Reports on the Brighton-based campaign against weapon manufacturer EDO MBM.
On Monday 16th July 2012 Smash EDO held a Citizen's Weapons Inspection' of EDO. Kent, Sussex and Hampshire Police used new Police Liaison Officers and a steel wall against demonstrators.Despite this, activists dressed in white suits managed to breach the police cordon and hang banners outside the factory gates and close down the industrial estate by locking-on to the police cordon.
On Sunday 15th July Smash EDO hosted a gathering against the G8, launching a new network. There will be a workshop to plan action against the G8 at Earth First and the next gathering will be 22nd September in Birmingham.
The UK antimilitarist movement is building fresh coalitions against new developments in state militarism. In March activists converged in Bristol to confront an unmanned drones conference and a ‘Disarm the National Gallery’ campaign was launched in London to end arms trade sponsorship of the gallery. This week delegates visiting the annual Counter-Terror conference were met by a counter-protest and Vince Cable's speech at the UKTI conference was disrupted.
Smash EDO, who have campaigned to shut EDO MBM down for eight years are launching three months of action, from May 1st to August 1st, next week with a mayday noise demonstration, a bad music demonstration and a phone and twitter blockade to name just a few of the planned events.
Smash EDO Summer of resistance reports: Picket of Barclays - 27/4/12| A few words on sensationalist journalism, protest bans and the local rag| The Summer of Resistance starts here| Mayday! Mayday! The Summer of Resistance Day One| Day Two: Face the Music| Day Three: Hot on the Wire| Day Four: Surprise! Surprise!| Smash EDO Summer of Resistance Week Two begins| Bikes not Bombs: Smash EDO Summer of Resistance hits the Pedals| Ratchet up the Racket: Summer of Resistance Continues| Summer of Resistance Targets Barclays
Brighton's Smash EDO campaign are holding a mass demo at EDO/ITT on Wednesday 13th October. Anti arms trade campaigners plan to lay seige to EDO/ITT and shut them down for the day.
Info for the Day:: The meeting place for the demo is Wild Park Cafe (directions here) at 10am on Wednesday, but people are being asked to arrive on the evening of the 12th. Convergence space will be available. There will be a meeting about the demo at 7pm at the Cowley Club on Tuesday 12th. There will be a timeline on Indymedia and a twitter feed: @smash_edo
Local contacts for ITT's Hammertime: Birmingham - hammertime-brum [at] riseup.net | Bristol - bristolagainstarmstrade [at] gmail.com | Cambridge - hammertime-cambridge [at] riseup.net | Cardiff - val.swain [at] yahoo.co.uk | Cornwall - kernowaction [at] gmail.com | London - hammertimelondon [at] dsei.org | Manchester - info [at] targetbrimar.org.uk | Notts - alex.dable [at] ntlworld.com | Swansea - d [at] undercurrents.org
Previous features:They Think It's All Over ...ITT Is Now | Smash EDO Solidarity in Nottingham | Hammer Time: The EDO Decommissioners go on trial | Indymedia Coverage of Remember Gaza | Anti Militarists take on Barclays | Support the EDO Decommissioners | Mayday! Mayday! | EDO Smashed | Anti-Arms Protesters Shut ITT | Smash EDO Carnival Against the Arm Trade - Timeline | Carnival Against the Arms Trade | Marie Vesco RIP | On the Verge - The Film They Tried to Ban | Singers Arrested Outside Arms Factory | Smash EDO Action Camp: Shut down the Brighton bomb builders | Lebanon War protesters - Not Guilty! | EDO CORP: 2006 Alternative Report | 2007 Is The Year To Shut EDO Down | EDO MBM Injunction crumbles | EDO MBM desperate to stop protests as resistance increases | Smash EDO Take On The Law | Harassment Law Used Against Anti-War Campaigners | Campaign to Smash Edo | Arms company shut down
The EDO Decommissioners have all walked free after unanimous acquittals following the three week trial which concluded on Friday (2nd July) at Hove Crown Court. What began as a trial of the Decommissioners effectively ended up with the Brighton arms manufacturer, and the war crimes of the Israeli state, in the dock. Is it all over for EDO/ITT in Brighton? It might be now...
