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Occupy London - Solidarity with Census Refuser Judith Sambrook

NoCONcensus | 09.11.2011 19:30 | 2011 Census Resistance | Occupy Everywhere | Anti-Nuclear | Anti-militarism | Free Spaces

I spent yesterday afternoon and evening at Occupy London talking with people about Judith Sambrook who appears in court in Wrexham on Friday on a charge of failing to complete the 2011 Census. Those census resisters targeted for prosecution in the coming months need our support and solidarity, starting with Judith in Wrexham on 11/11/11.

Image Letter of objection to census - application/pdf 66K

Banners at Finsbury Square
Banners at Finsbury Square

Banners at St Paul's
Banners at St Paul's

Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping
Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping


Refusal rates look to be high this time. Many, like Judith, are strongly opposed WMD manufacturer Lockheed Martin's lucrative (estimated £150 million) contract for census data processing. As well as those who refused to complete the census, many others obstructed Lockheed Martin's work by creatively completing their forms with the help of scissors, sellotape, glue, staples, tippex, marker pens and suchlike.


Judith is mother of five, single parent, currently raising two children of primary school age. She has kidney failure and is on dialysis three days a week. Judith is pleading not guilty to the charge and may run a human rights defence. If found guilty, she has pledged not to pay any fine imposed.


Demo from 9.30am on 11/11/11 (the court hearing has aptly been fixed for Remembrance Day). Wrexham Magistrates Court, Bodhyfryd, Wrexham. Vehicle access from Chester Street.
Silent Vigil at 11am at the War Memorial (50 yards from court).

If you can't get to court, you can send messages of solidarity to


Arms manufacturers and dealers like Lockheed Martin have a vested interest in endless war, making profits largely with taxes paid by the people and passed on by our governments to pay for their warmongering. If you aren't already outraged that the government would pass all our confidential information to people whose business is indiscriminate killing and an unhealthy obsession with intelligence, here are a few specifics about the company.

Lockheed Martin is the world's largest 'defence' contractor and the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer.

Lockheed Martin designs and manufactures Britain's Trident nuclear missiles, jointly controls Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment and has a £5.3 billion contract with the government to develop new and illegal nuclear weapons at Aldermaston.

Lockheed Martin makes F-16 fighter jets as used by Israel to murder civilians in Gaza in 'Operation Cast Lead' in 2009.

Lockheed Martin makes cluster bombs, responsible for the untimely deaths and maiming of civilians worldwide, a high proportion of whom are children.

Lockheed Martin developed the Aegis combat system which the US is pressurising South Korea to fit to destroyers at a planned naval base on the beautiful ecological reserve of Jeju Island, South Korea. This system is capable of shooting down satellites, taking war into space, and its deployment in South Korea is a provocative move likely to escalate an arms race with China.

Lockheed Martin occupies the top spot in the USA Federal Contractor Misconduct Database with over 50 complaints against it including corruption, fraud, bribery and environmental damage.

Lockheed Martin makes surveillance drones used by the UK in Afghanistan. The census is part of Lockheed Martin's expansion into surveillance and intelligence. Lorraine Martin, US Vice-President of the company, is on record as saying “We want to know what’s going on anytime, any place on the planet”. Would you trust a company with this aim to resist using your personal information for its own ends?

Lockheed Martin is also involved in the US and Canadian censuses. The Irish and Scottish census data processing contracts, meanwhile, were awarded to a subsidiary of another US company, CACI International, also involved in surveillance and intelligence. Both companies have been implicated in abuses at notorious prisons including Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, where Lockheed Martin supplied interrogators under contract.


The support from both Occupy London sites was very encouraging. Many people told me they had themselves refused to complete the census, sometimes fending off multiple visits from enforcement officers. No one seemed to have heard of other prosecutions from the 2011 census so far. The messages below include a selection collected yesterday as well as others sent in by email.


Sorry we can't come but please pass on our support. How many people have appeared in court for not filling the form in? I didn't, but have had no follow-up to visit by callow youth shortly after the due date.


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I heard today that Judith will be appearing in court on November 11th regarding her non-compliance with the 2011 census regulations. She has my deepest respect. For a year before the census was due I made some effort to get out publicity about the complicity of Lockheed Martin, but it was extremely difficult to get people to listen...

Anyway, my partner and I still have a letter next to our front door - see pdf file - waiting to be given to the census collectors when they come knocking (they will also be given the 'blank' census forms). We have never been visited! It seems extremely unjust to me that Judith can be going to court over this, while no-one has even bothered to try to collect our forms.

In case Judith wants as much "ammunition" (excuse this pun) as possible, I have attached a copy of my letter - it seems to us to make a pretty solid case for non compliance with the census. It seems to me to be extremely contentious that ordinary citizens should be obliged to contribute to an unethical company.

Good luck to Judith, and I hope that she is able to at least let the court know what is going on.


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I shall be leading a Remembrance Day service for our Friday Fellowship Group on the day of Judith's hearing and will include her, and many other conscientious objectors of all sorts in my talk and prayers. Please pass on my good wishes to Judith. I hope both demos go well - we couldn't have a more appropriate day!

I am a member of FoR & MPF, and locally a member of Brixham for Global Action; the Friday Fellowship is a part of Fore Street Methodist Church Brixham... As the meeting is on 11th Nov, I was asked to lead a Remembrance Day Service, I am also a Methodist Local Preacher. I had always intended to focus on "peace making", including the distribution of white poppies; Judith's day on court gives me another angle.


