News archive

Surprise Noise demo at EDO – ‘Merry Christmas Paul Hills ‘

A surprise demonstration was held outside the gates of EDO/ITT this morning. EDO workers and EDO MD, Paul Hills, were reminded about the consequences of what they do for a living.EDO have been being targeted increasingly recently with two noise demonstrations held last week and a blockade of the factory on Tuesday.EDO should not forget that we will be here until they’re not…However…we are now taking a break over xmas. The next noise demo will be 4-6,  WEDNESDAY JANUARY THE 5th 2011. Obviously anyone who feels the urge can go up there and annoy them at their leisure in the meantime!

Blockade of EDO MBM

At 6am on the 14th December 2010 three people locked and glued themselves to the gates of EDO. Staff arrived minutes later and were forced to wait outside for Paul Hills, EDO MD, to turn up.Hillls, for the umpteenth time, had to angle grind through his fence to get his staff in in the morning.It seems that Paul doesn’t relish the prospect of his business dealings being scrutinised in court after his grueling cross examination during the Decommissioners trial this Summer. After a conversation with Hillls, Police left the blockaders to it. After five hours everyone unlocked/glued and left with no arrests.For more info see http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/12/470666.html and http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/12/470680.htmlAndrew Beckett, campaign spokesperson, said “The government’s spending review made only perfunctory cuts to the defence budget. Every job in the arms trade  is still massively subsidised by the state. The exports made by EDO benefit only the company CEOs. All this at the same time as the government is cutting the education and health budgets and hammering ordinary people’s pensions and benefits.””The arms industry makes its money through destroying the lives of civilians abroad whilst the budget cuts target the most vulnerable people here. We say that it is obvious where the budget cuts should be focused – on an arms trade that only benefits the corporations.”


Days of Action against Repression – Surprise Noise demo at EDO

In response to the ‘Anti-repression’ call to action from 10-12th December, Smash EDO held an impromptu surprise demo at EDO/ITT today.EDO is a Brighton based arms manufacturer owned by ITT. They produce bomb release equipment for the US, UK and Israeli armed forces.Fifteen people turned up early Monday morning and held a noisy demonstration outside the factory gates.This was to reaffirm that we will continue to protest against EDO, despite police repression, and that the campaign will not go away until the factory closes down.Since the campaign began Sussex police have acted as a biased political force, a private security firm for a US corporation. Sussex Police and EDO collaborated, in 2005-6, to criminalise protest through an injunction under the Protection from Harassment Act. When this failed, after campaigners defied the injunction in the courts and on the streets, the police have used a series of cackhanded conspiracy charges, prosecutions under archaic council noise byelaws, kettling, mass arrests to ‘prevent a breach of the peace’, use of section 60, harassment by police Forward Intelligence Teams and have attempted to pay informers for information about the campaign.Sean Mcdonald, the rotund ‘events liaison’ officer for Sussex is a permanent feature at EDO protests. Mcdonald’s oily attempts to ingratiate himself with newcomers in order to intelligence gather, efforts to provoke protesters to violence, and personal remarks about campaigners are an effort to harass and intimidate campaigners. Mcdonald’s career is centred around his knowledge of the Smash EDO campaign (which is quite sad really as he is hideously ill informed).Sussex Police and the CPS have invested considerable resources on attempting to  stamp out the Smash EDO campaign, spending $1 million on policing four demonstrations, yet Smash EDO has been campaigning relentlessly against EDO/ITT for six years with no sign of slowing down. The majority of prosecutions against campaigners have ended in failure.In October 2010 Elijah Smith, one of the six people who decommissioned EDO during Operation Cast Lead, was given a restraining order, as a result of an amendment to the PHA act. Under this order he is prevented from demonstrating outside the factory for five years. This order is proof that the demonstrations against EDO continue to be used as a testing ground for new repressive legislation.It is important that we recognise the state’s attempts to repress effective campaigns and that we stand in solidarity with those targeted, support each other and, most importantly, don’t give in. If they try to repress us that is because they see us as a threat.

