18th July 2008
Freedom to Protest Court Case - Smash EDO Protester Appeals Conviction
For more info tel 07875708873, e mail email@example.com
The Smash EDO campaign argue that Sussex Police's use of Brighton and Hove byelaws against protesters is a misuse of laws which were designed for a very different purpose. The byelaw police used was designed to deal with noise from drunks in the street and noisy street vendors, however Sussex Police have been using them to restrict political demonstrations during the last year.
Chloe Marsh, press spokeswoman for the campaign, said 'Sussex police are, yet again, acting in a biased and political way, misusing council byelaws in order to stamp out legitimate dissent'
EDO MBM are a Brighton based arms manufacturer making electrical weapons component for use by the US and UK armed forces in Iraq and the Israeli army in Palestine. Smash EDO have been campaigning to close them down for over four years. In December 2007 EDO MBM was taken over by ITT, a company with a history of working with Hitler, Franco and Pinochet.
Since May 2007 Sussex Police have threatened countless people and arrested four protesters under the terms of the Brighton and Hove City Council noise byelaw including one woman who is currently on trial for singing outside the factory. In January 2008 campaigners held a 'Freedom to Protest' march through Brighton to the Police Station in protest at Sussex Police's misuse of the law.
Notes for Journalists
EDO MBM Technologies Ltd are the sole UK subsidiary of huge U.S weapons manufacturer EDO Corp.From their base in Moulescoombe Brighton, EDO MBM manufacture vital parts for the Hellfire and Paveway weapons systems,laserguided missilesused extensively in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Somalia. EDO Corp were recently acquired by ITT in multi-billion pound deal. ITT's links to fascism go back to the 1930s. The founder Sosthenes Behn was the first foreign businessman received by Hitler after his seizure of power.
There has been active campaign against the presence o f EDO MBM in Brighton since the outbreak of the Iraq war.Campaigners include students, Quakers ,Palestine solidarity activists, anti-capitalists and academics. Despite an injunction under the protection of harassment act (which failed) and over forty arrests the campaign is still going strong.Their avowed aim is to expose EDO MBM and their complicity in war crimes and to remove them from Brighton. They hold regular weekly demos outside the Moulescoombe factory on Wednesday's between 4 and 6.
On the Verge is an independent film about the SMASH EDO Campaign
“In 2004 a group of Brighton peace campaigners began to bang pot and pans outside their local arms manufacturers EDO MBM in disgust of their part in the Iraq war. This has grown into the Smash EDO campaign, which has cost the company millions, been the subject of large scale police operations and has tested the right to protest in the UK.Using activist, police and CCTV footage plus interviews with those involved in the campaign, 'On The Verge' tells the story of one of the most persistent and imaginative campaigns to emerge out of the UK's anti-war movement and direct action scene.”