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Scottish Census Refuser Jailed for Anti-Nuclear Court Graffiti Protest

NoCONcensus | 19.03.2012 16:04 | 2011 Census Resistance | Anti-Nuclear | Anti-militarism

Two peace activists were sentenced today in Dumbarton Sheriff Court for painting "political graffiti" on the walls of the court following a 2010 trial in which they maintained that the court did not uphold international law with respect to the illegality of the Trident nuclear weapon system. Barbara Dowling, a retired Occuptational Therapist, 67, of Knightswood was given 3 months in prison and Janet Fenton, 64, Secretary of Scottish CND was given 120 hours Community Service.

Barbara Dowling, centre, at Census court hearing in January 2012
Barbara Dowling, centre, at Census court hearing in January 2012

Barbara Dowling also has an ongoing court case in relation to the 2011 Census in Scotland:

Messages of support and solidarity can be sent to Barbara in prison:

Barbara Dowling
HMP Cornton Vale

Background and report from court:

Trident Ploughshares

Press Release
19th March 2012

3 Month Prison Sentence for Anti-Nuclear Court Graffiti Protest

In October 2010 Barbara Dowling and Janet Fenton appeared at a session of the JP court within the Sheriff Court building in Dumbarton accused of a breach of the peace during a blockade of Faslane naval base, home to the UK's Trident nuclear weapon submarines. Justice Ross refused to hear their
defence and, according to the defendants, appeared to have made up her mind before all the evidence was put before the court. She would not allow them to put their argument that they had a right to disrupt the illegal work at Faslane under international humanitarian law.

Immediately following the trial they painted on internal walls of the court slogans indicating the failure of the court to uphold international law. At the trial last month Barbara and Janet accepted that they had painted the court's walls but maintained their not guilty plea as they felt that the
public needed to know that the court did not uphold international law. Finding them guilty Sheriff Anderson deferred sentence until today in order to obtain Social Enquiry Reports.

The women still felt justified in their actions and were disappointed that the Social Enquiry Reports did not accurately represent their positions.

Barabara Dowling said " I did what the courts refuse to do: I upheld international law in regard to nuclear weapons. I am not guilty of a crime and I am not co-operating with an unjust punishment"

Janet Fenton said "I consider that I do Service for the Community all the time in working for peace. Doing 120 hours for the Community shouldn't be a problem"

Jane Tallents: tp2000[at]
Janet Fenton: 07795 594573


Trident Ploughshares is a part of the international nuclear disarmament
movement. Trident Ploughshares activists have pledged to disarm the UK
Trident nuclear weapons system in a non-violent, open, peaceful, safe and
fully accountable manner.


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