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Campaign Profile: Smash EDO!

The Brighton-based anti-arms trade campaign.

NAME:

Smash EDO!

STARTED:

The campaign against weapons makers EDO MBM, based in Home Farm Road, Brighton, began in spring 2004.

OBJECTIVES:

Its objective is to nonviolently close down EDO's arms factory or, alternatively, convert its premises to civilian use. Despite having an arms company in the area Brighton Council receives funds as a “UN Peace Messenger city”.

SUCCESS SO FAR:

There have been regular noise protests outside EDO since the campaign began, and several marches through the city centre. Protest actions have included; a blockade, rooftop protests, an attempted weapons inspection,and protest camps and several public meetings. The campaign became a local issue in the parliamentary election after EDO used the Protection From Harassment Act 1977 (PHA) to bring an interim High Court injunction which seriously restricts anybody wishing to protest at the factory.

NEXT STEPS:

The full two-week trial of the EDO permanent injunction claim begins in the High Court in London on 21 November. A three-day preliminary trial starts on 1 November and will examine the protesters' defence that argues EDO are complicit in war crimes in Iraq and Palestine. The Attorney General has been invited to make representations in the preliminary trial for the government. This 1 November hearing will fundamentally question the law on the royal prerogative which has until now blocked criticism of government foreign policy in the courts.

In the 21 November full trial, the misuse of the PHA act (intended to protect women from stalkers) to attack political dissent, will be exposed to judicial scrutiny and, hopefully, brought to an end as contrary to the Human Rights Act.

Regular noise protests continue outside EDO. For other events please see opposite/below.