Anti arms trade campaigners are planning a mass demonstration against the arms trade on Wednesday October 15th from Falmer Station. Recently Sussex Police hand delivered letters to known campaigners calling for 'organisers' to meet with the police to 'discuss their intentions'.
The letter says that 'Sussex Police are well used to hosting protests and demonstrations' and that if negotiation occurs then the 'perceived repressive stance' of the police can be alleviated.
In fact Sussex Police have acted in a biased political manner throughout the four and a half year history of the campaign against EDO MBM. Police have colluded with the managers of EDO to take out a blanket injunction against protests at the factory, have attempted over forty failed criminal prosecutions against protesters, made over 100 arrests and have done everything they can to stop peaceful demonstrations from occurring.
At the 'Carnival Against the Arms Trade' on June 4th police attempted to corral protesters into a metal cage out of sight of the factory, when participants refused to be penned the police responded with pepper spray, batons and the deployment of police dogs. Several people were hospitalised and over twenty people were injured.
The police say that they simply want organisers to come forward in order for them to 'plan a proportionate response'. However, the police persistently attempt to target and criminalise people whom they perceive to be organisers. For example the recent failed attempts to prosecute campaigners against EDO for 'incitement' and 'conspiracy'. The Smash EDO campaign is a non hierarchical group who have no organisers, but consists of broad a network of people with a shared concern about the devastating consequences of the global arms trade.
On October 15th we plan to march again against the manufacture of weapons of mass murder in our community. We have the right to gather and protest without asking for permission. Our movement is growing and we once again extend an invitation to join us on the 15th and support the movement to shut down EDO MBM/ITT.
For more info, photos or interviews call 07875708873 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for Journalists
The 'Shut ITT' demonstration
Our movement is growing, in June this year over 600 people came from around the country to the ‘Carnival Against the Arms Trade’. The Carnival managed to reach the Brighton bomb factory despite police attempts to stop us!
This time we expect a show of force from the police. We will not let them stop us showing our anger at EDO MBM’s complicity in war crimes...
Meet October 15th, at 12 noon opposite Falmer Station, Through the underpass, next to the Sussex University sign. (3 miles from Brighton Station)
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 a 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.”