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Court challenge to legality of taxes and fines - Friday

chris coverdale | 04.10.2006 12:34 | SOCPA | Anti-militarism | Indymedia | Repression

On Friday 6th October at 10am, anti-war campaigner Chris Coverdale appears at Marylebone Magistrates Court to defend his decision not to pay a fine arising from his conviction for using a megaphone and demonstrating in parliament square earlier this year. He will argue that to do so would aid genocide, and so he has a duty not to which he will prove in court by putting the Iraq war on trial. Supporters and the press are warmly welcomed.

In a case which has serious implications for the Government and taxpayers, anti-war campaigner Chris Coverdale is challenging the legality of fines imposed by Bow St Magistrates. Mr Coverdale is refusing to pay a fine of £250 awarded against him when he was convicted under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act for using a megaphone and demonstrating in Parliament Square without police authorisation.

Mr Coverdale, who has also been on tax strike since January 1999, claims that “Complicity in waging a war of aggression or committing genocide is a criminal offence. The law states that the payment of money to a government to help it to wage a war of aggression is a crime of ‘complicity in a crime against peace’ under the Nuremburg Principles; and assisting a person to commit genocide is a crime of ‘conduct ancillary to genocide’ under the International Criminal Court Act 2001. As the British Government is waging an illegal war of aggression against Iraq and has murdered at least 50,000 totally innocent Iraqis which in law is genocide, it is every citizen’s legal duty to refuse to take part in such crimes. Under no circumstances will I agree to hand over any money to any agency of government whilst it uses the money to murder innocent men, women and children.”

“In all conscience I cannot take part in the genocide of Iraqi men, women and children. At least 15,000 of the victims are children, yet Tony Blair tells us that attacking them with cruise missiles, rockets, cluster bombs and depleted uranium artillery shells is the ‘right’ thing to do. How can anyone believe that this massacre of children is right or lawful? I am totally bemused that so many normally law-abiding British citizens, especially MPs, police officers, crown prosecutors and judges are supporting the criminal actions of the British Government. Didn’t we learn anything from the Second World War? Of course the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan are not lawful. George Bush, Tony Blair and all their supporters are committing the same crimes for which Hitler’s henchmen were tried, convicted and hanged at Nuremburg in 1946.”

“We all have a moral and legal duty to prevent the killing. Complicity in genocide is the worst crime known to mankind, so it is my legal duty and that of every citizen of this country to refuse to handover money to this government whilst it continues to wage war and commit genocide. This applies to MPs, the police, the armed forces, taxpayers, judges, and anyone who does anything to facilitate the commission of such crimes."

For information on the illegality of the war, Blair’s war crimes or the legality of the tax strike contact Chris Coverdale on 020 8944 7731.

chris coverdale