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Public Debate – Resisting War Crimes is not a Crime?



Is direct action the way to fight the War Machine?Is breaking the law to prevent war crimes justified?FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE, 7/7/09 @ 7PM

Some of you may be aware of the SmashEDO campaign against the arms manufacturer, EDO MBM/ITT, who have a factory on Home Farm road, about a mile or so from here. EDO’s military products include bomb racks, release clips and arming mechanisms for warplanes; these have been used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

SmashEDO have been campaigning for nearly five years and has had considerable success, costing the company many thousands of pounds and has arguably been influential in the bringing about the resignation of several of the company’s directors. Only Paul Hills, the company’s managing director, remains.

Many different direct action protests have taken place, including weekly noise demonstrations outside the factory, blockades of the factory, and several ‘mass demonstrations’ within the city (such as last years Carnival Against the Arms Trade and the May Day reclaim the streets style protest earlier this year).

On January 19th this year, during the bombardment of Gaza, six people entered the Moulescoombe factory and caused extensive damage to offices and to equipment used to make arms. One of the decomissioners said before embarking on the action:

“Israel are committing a gross crime now in Gaza. Israel have killed hundreds of children. I think its absolutely disgusting that weapons made in our cities and in our country are being used to kill innocent women and children. They have been used indiscriminately. If the law and the police cant do anything about it its about time somebody else did.”

These protesters and others engaging in direct action against the arms trade have received harassment from the police and some negative press. Although the SmashEDO campaigners realise that they do have much support from Brighton & Hove residents,  consierable ignorance, prejudice and straightforward opposition to the direct action campaign still remains  (this  is clear simply from reading the letters page in the Argus after any big SmashEDO protest).

SmashEDO therefore invites local residents to a PUBLIC DEBATE at the FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE on TUESDAY JULY 7TH at 7PM.

SmashEDO ask:

Is direct action the way to fight the War Machine?

Is breaking the law to prevent war crimes justified?

More information about SmashEDO can be found here


or here


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