Thursday 14th August
For more info call Andrew Beckett or Chloe Marsh on 07875708873 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The five campaigners against Brighton arms manufacturer EDO MBM were arrested after some of them locked themselves to the doors of the factory on October 3rd 2007 in protest at the sale of weapons for conflicts in Iraq and Palestine.
The five were arrested for minor charges on October 3rd. However, their charges were raised to 'Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Damage' which carries a maximum ten year sentence and must be tried in a Crown Court before a jury.
The arrests took place on a day of action in October where several different actions occurred including the supergluing of EDO's locks. The prosecution claimed that all five campaigners were part of a conspiracy to glue the locks of the factory.
Chloe Marsh, press spokesperson for the campaign said 'this was an attempt to bring extremely serious charges against peaceful protesters. We are very happy with yesterday's verdict. If the defendants had been found guilty it would have opened the way for Sussex police to bring conspiracy charges against anyone participating in demonstrations.'
Andrew Beckett said 'This was an example of the state spending vast amounts of public money in an effort to intimidate ordinary people from attending protests at EDO MBM'.
Smash EDO protests every Wednesday outside EDO MBM. On October 15th a mass demonstration against the factory is planned. More info at www.smashedo.org.uk
previous press release about the case:
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.”