In the early hours of 17th January 2009, during Israel's 'Operation Cast Lead' offensive against Gaza, six people broke in to the EDO/ITT weapons components factory in Moulsecoomb, Brighton, and, allegedly, caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to the production line.
The EDO decommissioners’ court case finally kicked off at the start of June. EDO CEO Paul Hill has been extensively cross-examined about his company's arms deals and one of the defendants has already been acquitted after no evidence was produced to prosecute her. A solidarity demo has been organised to take place outside Hove Crown Court on the day of the verdict - expected to be some time next week.
In Nottingham, anti-arms trade activists showed solidarity with the EDO decommissioners by targeting the Radford premises of EMICS, a company involved in the global arms trade. The gates were chained shut and graffiti saying "SMASH EMICS" was sprayed on the walls.
Previous feature: Hammer Time: The EDO Decommissioners go on trial
After a full year and a half of one defendant being on remand in prison, numerous pre-trial hearings and several last minute postponements, the EDO decommissioners’ court case is finally kicked off on Monday. With the first date taking place exactly a week after the murderous attack on the Gaza freedom flotilla, the world has, yet again, been reminded of Israel’s continuous war crimes and much is at stake. A callout for solidarity with the decommissioners during the trial has been issued. There will be an 'If I had a hammer' themed demo in support of the decommissioners outside EDO/ITT on Wednesday 9th June between 4 and 6pm - Bring rubber and inflatable hammers. The decommissioners will be arguing that their action was taken to prevent greater crimes.
A reminder of what happened: In the early hours of 17th January 2009, during Israel's 'Operation Cast Lead' offensive against Gaza, six people broke in to the EDO/ITT weapons' components factory in Moulsecoomb, Brighton, and, allegedly, caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to the production line. (see youtube for the local paper's video of some of the damage)
The six decommissioners barricaded themselves inside, and proceeded to break computers and other equipment, with the aim of preventing the factory from being able to produce weapons. The action stopped production at the facility until Israel’s bombing campaign was over.
On Monday 18th January, the first anniversry of the final day of the Israeli massacre in Gaza, Smash EDO are holding a mass demonstration in Brighton against arms manufacturer EDO/ITT. Indymedia will be running an up to the minute timeline of events for the day.
Be the Media:Phone or text in your reports from the demonstration to Indymedia Dispatch on 07943685168 (from Monday morning).
Arrests - So far we know of four people who have definitely been arrested. Three have been released on police bail until March. Those who live in Brighton have been given bail conditions restricting protest at EDO/ITT, non-Brightonians have been bailed away from Brighton. It seems that the police have been deliberately targeting action medics.Update on the Squat raid - Reports have come in that the police who raided the squat last night were armed with tasers and at least one gun. The person who was arrested has been released without charge.
If you were affected by police tactics on the demo call Emotional Support on 07985211033
19.26 - There have been four or five arrests in total. Several for breach of section 14 and one for threatening behaviour. Legal support are outside the police station waiting...
17.59 - There are reports of one more arrest in the North Lanes. If you witnessed an arrest or need support call legal support on 07805125940.
17.43 - Police have snatched two people, including an action medic, out of the cordon on North Rd.
17.42 - People have attempted to reach Barclays on North St. Some people made it.
16.17 - The demo is now marching alongside St Peter's Church toward the Old Steine. People are beginning to disperse.
16.10 - The demo has reached the Level and is crossing it.
16.10 - A crowd of about 300 has reached the junction between Lewes Road and Elm Grove. The police are attempting to prevent them from going further. A kettle may be forming.
16.00 - Reports are coming in that EDO/ITT has closed for the day
15.52 - The demo is now moving again, with the police in front, toward Brighton on the Lewes Road. There are about 150 people in the main section. No arrests so far
15.46 - One person has been hit with a police baton
15.45 - Cops now blocking Lewes Road at Comet. Some people are corralled in the car park of Brighton university. Lines of riot police in front of lines of riot vans are at the front of the demo.
