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Andrew Beckett | 09.06.2005 17:55 | Anti-militarism | Free Spaces | Repression | London | South Coast


On June 11th, following a rally on the Level, Brighton peace campaigners will march to John St Police Station and demand that Sussex Police investigate local arms dealers EDO MBM for complicity in war crimes. A bundle of evidence demonstrating EDO’s involvement in the illegal war in Iraq will be supplied. SMASH EDO invites press and anyone who is against the arms trade and for freedom of speech to join them on this national demonstration.

Andrew Beckett, press spokesman for SMASH EDO said: “We think that Sussex Police should stop trying to intimidate protesters and investigate those who have committed crimes against humanity. 100,000 civilians died during the aerial bombardment of Iraq and many more had their lives ruined. EDO directly profited from this bloodshed and yet Sussex Police so far have diverted huge resources to undermining the campaign against the warmongers. EDO failed to get an exclusion zone in court and yet the police seem determined to enforce one anyway. We know that people of Brighton were overwhelmingly against the war and demand that their police force investigate the real criminals.”

Campaigners will be rallying on the Level in the centre of Brighton at noon on June 11th (map). A march through town will culminate with the presentation of the evidence to John St Police Station.

Peace campaigners have blamed intimidating and dangerous police tactics for clashes outside Brighton arms dealers EDO MBM’s factory on 31st May. See press releases on web site.


Noise Demos every Wednesday 4 ‘til 6

Notes for Journalists
Brighton&Hove is a UN Peace Messenger City.
The injunction referred to was served under the1997 Protection from Harassment Act (originally designed to protect women from stalkers) and is the first of its kind directed at activists outside of the animal rights movement. Crucially it is a civil injunction but carries criminal penalties. It affects anyone deemed to be a protestor
Initially EDO/MBM requested a large “exclusion zone” comprising the whole of Home Farm Industrial Estate. They and Sussex police also wanted to limit demonstrations to two and a half hours, with less than ten people who had to be silent. Judge Gross refused to impose these conditions at the initial hearing. In his summing up he said, “The right to freedom of expression is jealously guarded in English law” and consequently refused to impose the requested limits on size, timing or noise made at demonstrations.
EDO MBM Technologies Ltd are the sole UK subsidiary of huge U.S arms conglomerate EDO Corp, which was recently named No. 10 in the Forbes list of 100 fastest growing companies. They supply bomb release mechanisms to the US and UK armed forces amongst others. They supply crucial components for Raytheon’s Paveway IV guided bomb system, widely used in the “Shock and Awe” campaign in Iraq. EDO also recently withdrew a threatened libel action against Indymedia over being named as “warmongers”.
Lawson-Cruttenden & Co, a solicitors firm working for EDO have been instrumental in developing the Protection of Harassment Act 1997 from a measure designed to safeguard individuals to a corporate charter to make inconvenient protest illegal. They have pioneered to use of injunctions to create large “exclusion zones”. They have secured numerous injunctions against anti-vivisection and anti-GM protestors.
Campaign against EDO MBM, People involved in the anti-EDO campaign include, but are not limited to: local residents, the Brighton Quakers, peace activists, anti-capitalists, Palestine Solidarity groups, human rights groups, trade unionists, academics and students.
The campaign started in August 2004 with a peace camp. It’s avowed aim is to expose EDO MBM and their complicity in war crimes and to remove them from Brighton.

Thursday 9th June 2005
CONTACT: Andrew Beckett 07875 708873

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  1. Sussex Police find their voice — stywatch
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