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Thursday, 1 July 2010

Magnificent Victory for the Decommissioners at EDO-MBM Arms Factory


Five of the Seven are Acquitted - 2 Verdicts to Come

Five of the seven accused in the EDO-MBM trial in Brighton, who were accused of criminal damage for having laid waste to EDO’s factory, have been acquitted at Hove Crown Court today. Verdicts will be announced on Friday in the case of the remaining two, including Elijah Smith and Chris Osmond.

This is a magnificent victory, all the more so because the Police deliberately engineered it so that the trial was held in sleepy Tory Hove rather than in more radical Brighton. The Police needn’t have bothered as the jury unanimously acquitted all 5.

The trial lasted 3 weeks though it was originally scheduled for twice that long. The main witness was the CEO Paul Hill, who was extensively grilled in the witness box and made a bad impression on just about everyone with his lies.

The trial has been quite amazing for the way the prosecution has been so ineffective. They first went to the Court of Appeal to overturn a decision of the judge that the defendants could use the defence of lawful necessity to justify their destruction of bomb making equipment. They lost.

And Judge George Bathurst-Norman, who has previously had a record as quite a law’n’order judge, gave a summing up so favourable that some supporters were worried that the jury might react to what they perceived as an attempt to bounce them into a not guilty verdict. We need not have worried! Perhaps the fact that His Honour was born in the Arab town of Jaffa opposite Tel Aviv might have something to do with it! Judge George Bathurst-Norman was brought out of retirement to hear the case.

It all began on January 17th 2009 the bombs as Israel’s attack on Gaza entered its third week and the total of Palestinian fatalities climbed to 1,400 or whom 400 were children, a group of Arms Factory Decommissioners arrived in Brighton intent to disrupt the supply of components to Israel, which were produced at the EDO-MBM factory in Home Farm Road, Moulsecoomb, Brighton.

At the same time, that good Christian Tony Blair went to Israel to shake hands with the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert. Both hands were from eye witness accounts covered in the blood of their victims.

Just after midnight Robert Stafford age 28, Elija Smith 41, Tom Woodhead 25, Ornella Saibene 40, Bob Nicholls 53 entered EDO’s premises with the aim in Elija Smith’s words to ‘smash it up to the best of our ability’. Once inside the building they barricaded themselves in and set about their mission.

EDO’s machinery was used to make bomb release mechanisms (these carry and eject missiles from fighter planes and unmanned ‘drones’) and an assembly area for the electronic components were put out of action. EDO make a VER2 mechanism which is designed for the F16 fighter and used by the Israeli Defence Force.

The six caused £300,000 of damage. The decommissioners were peaceably arrested and charged with criminal damage and conspiracy. Elija Smith has been held on remand in Lewes Prison, Brighton since then. The others are under very strict bail conditions. It has been important to give financial and moral support to Elija. This has included many fund raising events, stalls and letter writing sessions. Their trial commenced on 7th June 2010 in Hove Crown Court.

The action of the Decommissioners is in a long line of people who have been acquitted of attacking and damaging arms production facilities from Trident Ploughshares to the Raytheon protestors in Derry last year. The defence has been that although committing an offence, they are helping to prevent a much more serious crime, in this case a war crime.

Tony Greenstein

see Guardian report

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they have trashed any factories making arms for the British Army in Afghanistan, which has killed hundreds of civilians since its unprovoked invasion.

Anonymous said...

Tony
I live in brighton and have met smashedo people.

Some of them are well meaning activists who genuinely want to stop war crimes. Others are confused or naive. There are others who are seriously unpleasant people, practically borderline Fascists. Jewish people are involved but there is a nasty whiff of antisemitism on occasion non the less. Smashedo has the real feeling of a cult with a playground gang mentality an inner clique, and is fuelled on paranoia and secrecy.

As for Caroline Lucas she is on probation, and she is probably beginning to realise it. Green party activists don’t seem to be too impressed at the moment. It took her 5 minutes to bang out a statement on Gaza but she has to be dragged kicking and screaming to tackle local issues, and some greens are asking questions already. She is not an elected representative for the people of Gaza, but for Brighton Pavilion ward.

There are issues, particularly around squatters which Caroline seems loathe to get involved with. As an MP maybe she can’t be seen to ‘be breaking the law’. However she came from an activist background herself where people will ‘break the law’ if need be and she seems to pick and choose which ‘lawbreakers’ to support Smashedo being the case in point. For the record, people squat because the rents are too high there’s a housing shortage and no they just can’t get on their bike and leave town. They squat buildings such as abandoned hospitals churches which have been been empty for many years, not your house when you go on holiday for a week.

The green party is not totally respected amongst activists in Brighton. A number of years ago the council awarded a proposed redevelopment of the King Alfred centre in Hove to a Frank Gehry design: a concrete and glass monstrosity out of keeping with the local area that looked like the Twin towers after the planes hit them. Green party activists weren’t keen but Councillor Kieth Taylor supported it, against the wishes of many in his own party. This was a bit rich coming from someone who joined the Greens as he didn’t want a massive Sainsburys built next to where he lived, as he didn’t live in Hove it didn’t matter to him.

Personally I wish Caroline Lucas well, but she will have to shape up and sort out her prorities or Labour will have the seat back within the next 5 years. Brighton and the UKs first Green MP could be written out of history as an ignoble failure. Sadly, for the moment at least, she seems just another Leftie who has been seduced/brainwashed by the Islamist agenda.

regards

brighton belle

Tony Greenstein said...