Information for Action:Spot of bother with the Old Bill? We recommend Kelly's Solicitors – (01273) 674898 –**Witnessed an arrest or need advice? Legal Support – 07805125940** Need somewhere to crash? Accommodation – 07805125965**
Southcoast Indymedia is three and a half years old. Since Southcoast Indy began it has been a place where local activists can report their news. Southcoast has hosted reports on the growth of the Smash EDO campaign [1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13|14|15|16|17|18], the battle for Titnore Woods [1|2|3|4|5|6|8], battles over freedom to protest in Brighton and Worthing [1|2|3|4], The Gatwick and Calais No Borders camps [1|2|3], Sussex students' struggles, the South East mobilisation for the G8 in Gleneagles, the campaign to free Omar Degahyes and Binyam Mohammed, Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Southcoast Indymedia was set up with the aim of "of providing a readily accessible source of news and information on the Kent, Sussex and Hampshire area of the south of England...We will be extending an invitation to all kinds of community groups and campaigns (well, almost all - racists and fascists are not welcome here!) to use South Coast IMC as their own site, a place where they both post news of their own and catch up with others".
Almost four years on, we would like to renew the creative process that drives Indymedia and relaunch the Southcoast collective; making South Coast Indymedia an ongoing, relevant resource for all activists in the area. With more people involved, we can make South Coast Indymedia a valuable tool for wide variety of campaigns and individuals, with South Coast-relevant features, campaign diary and newswire for announcements and reports of events in the area.
On Sunday 6th December, from 2-3.30pm, at the Cowley Club in Brighton, there will be a workshop to discuss a revamp of Southcoast Indymedia. The session is for anyone who wants to contribute content, tech support, graphic/web design or has any skills or experience to share, etc.
New ideas and general curiosity are very welcome on the day, get involved!
If you are interested contact email@example.com
On Saturday 28th November protests took place in Brighton, Wrexham, Falmouth, Hastings, Tunbridge Wells and Cambridge [Pics] as part of a day of action marking the launch of Smash EDO's'Target Barclays' campaign.On November 30th an action took place in Plymouth.
Smash EDO have been calling for autonomous actions against Barclays Bank to force them to stop providing 'market maker' services for ITT Corporation on the NYSE. Smash EDO's site states 'Bankers and institutional investors are the glue that finances the state terror wreaked by the arms trade. Companies like EDO do not operate in a vacuum but are propped up by the networks of corporations and investors which constitute the global capitalist system which puts profit before peace, greed before people.'
As ITT’s market maker, Barclay’s acts as a ‘middle man’, purchasing shares from a seller and holding them until such a time as a buyer becomes available. This ensures the stability of ITT’s share price by allowing shareholders to sell off their assets at any time, even when a buyer is not immediately available, and vice versa. Barclay’s also profits from this enterprise, by selling ITT’s shares at a small markup, which nevertheless generates a considerable income when spread across large sales. Barclays is also the largest UK investor in the global arms trade.More.
Smash EDO's next big mobilisation is the REMEMBER GAZA SMASH EDO MASS DEMO JANUARY 18TH. Assemble at 1pm, Brighton, wear black.
The decommisioners are six activists on trial for direct action taken against the massacre in Gaza. On January 17th, as the bombs rained on Gaza, they destroyed hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of machinery owned by EDO MBM, preventing the factory from manufacturing bomb racks and arming units for Israeli F16s.
Eight people are currently on bail and one is on remand, currently in Lewes Prison. All are charged with conspiracy to cause criminal damage.
Between the 16th and the 23rd of October, actions were held across the UK and in Palestine in support of the decommissioners. On the 16th, in Manchester, a demonstration was held outside Brimar, a factory making display units for the Israeli Apache helicopter, launching a new campaign. Several of the decommissioning defendants were arrested at the demonstration for breach of bail but later released. On Monday a demonstration was held at Brighton Town Hall calling on Brighton and Hove Council to debate the presence of EDO MBM in Brighton, a petition will be handed in to the council meeting in December. On Wednesday some of the names of those killed during the Gaza massacre were read outside the EDO MBM factory in Brighton. On Thursday two pickets of the Foreign office were held and a petition calling for an end to arms exports to Israel and in support of the decommissioners was handed in. On Friday the Palestinian village of Bil In dedicated its weekly demonstration against the apartheid wall to the decommissioners.
Reports of Target Brimar Demonstration 1 | 2 | Target Brimar Campaign Statement about Arrests of Decommissioners | 3 | SCHnews - It's Brim Up North
Click here to download 'If I had a Hammer', a 32 page booklet explaining why the decommissioning was necessary.