Trials & legal cases

1 June 2024News

Group force closure of factory owned by Elbit Systems

It’s difficult to report on Palestine Action (PA), partly because they have carried out so many actions (at least 24 since our last issue), and partly because their website has suffered from sabotage.

The big victory the direct action group has claimed since our last issue is the closure of a Tamworth factory owned by Elbit Systems, the Israeli drone manufacturer.

On 28 March, PA said ‘the Israeli weapons maker was forced to sell due to increased security costs which cut their…

1 June 2024News

GP suspended for five months over climate action

Most climate direct action recently seems to have been carried out by Just Stop Oil (JSO), and most of the court cases also involve them, including three acquittals and a professional suspension. Here is some of what’s been happening.

On 15 May, three JSO activists were convicted under the Section 7 of the new Public Order Act 2023, which bans interference with ‘key national infrastructure’, including roads.

Daniel Hall, Phoebe Plummer and Chiara Sarti had marched along a…

1 June 2024News

Christian peace activists found guility over Gaza protest

On 25 April, Chris Cole and Virginia Moffat went on trial at City of London magistrates court as a result of their action on 29 December at Downing Street protesting against the UK government for being ‘complicit with this slaughter’ in Gaza (PN 2670). They had poured red poster paint on the gates and made bloody handprints, and read the names of children killed by Israel and Hamas.

The two Christian peace activists were found guilty of criminal damage despite making legal as…

1 June 2024News

'The most moving speech I have ever heard in this courtroom'

Owain Parry, Thomas Bell and Mark Redfern carried out a 14-hour rooftop occupation of the Solvay factory in Wrexham, Wales, in November 2021 (the action was co-ordinated by Palestine Action). They accused Solvay of manufacturing components for the Israeli military.

This was admitted by the company at the recent five-day trial of the Solvay Three at Caernarfon crown court. The firm said that it supplied components for Israeli F-35 fighter jets.

The three members of the Welsh…

1 June 2024News

Court grants whistleblower further appeal

Julian Assange has won another chance to appeal against extradition to the US on espionage charges, but he is not out of danger.

The high court in London gave Assange his legal victory on 20 May, after finding that the US government had not given strong enough guarantees or ‘assurances’ that Assange would not be mistreated.

Assange’s lawyers accepted one assurance, that he will not be subjected to the death penalty if convicted in the US.

However, the US government did…

26 April 2024Blog

Chris Cole and Virigina Moffatt report on their trial

On 25 April our trial for Criminal Damage took place following our arrest on 29 December at Downing Street to protest the UK government’s complicity in the genocide in Gaza. We had poured red poster paint on the gates, and made bloody handprints, held placards and read the names of children killed by Israel and Hamas.

The evening before our trial we held a gathering at the wonderful London Catholic Worker  where we spoke about our…

1 April 2024News in Brief

A German court has sentenced US Catholic Worker Susan Crane, 78, to over seven months in prison. Susan refused to pay €2,500 in fines imposed for a series of actions at Büchel air force base, south-east of Cologne, where US nuclear bombs are stored.

The Nuclear Resister reports that the sentence was imposed on 18 January after Susan had appealed all the way to the European court of human rights (they refused her case on a technicality).

Susan has been ordered to report…

1 April 2024News

Court of appeal rules out 'consent' defence

The high court in London saw two simultaneous unrelated protests in February.

Outside (20 – 21 February), people gathered in solidarity with Julian Assange as lawyers tried to get a further appeal for him.

Inside (21 February), Defend Our Juries organised a 100-person sit-down in the lobby or central hall of the court. There were three separate Citizens’ Juries, considering different questions, including: ‘Why not trust juries to hear the full story?’

Climate activists…

1 April 2024News

Court case news

We only have room for some court reports this issue but there has been quite a bit of climate action in the last two months. 

We will just mention the ‘Insure Our Future’ Global Week of Action against insurance companies, which saw more than 57 events in 31 countries from 26 February – 3 March, including a classical dance protest outside Lloyds of London on 26 February (see above).

The most high-profile case was Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (21) being acquitted by…

1 February 2024News

Protest to challenge removal of legal defence used by Palestine campaigners

Campaigning group Defend Our Juries (DOJ) is planning a mass sit-down in the high court in London on 21 February to challenge the government’s attempt to remove the defence of ‘consent’, used by Palestine Action activists recently to win acquittals (see previous page).

This follows actions outside more than 50 crown courts across England and Wales on 4 December: 500 activists held signs defending the right of juries to reach their own verdicts, independently of the instructions they…

1 February 2024News

150,000 sign petition opposing deportation of German climate activist

There don’t seem to have been any Just Stop Oil (JSO), Extinction Rebellion or Insulate Britain arrests since PN last came out, in late November.

On 8 January, JSO began negotiations with the Metropolitan police over its ‘slow walking’ campaign of disrupting traffic in London.

JSO presented the Met with evidence that the government was guilty of the crime of ‘genocide by oblique intent’, by developing new oil and gas projects.

JSO offered to pause disruptive…

1 February 2024News in Brief

Having legal support in place before an action or a demo can help people stay safer. Legal observers are trained volunteers who support the legal rights of activists.

In Scotland, the Scottish Community & Activist Legal Project may be able to provide legal observers for your action (please give at least two weeks’ notice):

In England and Wales, the Independent Legal Observers Network may be…

1 February 2024News

Acquittals, victories and more actions

The direct action group Palestine Action (PA) has again been generating more news than we can cover. They bumped up their acquittals total, won victories targeting suppliers of the Israeli-owned arms company Elbit Systems UK, and carried out a string of property damage actions.

Also, PA had their first known infiltrator, a journalist named Max Parry from the Daily Express, who gave information to the police that led to five arrests for ‘conspiracy to commit public nuisance’…

1 December 2023News

Direct action group launches 'underground manual' amidst flurry of ongoing actions

Over the last two months, Palestine Action (PA) has continued its direct action campaign against Elbit Systems UK, the British subsidiary of the Israeli drone manufacturer. PA has also opened up a US branch (which has taken action in Massachussetts and New Hampshire), supported several activists on trial (still ongoing at the time of going to press) and taken action in solidarity with the people of Gaza.

On 5 October, PA added to its acquittals score when one of its activists was…

1 December 2023News in Brief

On 8 November, Choi Jungmin (pronounced ‘chwéh chong-min’) and seven others from South Korean peace group World Without War (see PN 2667) were found ‘not guilty’ of disrupting an arms fair.

On 22 September 2022, Jungmin and her colleagues, Ji Hyeseong, Joo Youngho, Kim Eunmi, Kim Han Minyeong, Lee Yongsuk, Park Jaeyoon and Yeo Jeewoo entered DX KOREA 2022, just outside Seoul, South Korea.…