton. Activist in Brighton also held a picket of the Israeli Tennis team's match in Eastbourne.
During the case Director of EDO MBM Peter Davies, contradicting his own company’s website, denied that the company was acting unlawfully, or had supplied components to the Israeli military, and said that even if they had done, it would not be wrong, even if these components had been used in war crimes in Lebanon.
The District Judge refused to consider arguments showing links between the company and war crimes but found that the two protesters could not have heard police warnings to come down from the roof, and did not believe the Crown’s argument that the two intended to disrupt the operation of the factory. She said that the occupation of the roof was clearly a publicity stunt designed to attract media attention and had been very successful in doing so, having gained international coverage in the UK, France, Germany, the USA and even Iran.
The rooftop occupation of EDO’s bomb factory was the third since 2004 where protesters have been acquitted of all criminal charges, and found to be legally on the roof. There have now been nearly thirty failed prosecutions of campaigners protesting against EDO MBM in Brighton.
Michael Heyman, one of the protesters, said ‘the court’s decision today proves that peaceful protest is not a crime, Sussex Police’s attempts to stifle protest have failed yet again.’