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Smash EDO Update - Support Campaigners in Court

Smashy | 03.08.2008 20:34 | Smash EDO | Anti-militarism | Iraq | Palestine | South Coast | World

Support Campaigners in Court

Support Campaigners in Court
Five campaigners against Brighton arms manufacturer EDO MBM were arrested after some of them locked themselves to the doors of the factory on October 3rd (see previous press release) in protest against the sale of weapons for conflicts in Iraq and Palestine.

The five were arrested for minor charges on October 3rd at a protest at EDO MBM. However, their charges have were raised to 'Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Damage' which carries a maximum ten year sentence and must be tried in a Crown Court before a jury. They will appear in Brighton Magistrates this Wednesday at 9.30am. The trial will last for ten days.

Please come along and show your support
Update on arrests following the Smash EDO Carnival Against the Arms Trade which was held in Brighton on 4th June (see

Arrests have been made and houses searched in Southampton and Brighton last week over the Carnival Against the Arms Trade in Brighton. Two people were questioned over various alleged offences including the tipping of paint over a policeman during the carnival.

They were also asked questions relating to 'conspiracy to cause criminal damage' charges.

No charges are made and both have been bailed to later this year

Two houses were searched. One search involved PC Sean Mcdonald from Sussex police and an officer from the London FIT team, the other included plain clothes and uniformed officers including one Stephen Webb, claiming to be from Sussex Police.

The warrants were for the entire property and communal areas and other residents rooms were searched. Mobile phones, PCs, laptops, political stuff and clothes were seized.

If you have had your home raided or been questioned relating to Smash EDO protests contact the campaign through,

Kellys Solicitors (01273 674898) have dealt with EDO related cases for years and are the best bet if you are arrested. It is possible to swap to Kellys after release from the police station even if you have used another solicitor when arrested.
Rough Music Outlawed in Brighton
On 23rd July 2008 in Hove Crown Court Judge Hayward and two lay magistrates dismissed the appeal of an anti-arms trade protestor against his conviction under a council bylaw enforced under section 235 of the Local Government Act 1972 which makes it an offence not to desist from shouting, singing, drumming,or playing loud music in a street or public place when asked to do so by a police constable or anyone else. Marcus Wise is the first political protester in Brighton to be convicted under the bylaw since it came into force in 1998.

Marcus Wise was found to have refused to desist after a request by a police officer to turn down a sound system under his control playing an assortment of musical compositions at a demonstration outside the EDO MBM arms factory in Home Farm Business Estate, Brighton, at around 4.45pm on 17 July 2007.

The police acted on the complaint of an employee of the arms company (who has since resigned) who said that the factory’s air conditioning was inadequate and she was forced on the day to leave a window open in hot weather. While the music was ‘entertaining at first’ it changed to ‘Reggae’ and became a nuisance. This meant the music was too loud to allow her to concentrate on her work assisting in the manufacture of weapons to kill civilian men women and children in the Middle East.

The defence counsel raised the issue that the bylaw should not be used in the context of political demonstrations as its introduction by the local Council was for other reasons.

A witness for the defence Alderman Francis Tonks, a former councillor on Brighton Council for 22 years, presented minutes of the meeting where the bylaw had been passed ten years ago.

The bylaw came into force in August 1998 was introduced to deal with alleged nuisance caused by groups of ‘drummers’ assembling by the West Pier, as well as street buskers, and car windscreen washing touts in the town. The bylaw was never intended to deal with political protests Alderman Tonks explained

Judge Hayward ruled that the bylaw was intended for ‘the prevention and suppression of nuisance’ and could be used at political demonstrations when music was being played loudly simply to cause nuisance rather than convey a 'relevant argument or message', otherwise it was clear that rights under the European Convention articles 10 and 11 did apply and protesters had a positive (though not absolute)right to make their political opinion heard even it if it was done in such a way as to be ‘irritating, contentious, unwelcome or evocative.’

The bylaw does not prohibit the use of megaphones, airhorns, or sirens, but does apply to singing, drumming and musical instruments, and amplified music that is played so loud as to cause a ‘nuisance’.

