A five day protest camp was held behind EDO/MBM technology, on Home Farm Industrial Estate, Mouslecoomb, Brighton, last week. Activists from around the country came to take action against the company which has recently signed a $145 contract supplying hardware for the illegal occupation of Iraq. The company manufactures bomb release mechanisms for F16s, Hawks, Hurricanes and Tornados.
Throughout the camp privat security were employed by the factory at a total cost of £80 an hour costing the factory over £20 000 over the week. Previous actions, according to the managing director, have cost the factory £20 000 in one day, doesn't it just make you feel all warm inside...
The camp was set up on Sunday and lively protests were held continuously throughout the week. Workers were handed a statement describing the bombing of Fallujah and Baghdad and asking them to consider joining the campaign.
EDO/MBM directors were visited at home and their neighbours were told exactly what they did for a living. Nearby areas were flyposted with posters warning that mass murderers live nearby. The actions were intended to break the anonymity of these people when they return to their leafy suburbs.
Companies dealing with EDO/MBM were visited by delegations asking them to consider ending their contracts. Throughout these visits pictures of the death and destruction caused by the bombing in Iraq were used.
Many local people came up to support the camp bringing food and enthusiasm. The camp has begun to build a network which could kickstart a campaign to close the factory down.
On Thursday three activists occupied the roof of the factory despite stepped up security and a heavy police presence. Food and sleeping bags were smuggled to the roof via a pulley system from a verge behind the factory. The three set up camp on the roof to greet workers the morning. An official complaint was lodged with the Health and Safety Executive with regard to danger to the factory opening despite protest on the roof. The executive is pursuing the complaint.
photos to follow