UK Anti-militarism Feature Archive
“The Israeli government and its army have been for years now using the West Bank and Gaza as their testing ground. The Palestinians are their guinea pigs. The Israeli army uses tear gas that would probably be banned in any other countries in the world. They shoot tear gas, directly at protesters, once again, an illegal act. But a very rewarding one. Israel’s security industry is booming. It’s never been this good. Countries all over the world are buying Israel’s expertise in security, crowd control and weaponry every day. Israeli soldiers are training other countries commandos all over the planet”
From the blog, Bil’in: A Village of Palestine, 02/01/11
On New Year's Eve 2010, whilst much of the world was celebrating, over 1,000 people demonstrated in the Palestinian village of Bil'in against Israel's encroachment on the village's land. Israeli tear gas and rubber bullets rained down on the protesters and Jawaher Abu Rahma, who was watching the demonstration from the sidelines, choked to death as the allegedly non-lethal gas enveloped the village.
CSI Palestine - more details in schNEWS 753
The press release for the event didn't mention the arms industry related work that takes place there but simply stated that, "The Nuclear AMRC is a new collaboration between the University of Sheffield and the University of Manchester, with the backing of the Government and leading companies involved in building the new generation of civil nuclear power stations."
The day before, Stuart Parkinson, executive director of Scientists for Global Responsibility, speaking at the Sheffield CND AGM exposed the often used argument about job creation for facilities of this nature — only 3,000 are employed in the defence sector in the Yorkshire and Humberside region and the money invested could generate far more jobs in sustainable industries.
Newswire: Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Protest | Protest at the Queen's visit to the Rotherham Death Park | Royal Visit to Death Park! 18th Nov. 2010 | Nuclear Dawn at Rotherhams Advanced Manufacturing Park | Stuart Parkinson: Arms Conversion for a Low Carbon Economy
Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth was blockaded on the morning of 1 November in an action called by the Plymouth-based Trident Ploughshares (TP) group, The Tamarians. Devonport Dockyard refits, maintains and upgrades the submarines which carry Britain's Trident nuclear weapon system, which has been declared illegal under international law. The yard is also increasingly becoming the dumping ground for old and out of service nuclear submarines, posing a further radioactive contamination hazard to the quarter of a million people who live nearby. The aim of the blockade was to close all gates to the shipyard from 6am. Fourteen people were arrested during the action.
Other reports and photos: Photos from Blockade | Demo at Charles Cross Police Station | Anti-Trident Protest in Pictures | More pics from Monday's action | Pics from Swiss contingent | Links to press coverage | Dan's pics
Brighton's Smash EDO campaign are holding a mass demo at EDO/ITT on Wednesday 13th October. Anti arms trade campaigners plan to lay seige to EDO/ITT and shut them down for the day.
Info for the Day:: The meeting place for the demo is Wild Park Cafe (directions here) at 10am on Wednesday, but people are being asked to arrive on the evening of the 12th. Convergence space will be available. There will be a meeting about the demo at 7pm at the Cowley Club on Tuesday 12th. There will be a timeline on Indymedia and a twitter feed: @smash_edo
Local contacts for ITT's Hammertime: Birmingham - hammertime-brum [at] riseup.net | Bristol - bristolagainstarmstrade [at] gmail.com | Cambridge - hammertime-cambridge [at] riseup.net | Cardiff - val.swain [at] yahoo.co.uk | Cornwall - kernowaction [at] gmail.com | London - hammertimelondon [at] dsei.org | Manchester - info [at] targetbrimar.org.uk | Notts - alex.dable [at] ntlworld.com | Swansea - d [at] undercurrents.org
Previous features:They Think It's All Over ...ITT Is Now | Smash EDO Solidarity in Nottingham | Hammer Time: The EDO Decommissioners go on trial | Indymedia Coverage of Remember Gaza | Anti Militarists take on Barclays | Support the EDO Decommissioners | Mayday! Mayday! | EDO Smashed | Anti-Arms Protesters Shut ITT | Smash EDO Carnival Against the Arm Trade - Timeline | Carnival Against the Arms Trade | Marie Vesco RIP | On the Verge - The Film They Tried to Ban | Singers Arrested Outside Arms Factory | Smash EDO Action Camp: Shut down the Brighton bomb builders | Lebanon War protesters - Not Guilty! | EDO CORP: 2006 Alternative Report | 2007 Is The Year To Shut EDO Down | EDO MBM Injunction crumbles | EDO MBM desperate to stop protests as resistance increases | Smash EDO Take On The Law | Harassment Law Used Against Anti-War Campaigners | Campaign to Smash Edo | Arms company shut down
On Monday several actions took place against the government's nuclear weapons and their plans to develop new ones. The focus was AWE Aldermaston, the military base near Reading where these weapons are developed and maintained.
