Activists supporting the EDO decommissioners handed out flyers outside the Foreign Office during the day, and attracted an unexpectedly high level of interest in their cause. Although vaguely threatened with SOCPA at one point, the info stall and banners stayed up and there were no spurious arrests.
The fresh faced Foreign Office representatives who bemusedly received the petition assured the demonstrators that they would be in touch.
It's not too late to sign the petition as the court case against the decommissioners has now been adjourned until May 2010. Sign here http://www.petitiononline.com/decom1/petition.html to show the authorities wishing to prosecute this needed and justified act that there is plenty of support for it, in the Brighton community and beyond.
decommissioners.co.uk or smashedo.org.uk for more info
This petition is from the 'Support the Decommissioners' campaign, a support group for six people who broke into EDO MBM/ITT in Brighton during Israel's bombing of Gaza in January 2009. By the 17th January, the night of the break in, Israel had killed over a thousand civilians By the end of Israel's aerial bombardment over 1400 people had died, including up to 400 children. Foreign secretary David Miliband has admitted that British supplied weapons were undoubtedly used during Israel's bombardment.
On January 17th Ornella Saibene, Robert Nicholls, Harvey Tadman, Elijah Smith, Tom Woodhead and Robert Alford broke into the EDO factory and destroyed computers and manufacturing equipment in order to disable the factory's capacity to manufacture weapons for the Israeli army.
War crimes, including murder, the targeting of civilians and the wanton targeting of civilian objects had been committed in Gaza during January. The decommissioning of EDO was intended to prevent the factory aiding and abetting those crimes any further.
EDO has been granted UK export licenses for components which are incorporate into the Israeli F16, including licences for the ERU 151, the bomb rack for the Israeli F16.
The decommissioning of EDO action was only necessary because the UK governmnent continues to grant licenses for the export of weapons components to Israel (either through direct or indirect exports). In July 2009, as a response to public outcry against British companies' complicity in ar crimes in Gaza. David Milibands revoked 5 out of 182 existing export licenses to Israel, leaving the majority of exports unhindered
Israel has persistently committed war crimes and crimes against humanity; during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, the bombing of Lebanon in 2006 and Operation Cast Lead in 2009. Despite this British arms sales to Israel are increasing.
We, the Undersigned demand:
- An arms embargo on Israel
- For all existing export licenses to Israel (either indirectly or directly) to be revoked
- An end to British governmnent purchases from Israeli arms companies (as these purchases help develop the Israeli arms industry)
Until these demands are fulfilled actions like the decommissioning will be necessary