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Catholic Workers To Be Sentenced for DSEi Arms Fair Resistance!

Cathollic Worker | 18.03.2008 07:50 | DSEi 2007 | Anti-militarism | London


Photo of DSEi Action,

Zelda Jeffers and Fr Martin Newell cp of the London
Catholic Worker community were sentenced to XX
days in prison today, at Stratford Magistrates
Court, for pouring fake blood onto the gangway
entrance to the DSEi (Defence System Equipment
International) Arms Fair at Custom House DLR station
in east London in September. The entrance to one of
the world’s largest arms fairs was closed for at least
4 hours as a result.

The were found guilty of “criminal damage” at their
trial at the same Court in February and ordered to pay
fines and costs totalling £700. However, as they
refused to pay these, the Magistrate ordered them to
serve a custodial sentence. The two admitted pouring
fake blood, but denied that it was criminal damage. Fr
Newell had poured out five litres of red paint on the
gangway, saying 'rivers of blood that start here at
the DSEi Arms Fair’ . Having done this, he then knelt
down to pray. He was dragged away and arrested. Ms
Jeffers had held up a banner saying "Get the Guns Out
of London" and then poured fake blood on herself
before being arrested.

Martin Newell said in court today, “To pay this fine
would be to co-operate with a system that is fuelling
murder and mayhem around the world by promoting and
protecting the arms trade. We withdrew our
co-operation at the DSEi arms fair last September. We
continue that refusal to go along quietly with
manifest evil. In Holy Week, Christians and others
remember the price Jesus paid on the cross for
standing up for truth, life and freedom, when he was
arrested for his act of civil disobedience when he
cleansed the Temple of traders and bankers. It is a
great privilege to be able to follow, in a small way,
Jesus’ example of suffering for love and righteousness

At the trial in February, Zelda Jeffers said, “"I am
a mother, have held my babies, know the love and care
and concern a mother anywhere has for her children.
They have a right to physical integrity that is, not
to be blown up shot or burnt. I worked as a midwife
which is a respected profession, I helped babies be
born, I hoped for them to grow up. The week before the
arms fair Ryan was shot in Liverpool, with a gun that
was manufactured and traded, then ended a young life,
this is wrong, it should be stopped. I worked in
Nicaragua during and after the war there. I saw the
results of these arms not only in maiming and killing
but in poverty, ignorance and hunger. How can I not
try to stop this going on? The blood coloured paint
and dye was not damage but a statement of truth. The
action was not criminal but my duty as a human being."

Both Ms Jeffers and Fr Newell cp live and work at the
London Catholic Worker community house of
hospitality in Hackney, east London. The house
provides accommodation for asylum seekers, and members
run a community cafe and soup kitchen in Hackney.

The London Catholic Worker is part of the
international Catholic Worker movement, started in
1933 in New York to "explode the dynamite of Catholic
Social Teaching". The movement is committed
to radical social, political and economic change. The
London CW organises and campaigns for peace and
justice and publishes a quarterly newsletter as well
as a website.

Contact London Catholic Worker on tel: 020 7249 0041
(Ciaron), or 01923 777 201 (Scott)

LCW website:

US CW website:

Tuesday March 18th: Defendants and supporters outside
Stratford Magistrates Court. from 9.30 am

PHOTO OF PROTEST, also available at:

London Catholic Worker website:

Cathollic Worker
- Homepage:


Fr. Maritn Newell Sentenced to 5 Days Jail for Nonviolent Resistance to ArmsFair

18.03.2008 16:32

Fr. Martin Newell was sentenced at Stratford Magistrates Court Tuesday (18/3/07) to five days jail, he was immediately taken into custody. Sentencing on Zelda Jeffers has been postponed until next week. Zelda is a former "Shannon Banshee", 6 years a nurse in Nicaragua (where she also worked on Ken Loach's "Carla's Song") and 2 years a nurse with an indigeneous tribe on the Amazon. Zelda made it clear to the court that she refuses to pay fine, or contribute in any way to those who profit from the arms fair. The court said it could not take her pension but could take her to the High Court to get her bank details. The court postponed sentencing on Zelda for a week.

Sentencing arises out of the Feb 15th. conviction
for nonviolent resistance at 2007 London Arms & report of action

Zelda Jeffers and Fr. Martin Newell live and work at the London Catholic Worker which offers shelter and hospitality to refugees fleeing wars fueled by the arms trade. They also run a cheap local cafe/social centre in Dalston and a free Sunday soup kitichen for the homeless in Hackney.

Martin Newell was a member of the Jubilee Ploughsares 2000 group that disarmed a nuclear convoy vehiccle at RAF Wittering

The London Times on Martin Newell "Following Jesus in Love and Anarchy"

Presentencing Press Release and messages of solidarity posted...

- Homepage:

Fr. Martin Newell was Released from Brixton Prison Thursday Afternoon

20.03.2008 23:04

Fr. Martin Newell was Released from Brixton Prison Thursday Afternoon.

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  1. Moved — Jon