Arms firm hit by hair spray

IssueApril - May 2016
News by David Polden

On 16 March, Hammersmith magistrates found Zelda Jeffers guilty of criminal damage to the Lockheed Martin London offices during a protest organised by the Muriel Lesters affinity group of Trident Ploughshares.

This arose from last September’s Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair held at the ExCeL centre in East London. Zelda had sprayed the pillars beside the offices’ front door with a blood-like substance and was charged with ‘criminal damage below £5,000’.

The prosecution read out a statement Zelda had produced in support of her action. It said: ‘Next week's DSEI arms fair… will host the very people who are fuelling and profiting from the current refugee crisis. These include Lockheed Martin, a huge international arms manufacturing and trading firm whose UK headquarters are in Lower Regent Street.’

80 percent off

The prosecution claimed that the value of the clean-up was £2,495. This estimate was withdrawn after both Zelda and a witness testified that she had not used paint but a hair colour spray which could be easily wiped off. The prosecution admitted that the nature of the substance used had not been tested.

After Zelda was found guilty and given a one-year conditional discharge, she was charged £450 compensation plus £620 in court costs with a £15 surcharge.

Topics: Activism, Arms trade