Inteview with Paul Hills, MD of EDO MBM
Andrew Beckett, press spokesperson for Smash EDO said,
'We have a right to know what this arms company are really up to, so when Paul Hills accuses us of getting our facts wrong, we say "prove us wrong" But the fact is, he can't.'
'Paul Hills claims the company do not supply Israel, but hides the fact that EDO MBM own and control the rights to the bomb release technology used by the Israeli Air Force F16 aircraft. That's a fact. Paul Hills has admitted this in court, as
recently as last month he confirmed it, under oath.'
'Further evidence suggests these parts are actually being made in Brighton and
exported to the Israel (via another country). The Government has confirmed it has
granted the company export licences for these parts since 1998, but the end user
information has been withheld. Despite official UK Goverment statements and
confirmation from the Information Commissioner Paul Hills still refuses to admit
that some of these licences even exist. Despite his claims in the interview the fact
remains that he blocked public requests for the licence information under FOIA.
On 5 July 2007 John Doddrell, Director of Uk Govt Export Control
Organisation stated in an FOIA response:
‘EDO MBM has asked us not to disclose any information on export
licences...Therefore any such information that they might contain is exempt from
In todays interview Paul Hills descends into surrealism, with his claim that EDO MBM is 'not an arms factory', while at the same time admitting that its products are designed for the ‘safe carriage and release’ of bombs. He appears to be deluding himself that air strikes are a safe activity.
Finally he is right about one thing when he says BERR control UK export licences.
These are licences under UK arms control law that control technology for military
use, listed on the Government’s list of controlled military equipment. EDO MBM must apply for these arms export licences to export their products.
So however 'irritating' it may be, the fact is EDO MBM are clearly an arms factory
and for this reason protests will continue against them until they are shut down.
Their business has been cut by half since the campaign began in 2004.
For more info contact Chloe Marsh or Andrew Beckett on 07754135290
Notes for Journalists
From their base in Moulescoombe Brighton, EDO MBM/ITT, a unit of ITT corporation,
manufacture vital parts for the Hellfire and Paveway weapons systems, laserguided
missiles used 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 of 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