We will be here until they’re not…

For more info about the anti repression days of action see http://www.freedomtoprotest.org.uk/


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US Activists demonstrate outside Home of ITT CEO

A coalition of US activists demonstrated in the home neighbourhood of ITT chief executive, Steven Loranger, last week. US campaigners are targeting ITT, the owners of Brighton’s EDO MBM, because of their involvement in the design and manufacture of drone technology and their pro-war lobbying activities. One of the participants in the 40 strong demonstration said of Loranger, “We’re here today to inform his neighbors about how his personal ambitions impact all of our lives,” more info


ITT’s Hammertime Reportage

ITT’s Hammertime!! action has finished, despite heavy, repressive policing some successes came out of the day, including the stated aim closing of the factory for the day. You can read a summary of events here.

If you were nicked at ITT’s Hammertime and want support email smashedo@riseup.net
For emotional and trauma support call 07980387900


Criticising Israel’s War Crimes is not Anti-Semitic

After the historic victory of the EDO Decommissioners, the judge in the case, Judge George Bathurst-Norman, has become subject of a concerted campaign of smears and defamation by a number of right-wing columnists, the Zionist Federation, and the Board of Deputies of British Jews on grounds that his summary of the evidence was ‘anti-semitic’.

The Office of Judicial Complaints (OJC) has reprimanded Judge Bathurst Norman for airing his personal views in the summing up of the case. Judges regularly express their personal views in this way, usually to the detriment of the defendants.

Although we don’t normally find ourselves sticking up for judges, the charges of anti-semitism, which have been made against Bathurst-Norman, are a grossly cynical attempt to undermine the significance of these acquittals of pro-Palestinian activists on evidence of Israeli war crimes. This evidence was not challenged by the Crown Prosecution Service.

There is nothing anti-semitic in putting agreed evidence of Israeli war crimes to a jury.

The OJC’s reprimand does not undermine the jury’s courageous decision to acquit the decommissioners. You can express your concern about this investigation by sending an email to the Office Judicial Complaints, marking your email ‘Bathurst Norman’.

customer@ojc.gsi.gov.uk

A full transcript of the Judges summary of the evidence has been published by the Jewish Chronicle here.


Smash EDO Phone Stolen, but Replaced

The Smash EDO phone (general not press) was nicked last week, it has now been replaced and the number has been retained. However, any texts sent to it in the last month have been lost, so if you have texted it in that time, particularly if you wish to receive updates on the forthcoming Hammertime demo, please do so again. Alternatively email smashedo@riseup.net Sorry for any inconvenience, we promise to keep an eye on our shit and backup stuff more often in the future. The number hasn’t changed, so if you want to keep abreast of the latest developments just text “updates” to 07538093930 or give us a call.


New Edition of the Smash EDO Newsletter Produced

The latest edition of the not so regular Smash EDO newsletter is available now from all good pubs and social centres, or just download your copy right here. (Please print and distribute as many as you can)


Elijah Smith, decommissioner of EDO MBM/ITT, is free after a year and a half in Jail!

James Elijah Smith was released on Wednesday 7th July, having spent 18 months on remand.


All Decommissioners Acquitted – Resisting War Crimes is Officially not a Crime

The EDO Decommissioners have all walked free after unanimous acquittals following the three week trial which concluded on Friday (2nd July) at Hove Crown Court. What began as a trial of the Decommissioners effectively ended up with the Brighton arms manufacturer, and the war crimes of the Israeli state, in the dock. Is it all over for EDO/ITT in Brighton? It might be now…

“It’s a real victory for the anti-war movement, The jury were presented with the facts and they supported our motivations. If people in Britain knew the truth away from media manipulations they would all support our actions” – Ornella Sabeine, EDO Decommissioner.

