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EDO Protesters refer Sussex Police to the IPCC

sarah johnson | 06.07.2006 23:58 | Anti-militarism | South Coast

13 formal Complaints against Sussex Police by anti-arms Protesters to be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission

Smash EDO Press Release
Sussex Police Referred to IPCC
8th July 2006
Contact Andrew Beckett or Sarah Johnson For more Details
Email -, tel 07875708873

13 formal Complaints against Sussex Police by anti-arms Protesters to be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission


Anti-arms campaigners, protesting against Brighton arms manufacturers EDO MBM, have lodged 13 individual formal complaints against Sussex Police over their policing of the two year campaign.

Solicitors for the protesters have today referred the complaints to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) saying that the complaints, when looked at together, show biased political policing aimed at suppressing freedom of _expression and collusion with EDO MBM to obtain a civil injunction suppressing peaceful protest.

The protesters legal team want the complaints to be looked at together rather than individually, a request that can only be granted by the IPCC.

The individual complaints against Sussex police cover the unlawful attempted eviction of a Peace Camp outside the EDO MBM arms factory in August 2005, the use of Public Order Act powers on scores of occasions to arrest protesters and stop demonstrations throughout 2005, the arrest and imprisonment of a protester for allegedly breaching a high court civil injunction, and harassment of peaceful protesters.

The complaints come after EDO MBM’s attempt to obtain a blanket injunction against all known or unknown protesters dramatically collapsed in March this year.

Sarah Johnson, press spokesperson for Smash EDO, said “Sussex Police’s tactic over the last two years have clearly been aimed at intimidating those engaged in legitimate protest. They have worked hand in hand with EDO MBM, an arms factory guilty of war crimes under the ICC Act, to attempt to obtain an injunction contrary to the the right to protest. They have failed in this attempt due to our perserverance. We hope that their corruption will be exposed by an IPCC enquiry.”

Smash EDO demonstrate outside EDO MBM every Wednesday 4-6pm


Notes for Journalists
Brighton & Hove is a UN Peace Messenger City

The injunction referred to was served under the 1997 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 thanten people who had to be silent. Judge Gross refusedto impose these conditions at the initial hearing of an interim injunction, which was put in place in the period before the full trial to be heard at the High court in London from November 21st. 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. He also said that he doubted that protesters were 'stalking' employees of EDO MBM.

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 amongstothers. They supply crucial components for Raytheon's Paveway guided bomb system, widely used in the "Shock and Awe" campaign in Iraq.

EDO also withdrew a threatened libel action against Indymedia over being named as "warmongers".

Lawson-Cruttenden & Co
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. Theyhave 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.


sarah johnson
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