Activists from Trident Ploughshares had been holding an "Aldermaston Summer Gathering" for several days sharing information and leafletting nearby villages. Co-inciding with this, folks from the Catholic Worker movement were holding a "Faith and Resistance" retreat in Oxford celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first Ploughshares action.
As the day began around twenty TP folks blockaded one of the main gates into the base, including four who "locked-on" with arm tubes. They left without any arrests after successfully blockading for two hours.
Soon afterwards, 3 of the Catholic Workers cut through the perimeter fence and broke into the base, "opening it for disarmament", while others carried out a vigil at the gates of the base. They were arrested, held until evening, charged with criminal damage, and may also face SOCPA charges.
[ Report of TP gathering ] [ Reports of CW gathering: 1 | 2 ] [ Actions: 1 | 2 ]
[ Trident Ploughshares | Catholic Worker | Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp ]
[ Coverage elsewhere: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ]
Brighton Jordan Valley Solidarity have called for international action to stop the house demolitions, harassment and attempted ethnic cleansing of Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley.
Within days of video footage being released showing Netanyahu's stated intentions to declare the entire Jordan Valley as a closed military area,the Israeli army destroyed 26 homes in the small village of Al Farisiya.
The call for action was launched in Brighton on Tuesday, with the establishment of a Palestine Solidarity Settlement in Waitrose. Brighton Jordan Valley Solidarity is calling on others to:
* Call local demonstrations against companies that sell Israeli produce, and Zionist organisations that support settlement expansion in the Jordan Valley
* Donate to the fund to rebuild the demolished houses (email email@example.com)
* Write to those responsible for the house demoitions
* Go to the Jordan Valley to support the local community
“After 16 months of waiting, to hear nothing is being done is a complete joke. Today they gave us no hope. This experience has broken our family apart. The DPP has told us there was an unlawful act, yet no charges are to be brought. This is no justice - everyone has failed us.” - Ian Tomlinson's son Paul King.
Ian Tomlinson, a 47 year old news-vendor was killed at the G20 protests in April 2009. His family have waited until now to find out what action the justice system was going to take. The Director of Public Prosecution Keir Starmer stated today (Thurs) that there would be no charges brought against any police officers involved in the death of Ian Tomlinson. This astonishingly bare faced whitewash prompted the director of INQUEST Deborah Coles to say “The eyes of the world will be looking on with incredulity as yet again a police officer is not facing any criminal charges after what is one of the most clear-cut and graphic examples of police violence that has led to death. This decision is a shameful indictment of the way police criminality is investigated and demonstrates a culture of impunity when police officers break the law. It follows a pattern of cases that reveal an unwillingness to treat deaths arising from the use of force by police as potential homicides”
The appeal by Democracy Village after last week's High Court ruling will be heard at 10.30am this Friday (9th July) at the appeals court. In the meantime the camp is still going on strong, having started 'Operation Rolling Thunder', more – an ongoing programme of non-violent direct action. The village is calling out for people to come down and help on multiple fronts: to come and do actions, to help with the site, keep it tidy and maintain the gardens. There is a particular call-out for those with direct action skills and experience.
The EDO Decommissioners have all walked free after unanimous acquittals following the three week trial which concluded on Friday (2nd July) at Hove Crown Court. What began as a trial of the Decommissioners effectively ended up with the Brighton arms manufacturer, and the war crimes of the Israeli state, in the dock. Is it all over for EDO/ITT in Brighton? It might be now...
In the early hours of 17th January 2009, during Israel's 'Operation Cast Lead' offensive against Gaza, six people broke in to the EDO/ITT weapons components factory in Moulsecoomb, Brighton, and, allegedly, caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to the production line.
The EDO decommissioners’ court case finally kicked off at the start of June. EDO CEO Paul Hill has been extensively cross-examined about his company's arms deals and one of the defendants has already been acquitted after no evidence was produced to prosecute her. A solidarity demo has been organised to take place outside Hove Crown Court on the day of the verdict - expected to be some time next week.
In Nottingham, anti-arms trade activists showed solidarity with the EDO decommissioners by targeting the Radford premises of EMICS, a company involved in the global arms trade. The gates were chained shut and graffiti saying "SMASH EMICS" was sprayed on the walls.