After a nail-biting twenty-four hiatus, the jury came to decision on the Decommissioners Case – 100% Not Guilty! Six of the seven defendants Tom Woodhead, Bob Nicholls, Ornella Saibene, Harvey Tadman, Simon Levin and Chris Osmond came smiling out of Hove Trial Centre at the end of a gruelling three and half week trial. Elijah Smith was remanded in custody for another offence. Five were acquitted on Wednesday afternoon, the other two Chris and Elijah had to wait until this morning. They had waited eighteen months for this moment.

The jury decisions were all completely unanimous, an indication perhaps of the depth of feeling ignited by the evidence presented of war atrocities committed in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.

It was on the night of the 16th January 2009 that six activists broke into EDO MBM’s manufacturing facility on Home Farm Rd Brighton. For an hour they wreaked havoc with hammers. Filing cabinets and computers were hurled from top-floor window. Machinery was also sabotaged. One of the reasons that the six had so much time in the factory was ironically that Sussex police saw a bomb in the car-park and cordoned off the area for specialists to arrive. The ‘bomb’ was in fact a dummy, a prop for EDO to display at trade fairs, precision guided out of an upstairs window by the decommissioners.

The six had pre-recorded videos to be posted on Indymedia after the action You can watch these here. In his video Elijah Smith said “I don’t feel I’m going to do anything illegal tonight, but I’m going to go into an arms factory and smash it up to the best of my ability so that it cannot actually produce munitions and these very dirty bombs that have been provided to the Israeli army so that they can kill children. The time for talking has gone too far. I’m not a writer, I’m just a person from the community and I’m deeply disgusted”.

The jury requested to view those videos again before they made their historic decision …and they obviously liked what they saw.

In effect the trial was turned around: it was EDO MBM in the shape of managing director Paul Hills who found themselves in the dock. Laughably they had come to court intending to pass themselves off as a company primarily manufacturing in-flight entertainment equipment. He was presented with a dossier of evidence painstakingly built up over the years by campaigners, which pointed firmly at the company’s complicity in war crimes.

Paul Hills was due to be giving evidence again on Thursday after accusing a campaigner of intimidating him as a witness at the regular weekly noise demo. Funnily enough Hills wasn’t available at the time and the court heard that he was flying to the U.S. Perhaps we should spare a thought for Paul standing right now in front of ITTs board explaining how a bunch of goddam two-bit limey punks were able to smash his factory up with hammers and walk out of court smiling.

The answer is that Paul Hill’s evidence was more full of holes than his factory’s windows. Here’s just a few edited highlights of five days of his cross-examination.

Hills revealed that the company have owned the rights to the main bomb rack used on Israeli F-16s – the VER-2 – since 1998. He admitted removing website evidence of his company’s dealings with Israel as early as 2004, the date of the first protests. He admitted having interfered with the crime scene, retrieving debris and papers, before police photographers arrived. He claimed to have police permission but no police statement backed him up. There has been speculation that £189,000 is actually an underestimate of the damage caused and that more controversial evidence may have been spirited away. After being warned at one stage by the judge that he was at risk of perjuring himself if he contradicted evidence he’d produced in earlier court cases, crucially he ended by admitting that anyone looking at the evidence presented to him in court would form the reasonable belief that his company was involved in arms sales to Israel.

It was this that the defendants needed to convince the jury of – that there was an obvious link between this factory and the bombardment of Gaza.

A witness, Sharyn Lock, provided the background necessary for the jury to understand the full scope of the horror then unfolding in Gaza. Now a trainee midwife, in 2009 she was a human-rights volunteer in Al-Quds hospital, Gaza City. She was in the Gaza strip for the whole of Operation Cast Lead, and able to show footage of a missile strike on the hospital, just metres from the maternity ward. The jury also saw news reports of the white phosphorus attacks on the UNWRA compound, which incinerated much-needed food and medicine. Sharyn closed her evidence by saying she had no doubt that those who armed the Israeli Air Force ‘had the blood of children on their hands’.