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I got your message via a list I am on. Sorry I can't come down from Scotland to support you but hope all goes well.


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You have my support. I am sorry I cannot be at the event.


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I'm writing to express my hope that you are found not guilty of the offence for which you have been charged. It didn't cross my mind at the time of the census, but it seems obvious to me now that having the census processed by Lockheed Martin is an attempt to normalise public perceptions of manufacturers of weapons of war. I wish you success.


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We didn't fill the damn thing in either!

Charlie (The Love Police)

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Hope you win.


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I didn't do my census either. Truth and goodness are on your side.

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Good luck. WIN your case, prove your point.

Love, Holly

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Keep doing what you believe in.

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Good luck. Fight the good fight!

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Good luck on Friday, Judith.


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Good luck Judith. We hold you in our hearts in support of your anti-war census action.

Lots of love, Connie and Razz

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It's your courage that will change this world for the better.

Love, Simon

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I support you 100% and also refused to fill out my census for the very same reason. You are in the right so stick to your guns - you are not alone.

Much love, Lee

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As a Catholic Nun I pray for you every day. God bless your bravery

Love, Sister Ruth

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Good luck from Jonathan

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Well done Judith. That's the spirit, resistance, rebellion and art as Albert Camus once wrote. I'm with you in mind and spirit.

Love, Davidx

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The best of luck to you.

All our love from Occupy Finsbury Square

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'Power to the People'. We shall all stand together in peace and make the future a beautiful place for our grandchildren.

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Hang in there girl! From someone wrongfully imprisoned for three and a half years.


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Wish you the best of luck. It's rare to find a truly moral stand.


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I am truly disgusted at the way you've been treated (but not surprised!) Love and solidarity. Well done for standing up to them! Best of luck and take care.

John xxx

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All our love going out to you from the kitchen at Occupy Finsbury Square xxx

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Hi Judith (my best friend's name). I'm a kid from a single mum house and I just want to say I LOVE YOU. Through all the tears and the injustice, know you are loved and you will make it through. Stay strong.

x Samson

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I support everything you are doing... Thinking of you so if you ever feel down and get depressed, just remember we're here and hopefully it'll bring you some peace. Full and total respect for what you're doing.

Love and peace, Andy

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The idea of giving away census details to a foreign company doesn't make any sense. I respect your decision. Hang in there.

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Well done. You're so brave. We're thinking of you and sending best wishes.

Love, Simon and Kalena

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Well done. I support you and I'm with you.


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Good luck. I'm involved with CAAT and I'm a Quaker.


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Keep your chin up. Sorry you are one of the 0.03%. Please feel free to contact us if you need help with legal information.


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Evangelical anti-consumerist clergyman Reverend Billy from the Church of Stop Shopping in New York rounded off the evening with a rousing sermon and a live link-up with his Gospel Choir at Occupy Wall Street. Revolujah! (Youtube Link)

- e-mail: NoCONcensus[at]


Another census court case coming up: 5 Jan 2012 Birmingham

09.11.2011 20:39

Just received this:

I want to send you my best wishes for the 11th November. Your stand is very brave and I wish you well. It's wonderful to see support for you from all over.

I am now also summonsed to appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on January 5th 2012 for refusal to complete the Census for moral/political reasons. I'm a 66 year old, former Labour Councillor, and now a supporter of all those gutsy folk taking direct action to defend our freedoms.

Good luck, Judith !

R Grenville


Involvement of Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib interrogation firms in UK census

09.11.2011 21:59

Press Release: Campaigners decry involvement of Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib interrogation firms in UK Census
Press Release - Friday, 25 March 2011 - For immediate release

The London Guantánamo Campaign [1] is concerned about the involvement in the upcoming UK-wide Census of two private companies that were contracted to carry out coercive prisoner interrogations at the notorious US military detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, Iraq. [2]

The latest ten-yearly Census will take place this weekend (27 March). It has drawn criticism from a range of peace and civil liberties campaigners opposed to the involvement of US-based military and intelligence agency contractors Lockheed Martin - one of the world’s largest military equipment manufacturers - and CACI - implicated in human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib. Concerns have also been expressed about the intrusiveness of the questions and issues of data confidentiality. [3]

Daniel Viesnik, from the London Guantánamo Campaign, commented:

“Members of the public with valid concerns about excessive state intrusion into their personal lives, or who may feel under particular suspicion by virtue of their ethnic, religious or political background, will be wary of completing the Census. The involvement of two private companies associated with coercive interrogations and other intelligence gathering on behalf of the US authorities will do nothing to allay those concerns, and will understandably result in many individuals choosing not to co-operate.”


Notes to editor:
1. The London Guantánamo Campaign campaigns for justice for all prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, for the closure of this and other secret prisons, and an end to the practice of extraordinary rendition.

2. The UK subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, USA was awarded a £150M contract to provide data capture and processing support services for the 2011 Census in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The UK subsidiary of CACI, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, USA, was awarded an £18.5M contract to provide census printing and data capture services in support of the 2011 Census in Scotland.

Links to articles relating to Lockheed Martin’s involvement at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, and CACI’s involvement at Abu Ghraib:

3. Further information on campaigns around the 2011 Census:
Lockheed Martin and the England and Wales, and Northern Ireland Census:

CACI and the Scotland Census:

Privacy and data confidentiality concerns:

dv / LGC
mail e-mail: vd2012-imc [at]
- Homepage:


Display the following 2 comments

  1. Great work — Suze
  2. another message of solidarity — NoCONcensus