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"Peace News has compiled an exemplary record... its tasks have never been more critically important than they are today." Noam Chomsky

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Courageous convictions

On 19 January, Christian activist Chris Cole was sentenced to 30 days in prison by Westminster magistrates for non-payment of £1,545 in fines and £350 in court costs. The fine was imposed after Chris was found guilty of criminal damage: spraying ‘Build Peace Not War Machines’ and ‘Stop This Bloody Business’ on the Queen Elizabeth II centre in September 2009. At the time, the QEII was hosting a reception for arms dealers during the DSEi arms fair.

On 25 January, Barbara Dowling, 66, appeared before Glasgow sheriffs court for failing to pay a fine of £500 imposed as a result of taking part in a Trident Ploughshares blockade of Faslane naval base in 2010. Faslane is home to Britain’s nuclear missile submarines. Barbara again refused to pay and was ordered to do 90 hours ‘supervised attendance’ instead. She told the court she would not cooperate with the order and the justice said if she did not do so she would be brought back to court.