After hearing of the verdict she told SchNEWS “Brilliant news. I am so proud not only of the eight UK civilians who risked their liberty to protect fellow civilians whom they may never meet – but also of the jury who recognised that it is everyone’s responsibility to uphold international law, even if that means decommissioning the weapons.”

By the time this went to print the news of the verdict was spreading. Right-wing nutjob and Daily Mail journalist Melanie Phillips was first in with her considered opinion on ‘the ignorance and bigotry of the judge’. The Israeli ambassador was crying foul saying that it was ‘not a great era of the British system’ (sic) – according to Israeli news source he was reportedly ‘furious’ at the judges ‘blatant anti-semitic stand’. Even David Icke put it up on his website.

On the more positive side, the decommissioners were congratulated by Noam Chomsky, who said “I would like to express my respect and admiration for those who are undertaking non-violent resistance to oppose British participation in Israel’s cruel crimes in Gaza”.

So what next for Smash EDO? Unable to extract any usable quotes from the after-verdict party at the Community Garden, SchNEWS spoke to an increasingly bleary eyed Andrew Beckett, press spokesman for the campaign: “When we first started banging pots and pans outside the factory back in 2004, we never believed we’d get anywhere like this. EDO must be reeling, their dirty laundry is now flapping out there for the whole world to see. We’re not to going to let up the pressure on this factory – watch this space”.

For more see smashedo.org.uk | Decommissioners website

* There will be a victory demo to celebrate the EDO decommissioners’ acquittal this Monday (July 5th) from 12 noon outside EDO/ITT on Home Farm Road, Brighton.

* View these movies of the trial: The opening day of the trial | The day of the first verdicts


Great News So Far For Decommissioners

The jury in the trial of the EDO Decommissioners has, so far, found five of the defendants not guilty of “Criminal Damage” and “Conspiracy To Cause Criminal Damage” by unanimous decision.

Two others are awaiting verdict. There will be a demo at 9.30pm tonight (Wednesday 30th), outside Lewes prison, where Elijah Smith is still on remand.

Court will reconvene at 10.30 on Friday 2nd July, there will (of course) be demos at some point after this.


Decommissioners Trial Into Week Two

On Tuesday 15th June one of the defendants in the “decommissioners” court case was acquitted of conspiracy to commit criminal damage. Obviously this is good news but for eight others the ordeal continues.

Also on Tuesday the Police gave the last of their statements meaning that on Thursday 17th June the defence case will begin. All eight still on trial are not disputing that damage was done to the factory, as was the intention of the action, but that the damage was not criminal as it was done to prevent war crimes.

The trial is being held weekdays from around 10-4 at Hove Crown Court. All support is welcomed, so please come down if you can. A more detailed round-up of events should follow as soon as we find the time…


COURT UPDATE

All those arrested at Smash EDO’s Remember Gaza (see https://publish.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/01/444772.html) demonstration have had their charges dropped when they returned for bail at the police station. Another person arrested after the Mayday! Mayday! (http://www.smashedo.org.uk/mayday-09.htm) demo has had all charges against him dropped


Support the Decommissioners – Target Barclays picket in Manchester

Manchester’s Target Brimar campaign held a picket and leafletting outside the Barclays Bank in Mosley Street in Manchester on 17th May 2010 in support of the EDO decommissioners and the campaign to persuade Barclay to stop providing market maker services to ITT.

If you live in Manchester Target Brimar will be holding a leafletting at Nexus Cafe on Dale Street in Manchester on Sunday June 20th,  11am-1pm. We’ll have form letters to local MPs, MEPs, councillors and newspapers raising the issue of an arms factory on their patch, so please drop by to sign up and send some off.


“Every Fucking Week!!”