Previous feature: Hammer Time: The EDO Decommissioners go on trial
After a full year and a half of one defendant being on remand in prison, numerous pre-trial hearings and several last minute postponements, the EDO decommissioners’ court case is finally kicked off on Monday. With the first date taking place exactly a week after the murderous attack on the Gaza freedom flotilla, the world has, yet again, been reminded of Israel’s continuous war crimes and much is at stake. A callout for solidarity with the decommissioners during the trial has been issued. There will be an 'If I had a hammer' themed demo in support of the decommissioners outside EDO/ITT on Wednesday 9th June between 4 and 6pm - Bring rubber and inflatable hammers. The decommissioners will be arguing that their action was taken to prevent greater crimes.
A reminder of what happened: In the early hours of 17th January 2009, during Israel's 'Operation Cast Lead' offensive against Gaza, six people broke in to the EDO/ITT weapons' components factory in Moulsecoomb, Brighton, and, allegedly, caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to the production line. (see youtube for the local paper's video of some of the damage)
The six decommissioners barricaded themselves inside, and proceeded to break computers and other equipment, with the aim of preventing the factory from being able to produce weapons. The action stopped production at the facility until Israel’s bombing campaign was over.
On May 20th at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court, anti-arms-trade activist Kirk Jackson was found guilty of aggravated trespass for his part in a protest that shut down an arms company for a day. Jackson was given a twelve month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £350 court costs.
The charge arose from a February 18th protest at the Nottingham warehouse of international arms company Heckler & Koch. Before dawn, four activists locked themselves to the gates, preventing employees from entering, while Mr Jackson and another activist climbed onto the roof and displayed banners accusing the company of "arming repressive regimes".
Previous feature: Direct action shuts down H&K
On Sunday night, the distribution centre of the Rolls Royce factory in Derby was targeted by "autonomous individuals against the war machine." The gates of the plant, which makes components for Trident anti-nuclear submarines, were D-locked and the walls were covered in graffiti stating "Rolls Royce profits from the war machine" and "Fuck Rolls Royce".
According to the group's communique, "The war machine puts profit and power over the lives of people, companies like Rolls Royce are part of this. The war machine exemplifies the ways in which the rich and powerful oppress and dispossess the majority of people, destroying homes and communities, enforcing migration, and irrevocably harming land bases."
This is by no means the first time that Rolls Royce's Derby plant has been the target of anti-militarist action. Last summer, some land near the factory was squatted for a peace camp and blockaders disrupted the facility for 5 hours in 2008. There have been several other blockades over the years.
Newswire: Rolls Royce targeted
Previous features: Peace camp established at Raynesway, Derby | Raynesway Blockaders in Court | Trident Activists Blockade Rolls Royce in Derby | Protesters take action at Derby nuclear plant | Derbyshire police go over the top again
This Saturday (15th) people will be protesting at various places around central London to give the new 'stable, national interest' coalition a warm welcome.
SchNEWS gives a round-up of all the events taking place over the weekend to get your action-hungry teeth stuck into.
"I told many people in Gaza about the people's strike on EDO MBM... When I recounted this action to people, I saw an expression come over their faces that I hadn't encountered before when talking about international solidarity. It was a kind of respect, a sense of surprised pride at a tiny move towards a leveling between the blood sacrifices and living hell of so many here, and sacrifices made by people in comparative comfort zones on the other side of the world - for them" - Ewa Jasiewicz - human rights activist/journalist eyewitness to Operation Cast Lead
In the early hours of 17th January 2009, during Israel's 'Operation Cast Lead' offensive against Gaza, six people broke in to the EDO/ITT weapons' components factory in Moulsecoomb, Brighton, and caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to the production line. (see SchNEWS 663 and also check out the local paper's video of some of the damage)
In SchNEWS: 721 | 663
The International Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been growing, as Israel continues to beseige Gaza, and take land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The call for BDS was issued by Palestinian civil society in 2004 in protest at the occupation and colonisation of Palestinian land, the unequal status of Palestinians, which has been likened to South African Apartheid which ended in 1994.
On Tuesday 30th March, about 50 activists 'occupied' a Waitrose Supermarket in London's Barbican, in recognition of the Second Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Day of Action. Activists distributed leaflets to customers and explained the action to staff and shoppers before leaving the supermarket to chants of "Free, Free Palestine".
Corporate Watch | EDO Decommissioners | BDS Day of Action | Gaza Demonstrators Support Campaign | ISM London
From the newswire:
Defend the Gaza Protestors | Pickets against Ahava build momentum | UK Company Exporting from Settlements | Russell Tribunal On Palestine|London Dump Veolia Potest - Sat 10th|
The state has begun handing down vicious sentences to men accused of participation in the rioting in London that occurred during a protest against the Israeli attacks on Gaza (see SchNEWS 661-662). Ten young men have been jailed for their role in protests demanding an end to Israel’s invasion of Gaza early last year – and more are to follow in the coming weeks.