Brighton Belle (it would be good to have actual names though it isn't compulsory)

I know many if not most of the SmashEDO people. Through lack of time I haven't been able to make it up to the factory each Wednesday afternoon which has given me a guilt complex so I made an effort to attend the latter stages of the EDO trial.

Like every campaign there are different individuals involved so I'm not sure of the point you are making. Some may be naive and confused but so are those who are not in the campaign. Yes Jewish people are involved but not as Jews but as humaniss.

With respect, since you've only met and are not involved with EDO people how do you know they are paranoid (good cause for being though) or secret? Though with the level of state repression it's not surprising.

I don't know what a 'nasty whiff of antisemitism' about the campaign is. Clearly you turn your nose to that which you want to smell. I've never smelt or felt the slightest anti-semitism.

As for Caroline Lucas this is just gossip. Indeed the typical right-wing 'oh she's concerned about Gaza but not dustbins' as if wider issues should be left to those who know, i.e. the paid servants of corporate capital and she should attend to street sweeping.

Clearly you've never heard of Edmund Burke. Indeed you would appear not to have heard of the last but one Tory representative, a good Zionist incidentally, as well as being a racist (the 2 go hand in hand of course) one Julian Amery. His view of the role of an MP would make your hair stand on edge. He was rarely if ever seen in the constituency.

Much of the rest of your post is ill-informed gossip. People have really warmed to Caroline. She is a breath of fresh air as well as being a warm human being who actually cares about the iniquities in society.

I know nothing of the issues of squatters and Caroline, though I was a squatter myself for the first 5 years of my life in Brighton so I understand the issues very well.

I have had my differences with the Green Party and Keith Taylor who was on the right of the GP but was a nice guy.

You give the game away when you speak of Caroline having been seduced by the Islamist agenda, whatever that is. Perhaps if I substituted 'Jewish' for 'Islamist' we would get a fair idea of where you are coming from.

If you think opposition to Israeli starvation tactics and its brutal inhumanity in Gaza, like denying today a Gaza lawyer the chance to an MA in law on the West Bank, because of the 'security situation' is what Zionist human rights are about, or denying people the right to leave Gaza for medical attention unless their condition is life threatening, is what civilisation is about, then don't wonder that some people turn to Islamist politics.

Incidentally I e-mailed Caroline tonite and what I had to say was blunt. Take a rest and slow down or you are going to have a breakdown. She is near exhaustion such is her work rate.

As for being on probation I'll make a prediction. She'll hold the seat with a 2-3 fold increase in majority in the next election and new labour will belucky with 2nd place.

Soliman said...

In his blog, Greenstein writes: "It all began on January 17th 2009... [when] a group of Arms Factory Decommissioners arrived in Brighton intent to disrupt the supply of components to Israel..."

And you praise the criminal damage that these people did.

So tell me, did you equally cheer when Israel stopped the flotilla en route for Gaza, to disrupt the supply of arms to Hamas?

No, of course not. Basic analysis would indicate that if you support one, you should support the other. And you claim that there's no "whiff of anti-semitism" here. You're quite right - it's not a "whiff", it's a stench.

Tony Greenstein said...

Clearly Soliman doesn't possess the wisdom of his namesake. It's one of the hallmarks of Zionists that they are by their very nature stupid and unable to appreciate the little things of life.

Such as:
i. Weapons by their very nature not only cause criminal but human damage. now if you are a Zionist who believes in the idea that Jews are superior to Arabs racially (as they mostly do - hence the cry 'Death to the Arabs' which is a favourite of Israelis) then 'criminal damage' is a heinous crime.

But most civilised human beings, as opposed to Zionist barbarians, accept that the commissioning of a minor 'crime' is quite acceptable to prevent a major crime. Hence why hitting someone over the head is a crime of violence. But if someone comes at you with a knife then it is allowed as 'reasonable force' in British and I would suspect most other forms of law.

But our idiot Soliman persists in his stupidity. Israel 'stopped the flotilla' to disrupt the supply of arms to Hamas? Now there are lies and lies. There are small lies, white lies, and big lies. An example of the latter was the lie that Hitler told when he dressed the SS up in Polish army uniforms, had them 'attack' the German border and used that to justify the attack on Poland.

Idiot Soliman tells us that the flotilla carried arms. But even Netanyahu and the Israeli butchers dropped that claim when it was found that footage of such 'arms' belonged to another ship over a year ago. In other words falsification of evidence.

What the flotilla was of course carrying was cement, food, medicines - all the things that Hitler, sorry Soliman, objects to. Even Coriander was forbidden (Israel has now relaxed that particular one!).

So if idiot Soliman smells the stench of racism I can only suggest that he has a bath for once, preferably in hot water and a good disinfectant as it would seem the only way to rid himself of his appalling smell. Let's hope stinker Soliman understands the message.

Anonymous said...

Tony,
So what you're saying is that any act of vandalism, regardless of how remotely related to saving a life, is justified. Exactly how many lives did this vandalism save? If none, then it is just malicious vandalism. You are using the pretense of anti-Zionism to act out your own racist agenda.

Tony Greenstein said...

clearly anon has difficulty in reading English.

Firstly how is it 'racist' to smash up an arms factory? Or are the arms Jewish? Or is it simply a question of a racist Zionist using the term to deligitimise it? After all those who expel Arabs from homes for Jews but never the other way around are, to me, the real racists not the oppressed. Though fascists and their supporters have often claimed that anti fascism was 'antiBritish' so I guess anon and the NF are made from the same cloth.

It's irrelevant if even one life was saved. Perhaps not perhaps so. If the former then clearly we need to step up the campaign against other arms factories.

Interesting to see how Zionists get into bed with the most reactionary creatures and then talk about 'anti racism'!!