Roll up, roll up

IssueJuly - August 2009
News by David Polden

In May and June, five people were up on charges arising from the April 2008 “Carnival Against the Arms Trade” at the EDO-MBM arms factory in Brighton. At the carnival, 800 people marched through police cordons into the factory car park and smashed windows and the managing director’s car.

Four people were found guilty by Brighton magistrates of aggravated trespass for entering the premises, though the case for this was flimsy: no business was going on as the factory was shut, and there was no proof of intention to disrupt.

Robert Alford and Elijah Smith were fined, but their fines were cancelled out by time served. A third person was given a year’s conditional discharge for obstructing a police officer, and a fourth sentenced to 80 hours community service for criminal damage. The fifth person in court was Chris Bluemel, who reports on his case on p9.


Robert and Elijah, two of those convicted, were remanded in prison in January after being arrested with four others for causing an alleged £300,000 worth of damage at the EDO factory. The action was a protest against EDO’s role in supplying weapons to Israel, and against the Israeli assault on Gaza. (See “Brighton arms factory ripped apart in Gaza protest”, PN 2506)

The six “Decommissioners” face trial on 26 October.