Activists have shut down the premises of arms dealers Heckler & Koch for the day. Anti-arms trade campaigners occupied the roof of the building and blockaded both gates to the Lenton site. Police have been refusing to allow any one to enter or leave the Easter Park industrial estate.
According to reports, the protesters entered the site at around 6am. The final lock on was not removed until around 12.30pm. The rooftop occupiers agreed to come down once the blockade was lifted. Those arrested were taken to Bridewell police station.
H&K is the world's second largest manufacturer of small arms and have been used by child soldiers in Africa, mercenaries in Iraq and criminal gangs in Serbia. The Easter Park premises are the company's UK headquarters. The Shut Down H&K campaign have been picketing and campaigning against the company's activities in Nottingham since 2008.
Previous features: Shut Down H&K Goes to Church | Campaigning against Heckler & Koch Weapons in Germany and the UK | Campaign Against Nottingham Arms Manufacturer Enters New Phase | The Arms Trade: From Nottingham to Georgia | Protesters Return to Nottingham Weapons Manufacturer | Protesters Target Nottingham Weapons Manufacturers
As the rescue effort winds down and the body count piles up, SchNEWS takes a look at why this earthquake hit so many so hard, and how the international aid effort is being subverted by military and corporate power.
As Haiti’s total estimated dead hovers at around 200,000, the earthquake has hit the country so hard that it’s dropped a whole digit off its former population of 10 million. It’s almost a law of world injustice that the poorer the country, the more vague the body count.
Haiti is a unique place. The only nation to be founded by a slave rebellion, its angry population of African slaves managed to defeat the French back in 1791. Renamed as Haiti - the original Arawak name for the island - it was the Cuba of its day- an inspiration to enslaved peoples the world over and a thorn in the side of the imperial regimes.Also in Schnews 706: MOBS AND COPPERS Smash EDO demo runs rampage - again | STOKING THE FIRES English Defence League counter demo on January 23rd | LANARKY IN THE U.K Mainshill site has pre-eviction gathering | GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN Anarcha-feminist gathering at Brighton's Cowley Club
On Monday 18th January, the first anniversry of the final day of the Israeli massacre in Gaza, Smash EDO are holding a mass demonstration in Brighton against arms manufacturer EDO/ITT. Indymedia will be running an up to the minute timeline of events for the day.
Be the Media:Phone or text in your reports from the demonstration to Indymedia Dispatch on 07943685168 (from Monday morning).
Arrests - So far we know of four people who have definitely been arrested. Three have been released on police bail until March. Those who live in Brighton have been given bail conditions restricting protest at EDO/ITT, non-Brightonians have been bailed away from Brighton. It seems that the police have been deliberately targeting action medics.Update on the Squat raid - Reports have come in that the police who raided the squat last night were armed with tasers and at least one gun. The person who was arrested has been released without charge.
If you were affected by police tactics on the demo call Emotional Support on 07985211033
19.26 - There have been four or five arrests in total. Several for breach of section 14 and one for threatening behaviour. Legal support are outside the police station waiting...
17.59 - There are reports of one more arrest in the North Lanes. If you witnessed an arrest or need support call legal support on 07805125940.
17.43 - Police have snatched two people, including an action medic, out of the cordon on North Rd.
17.42 - People have attempted to reach Barclays on North St. Some people made it.
16.17 - The demo is now marching alongside St Peter's Church toward the Old Steine. People are beginning to disperse.
16.10 - The demo has reached the Level and is crossing it.
16.10 - A crowd of about 300 has reached the junction between Lewes Road and Elm Grove. The police are attempting to prevent them from going further. A kettle may be forming.
16.00 - Reports are coming in that EDO/ITT has closed for the day
15.52 - The demo is now moving again, with the police in front, toward Brighton on the Lewes Road. There are about 150 people in the main section. No arrests so far
15.46 - One person has been hit with a police baton
15.45 - Cops now blocking Lewes Road at Comet. Some people are corralled in the car park of Brighton university. Lines of riot police in front of lines of riot vans are at the front of the demo.
Information for Action:Spot of bother with the Old Bill? We recommend Kelly's Solicitors – (01273) 674898 –**Witnessed an arrest or need advice? Legal Support – 07805125940** Need somewhere to crash? Accommodation – 07805125965**