Anti-war action

1 February 2011News in Brief

Disarm Now verdict

After a seven-day trial, on 13 December a US jury found five peace activists guilty of trespass, damage and conspiracy to damage federal property in November 2009 when the five entered the “strategic weapons facility, Pacific” at the Bangor, WA, naval base, home port for eight Trident nuclear submarines, where more than 2,000 warheads are stored. Sentencing was adjourned to 28 March, when the five face up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

1 February 2011News in Brief

White House protest

Despite snow, in a protest organised by Veterans for Peace on 16 December, over 100 people, many veterans, handcuffed themselves to the White House fence in an act of civil resistance to “unjust” charges being brought against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and associates and to call an end to the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. The protest resulted in 134 arrests for “refusing to leave the sidewalk”.
Whistle-blower Daniel…

1 December 2010Feature

Bob Nicholls, one of the acquitted EDO Decommissioners, gave a workshop about the case at Peace News Summer Camp in July. Here is the first part of his story.

We were a group of five people who went from Bristol to Brighton, and it did become part of our case: Why did we choose this factory in Brighton? We had to prove our “genuinely-held belief” that this factory was involved in the Israeli attack on Gaza.

One part of the evidence shown to the jury was the On The Verge video about the campaign against the EDO MBM arms factory, made by Smash EDO. The action happened at the end of Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli attack on Gaza, though…

1 December 2010News in Brief

On 30 October, Alternativa Antimilitarista-MOC activists breached security at the Bétera NATO base in Valencia. Wearing white coats and umbrellas with anti-war symbols, 15 activists took scooters and bicycles under the security fencing and rode around inside while others played football and other games.

The activists were detained for an hour and then released. The organisers said that this was the first of a series of international anti-militarist actions against the Afghanistan…

1 December 2010News in Brief

On 4 November, sentences were handed down to the remaining two defendants who took part in actions in Sweden in October 2008, disarming 12 grenade launchers and parts to nine howitzers at arms factories in two different locations.

Anna Andersson and Martin Smedjeback were ordered to pay damages totalling nearly £7,000 to the arms manufacturer Saab AB. They had both previously been sentenced to four months for their action. Co-activists Catherine Laska and Pelle Strindlund had…

1 December 2010News in Brief

Thousands of anti-war activists protested in Lisbon in late November against the NATO summit. Activists carried out a flashmob die-in in front of the Estacao do Rossio train station and 20 were arrested blocking a road leading to the summit venue.

Police had barred at least 200 people from entering Portugal during the run-up to the summit. As many as 10,000 people marched against NATO in Lisbon on 20 November, while in London around 5,000 marched against the NATO war in Afghanistan…

1 November 2010News

Immediately after being fined £500 for blockading Faslane two women painted their judgement on the walls of the Dumbarton court building. Barbara Dowling wrote “This JP court does not uphold international law” on an interior wall while Janet Fenton painted “We want a peace court” over the brass plaque by the entrance. They now may face jury trial for an alleged £3000 worth of damage on vandalism charges.

The painting was an indictment of the Scottish courts’ persistent refusal…

1 November 2010News in Brief

We now have the prison address of Swedish peace activist Anna Alvine Andersson, from the resistance group Ofog. Anna began a three-month prison sentence on 15 September for helping disarm 14 grenade launchers at the Saab Bofors Dynamics factory in October 2008 as part of series of coordinated actions against Swedish weapons exports.
Anna’s address for postcards: Anstalten, Hinseberg, Box 1005, 71892 Frövi, Sweden.

1 November 2010News in Brief

On 8 October, five US Ploughshares peace activists appeared in court on charges arising from their entry into the US navy’s nuclear weapons storage depot in Washington state last November. Fathers Bill Bichsel, 82, and Stephen Kelly, 61, Sr Anne Montgomery, 83, Sr Lynne Greenwald, 61, and Sr Susan Crane, 65, all pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, trespass, destruction of property on a naval installation, and depredation of government property. These charges carry sentences of up to…

1 November 2010News

A mass siege of the EDO arms factory in Brighton took place on 13 October.

The Hammertime demonstration effectively closed the factory for the day. However, with massive resources and the invoking of public order powers, the police kept control of the streets.

At the start, over 100 police surrounded the convergence centre, and demanded everyone go to a “designated protest area”. Protesters insisted on going to the announced start point, which the police had to…

1 November 2010Review

OR Books; 256pp; $16 from www.orbooks.com

“We have been attacked while in international waters…the Israelis have behaved like pirates”. So says Henning Mankell describing the infamous attack by the Israeli army on the Gaza Aid Freedom Flotilla earlier this year. His piece is just one in a fine collection of articles edited by Moustafa Bayoumi, and published with admirable rapidity as a rebuttal to the official Israeli version of events.

This is an excellent resource for activists which provides both eyewitness accounts of the…

3 October 2010Feature

An EDO Decommissioner sets out the legal strategy that won acquittals for the disarmers. Part Two of our EDO Decommissioners story.

On 30 June and 2 July, the seven remaining defendants in the EDO Decommissioners’ case were found not guilty of conspiracy to cause criminal damage despite their admission that they had damaged £180,000 worth of property on 16 January 2009 in a plant producing weapons for Israel. On 30 June, a unanimous jury acquitted five of the activists, and on 2 July the judge cleared the remaining two defendants of wrongdoing. The court found that the activists broke in with “lawful excuse,” as the…

1 October 2010Feature

The Nuclear Resister marks 30 years of supporting imprisoned activists and reporting on anti-nuclear and anti-war resistance

Thirty years ago this October, the first issue of the Newsletter of the National No-Nukes Prison Support Collective (later renamed the Nuclear Resister) reported on just one anti-nuclear civil disobedience action – that of the Plowshares Eight.

On 9 September 1980, eight US activists made their way into a General Electric factory in Pennsylvania, where they hammered and poured blood on nuclear missile nose-cones. This action inspired a global movement, and scores of similar acts…

1 October 2010News

On 6 September, as part of a Trident Ploughshares Summer Gathering in Reading, the Aldermaston atomic weapons’ factory was symbolically disarmed.

During the morning rush hour, around 20 supporters of Trident Ploughshares blockaded one gate of the factory to protest at plans to build a new multi-million pound warhead testing facility there. Four chained themselves together inside arm tubes (lock-ons) and lay in front of the gate for two hours, releasing themselves without being…

1 September 2010News

On the evening of 30 July, two dozen peace activists from around the world gathered in Gretna to begin Scotland’s month-long “Footprints for Peace” walk. Participants came from Scotland, England, France, Switzerland, South Africa, Poland and Australia to follow the various routes taken by the nuclear weapons convoys travelling between Burghfield /Aldermaston in the south of England and Faslane/Coulport on the west coast of Scotland.

Many were veterans of either the 2006 “Long…