Short reportage of a recent incident at the bomb component making factory EDO/ITT in Brighton during one of the regular weekly noise demos. Just goes to show how much a few bods and a camera can pile on the pressure…

Download hi-res Mpeg (108 meg) click here
Download low-res FLV (33 meg) click here


Support the Gaza Demonstrators

Hundreds of thousands of people across the world demonstrated against Israel’s war crimes during the 2009 bombardment of Gaza. Motivated by images of violent death and destruction, and a desire to express solidarity with the people of Gaza, British adults and children spontaneously gathered at the Israeli Embassy in London on December 2008 and January 2009 to demand justice and protest their own complicity in the massacre.

The police did not facilitate justice. Instead, they took names, addresses and photographs of as many demonstrators as possible, including children. Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) were deployed on these demonstrations, and people were physically blocked in by lines of police (kettled) and then refused the right to leave unless they gave their details and had their photograph taken for police files. These tactics are illegal under British law.

The police used the Territorial Support Group, equipped with balaclavas, helmets, riot shields and heavy batons, as well as dogs and horses to intimidate and control the demonstrators.

The police also used force against the demonstrators, including children and the elderly, who were pushed, hit, and refused freedom of movement. In many cases, the police physically assaulted demonstrators. After the demonstrations, the police arrested 119 people. The vast majority of these people were not arrested at the demonstrations, but often months later, using intelligence gathered at the demonstrations. Many of these arrests were made in shocking dawn raids, which included the handcuffing of entire families, and the seizing of phones and computers.

Though the demonstrations were composed of a hugely diverse range of people, the vast majority of those targeted for arrest were young people from Muslim communities. Of the 79 charged, 77 are Muslim, mostly under 25 years old. The youngest was 12 years old.

For more info see gazademosupport.org.uk


Decommissioners Trial delayed until June 7th 2010 – Come to the demo outside the court at 9am on the first day of the trial


WikiLeaks Release Footage From Iraq

Today (Monday 5th April 2010) WikiLeaks posted a video showing the murder of 12 civilians in Baghdad in 2007. Amongst those killed were two Reuters employees; driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, and Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, a war photographer.

The footage, shot from a US Apache gunship, shows a group of civilians being identified as hostile combatants and then fired upon. Later a car arrives and the occupants attempt to help the wounded, they too are fired on. In all 12 people were killed and two children injured.

So far 139 journalists and upto 1,000,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq as a result of an illegal invasion and occupation. In other news the name of the 280th British soldier to be killed in Afghanistan was released, 21 year old Mark Turner.

To see the Iraq videos visit CollateralMurder.com or download the torrent. There’s also a longer unedited version.


Smash EDO in Tel Aviv

Sunday the 28th of March saw the campaign entering the belly of the beast as two Smash EDOers held a public meeting with Israeli anti-occupation activists in Tel Aviv, Israel. It was a joint meeting between Smash EDO and ex-Weather Underground member Bernardine Dohrn. General campaign tactics were discussed and a few jokes shared about mounting resistance to her old and our new(ish) enemy: ITT. Actions like the decommissioning of EDO during Operation Cast Lead last year have given effective solidarity to those struggling against Israel’s military policies. The meeting was a chance to discuss strategies and plan for the future. Tel Aviv-ians, watching footage of Smash EDO’s recent demos, were particularly impressed by the bumbling incompetence of Sussex police and the campaign’s response to their cack-handed attempts at repression. Time for an Israeli FIT-watch?!

If you fancy watching a couple of the Smash EDO SchMovies yourself, there’ll be a screening of The Decommissioners and Batons & Bombs at the Cowley Club on Monday 12th April. See Upcoming Events for more details.


Good News in Decommissioners Preliminary Hearing

On Wednesday 4th March the three day preliminary hearing for the EDO Decommissioners ended reasonably well for the defendants. Effectively this hearing would determine whether they would be able to use the arguement that their actions helped prevent worse crimes.

The prosecution claimed that by causing over a quarter of a million pounds worth of damage to EDO/ITT the defendants in no way could have saved lives in the occupied territories. This therefore meant they had no right to a jury trial. The judge then asked the prosecution to provide evidence to substantiate such a claim, the prosecution had nothing to show.

