EDO is a Brighton based arms manufacturer owned by ITT. They produce bomb release equipment for the US, UK and Israeli armed forces.
Fifteen people turned up early Monday morning and held a noisy demonstration outside the factory gates.
This was to reaffirm that we will continue to protest against EDO, despite police repression, and that the campaign will not go away until the factory closes down.
Since the campaign began Sussex police have acted as a biased political force, a private security firm for a US corporation. Sussex Police and EDO collaborated, in 2005-6, to criminalise protest through an injunction under the Protection from Harassment Act. When this failed, after campaigners defied the injunction in the courts and on the streets, the police have used a series of cackhanded conspiracy charges, prosecutions under archaic council noise byelaws, kettling, mass arrests to 'prevent a breach of the peace', use of section 60, harassment by police Forward Intelligence Teams and have attempted to pay informers for information about the campaign.
Sean Mcdonald, the rotund 'events liaison' officer for Sussex is a permanent feature at EDO protests. Mcdonald's oily attempts to ingratiate himself with newcomers in order to intelligence gather, efforts to provoke protesters to violence, and personal remarks about campaigners are an effort to harass and intimidate campaigners. Mcdonald's career is centred around his knowledge of the Smash EDO campaign (which is quite sad really as he is hideously ill informed).
Sussex Police and the CPS have invested considerable resources on attempting to stamp out the Smash EDO campaign, spending $1 million on policing four demonstrations, yet Smash EDO has been campaigning relentlessly against EDO/ITT for six years with no sign of slowing down. The majority of prosecutions against campaigners have ended in failure.
In October 2010 Elijah Smith, one of the six people who decommissioned EDO during Operation Cast Lead, was given a restraining order, as a result of an amendment to the PHA act. Under this order he is prevented from demonstrating outside the factory for five years. This order is proof that the demonstrations against EDO continue to be used as a testing ground for new repressive legislation.
It is important that we recognise the state's attempts to repress effective campaigns and that we stand in solidarity with those targeted, support each other and, most importantly, don't give in. If they try to repress us that is because they see us as a threat.
We will be here until they're not...