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Peace News log archive: February 2012

Articles from the Peace News log.
For archive articles from the whole site, look here

Gabriel Carlyle reports on the jailing of Hastings anti-war activist Maya Evans.

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At 9.15am, I was the first one to arrive at the Court.

Maya had told us that she'd been asked to get there for 9.30am. At 9.35am there was still no sign of her, though veteran peace activist John Lynes showed up with some home-made "rollable" banners, which we proceeded to display outside the court, much to the bemusement of the local citizenry.

"Thank you Maya for speaking out bravely for victims of war in Afghanistan" read one of them. "I don't know even who that is", one woman told us as she wheezed her way up the steps and into the court, not pausing to find out.

Maya had been ordered to appear regarding the non-payment of £355 in fines and costs dating back to a 2009 court case. In November of that year, at a two-day trial at Watford Magistrates Court, six of us had been tried and found guilty of "obstructing the highway" for our role in a demonstration outside Britain's military HQ at Northwood.

Since then the whole process had dragged out interminably, with three of us serving brief spells in police custody for failing to make a pointless trip to Watford (we'd all written to the court, asking for the case to transferred to our local areas), and several of us had faced repeated attempts by bailiffs (only one of them successful!) to seize our property.

In December 2011, Maya had appeared in court again and this time was sentenced to 2 weeks imprisonment, suspended so long as she paid the court £5 a week. As she was about to travel to Afghanistan with Voices for Creative Nonviolence [LINK: http://peacenews.info/node/6515/maya-evans-returns-first-british-peace-delegation-afghanistan] she paid the fine for the first couple of weeks (to ensure that she wouldn't be arrested before she left) and then stopped.

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