On hearing the judgement Mark Wise congratulated Judge Hayward on ‘criminalising peaceful protest while helping EDO continue in making bombs that will be used to kill and maim women and children.’

Judge Haywards findings appear to empower individual police officers to make a judgement that noise produced by shouting, singing, playing musical instruments or sound systems, is a 'nuisance' rather than a political protest yet leaves open the possibility that if political songs are sung in an irritating way or politically conscious music is played loudly enough to evoke an emotional response by the employees inside the factory, they remain exempt from the bylaw since these would be protected under ECHR Article 10 Freedom of Expression.

Next big demo at EDO
Wednesday 15th October
Smash EDO, Shut ITT: Mass Demo Against the Arms Trade
meet 12 noon, opposite Falmer Station (next to the Sussex Univesity Sign)

Groups from around the country will come together for this mass demo against the arms trade
New information shows ITT - EDO MBM carried out an urgent manufacturing request for electrical components for USAF A-10 Military jet between May and June this year.
According to US Govt records on 14 May this year Brighton arms makers EDO MBM were awarded a manufacturing contract by the United States Air Force for 2,638 Electrical Connectors for the American A-10 Thunderbolt II military jet used for 'close air support' operations in Iraq.

The contract (file ref. FA8221-08-R-73182) was worth $183,713 and was marked


All items were required on or before 30 June.

According to Wikipedia:

'The A-10 has been flown exclusively by the United States Air Force and its Air Reserve Components, the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) and the Air National Guard (ANG). As of March 2008, 20 squadrons operate the A-10'

'On 30 April 2003, USCENTAF published ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom: By the Numbers’, a declassified report about the aerial campaign in the Iraq conflict. Sixty A-10s were deployed in Iraq; one was shot down near Baghdad International Airport by Iraqi fire late in the campaign. Of the A-10s deployed, 47 were Air National Guard Aircraft, and 12 were from the Air Force Reserve. The A-10 had a mission capable rate of 85% in the war, and fired 311,597 rounds of 30 mm ammunition.'

Guns: 1× 30 mm (1.18 in) GAU-8/A Avenger gatling gun with 1174 rounds
Hardpoints: 8× under-wing and 3× under-fuselage pylon stations holding up to 16,000 lb (7,200 kg) and accommodating:
Mark 82, Mark 83, and Mark 84 general-purpose bombs

Mk 77 incendiary bombs

BLU-1, BLU-27/B Rockeye II, Mk20, BL-755[33] and CBU-52/58/71/87/89/97 cluster bombs or
Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (A-10C)
GBU-10 Paveway II, GBU-12 Paveway II, GBU-16 Paveway II and GBU-24 Paveway III laser-guided bombs

Joint Direct Attack Munition (A-10C)[34]


….etc etc



Solicitation Notice

Award Notice



Report of Critical Mass in Memory of Marie Vesco
See the attached video.

Video - video/mp4 16M

Yesterday the Critical Mass monthly bicycle ride was done in the memory Marie Vesco - the young French woman who had been killed on her way from London to the Carnival Against the Arms Trade, that was held on the 4th of June. We, at Critical Mass decided to complete her journey to EDO MBM (ITT) bomb factory that she could not make.

The usual meeting place The Level, 6 p.m. saw police waiting for some sort of a demo. There were: 2 police vans full of coppers, 1 CCTV UNIT van, 6 motorbikes, and none of the police on bicycles.

The ride had commenced as have rode onto Lewes Road escorted by police motorbikes. For a while it felt as if we were prime ministers escorted to some important meeting.

When we had reached the bottom of the Home Farm Road there were few police waiting for us. We then went to the factory to be astonished by the police presence at the factory. There were at least 40 officers with dogs waiting for some sort of a riot.

We have held one minute silence for Marie and went back to town where after a half an hour police had left us alone.

Overall a success. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Smash EDO will be at Climate Camp, Earth First, The Big Chill, Shambala and the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair this Summer - Come and find out how to get involved in the campaign at one of these gatherings