The defence then came back to say there were two linked issues that required consideration.
i) The circumstances in which a judge may withdraw a defendant’s defence;
ii) Whether the facts relied on by the defendants’ amounts to a defence in law.

The points of law up for scrutiny were from the:

Criminal Damage Act 1971,
Criminal Law Act 1967,
The Common Law Defence of Necessity.

Judge Kemp returned in the afternoon with the court’s finding and took a favourable decision for the decommissioners. The issues raised by the defence, on all three points of Law, should be decided by a jury and not a judge. The prosecution then asked the judge if they were allowed to appeal, the judge refused although this confusingly still leaves the door open to the court of appeal.

It is anticipated that the prosecution will go to the court appeal to challenge at-least one if not all three of the decommissioners defences. They have a week in which to do this if they so wish.

Elijah Smith Was Moved Back To Lewes Prison.

Elijah Smith, VP 7551, HMP Lewes , 1 Brighton Rd, Lewes, Sussex, BN7 1EA ENGLAND

Please send letters of support or visit to keep his spirits up. For those who can visit, times are 2pm-4pm daily.


Elijah Smith Has Been Moved, Again

EDO Decommissioner James Elijah Smith is now on remand at Sheppey Prison, Church Road, Eastchurch, Sheerness, Kent ME12 4DZ. Visiting times are 2pm-4pm daily, to book a visit call 01795 882272

For more info see the Support Elijah page.


Remember Gaza Demo Latest

Over three hundred black-clad protesters descended on the EDO/ITT arms factory in commemoration of last year’s horrific bombing of Gaza. Meeting at Wild Park, the crowd carried symbolic coffins and a banner with a thousand handprints to represent those who died in Gaza during the 22 day assault. Most of the crowd had taken the advice and were very well masked up

The demonstration marched from there to the junction of Home Farm Road, where the factory is situated. At the junction the demonstration split into two, with hundreds of protesters breaking police lines and pouring up the hill into the woods behind EDO/ITT.

Another bloc of protesters remained at the junction, blocking access to Home Farm Road, and reading out some of the names of the 1417 people killed during the Israeli assault on Gaza.

The second bloc of protesters made it to the rear of the factory and some people breached the fence and got into the industrial estate.

Protesters commented that tactics employed by the constabulary on the day were best described as ‘bewildering policing’. Despite the use of dogs and horses they were unable to stop the movement of the crowd. The demonstration stayed mobile, and, after word got out that the factory had been closed for the rest of the day, protesters went down Lewes Road to The Level, managing to outflank several police cordons. Around 100 people tried to go on to Barclays Bank, but got kettled as riot police and horses flooded into North Laine.

There were 5 arrests. Activist medics treated a handful of people for mostly minor injuries, although one of whom needed to be taken to A&E.

For more info on today’s demo, checkout Indymedia. You can find their report and timeline here. Or, if you’re feeling sinister, you can see The Argus’ take on events. There’s also a poll asking “Should Smash EDO be banned from protesting in Brighton” if you want to vote you can do here.

More to follow, when we have the time.


Remember Gaza Mass Demo – Brighton, Jan 18th 2010

From the 27th December to the 18th January we are calling on campaigners to take action against EDO’s supply of weapons to the Israeli army. Our mass demo is on the 18th. However, here’s some ideas for warm up actions in the weeks running up to the 18th: 

Target Barclays  – Take action against Barclay, market maker for ITT – the Target Barclays campaign continues. As the market maker for ITT Barclays Capital make a tidy profit from every share ITT sell – making them complicit in EDO/ITTs manufacture of weapnry for the Israeli army – for more info click here

Saturday 9th January 2010 – Remember Gaza infostall in Churchill Square, Brighton, from 2pm followed by Silent Vigil for the Victims of the Gaza massacre at 5pm

Wednesday 13th January 2010 – Naming of the Victims of the Gaza Massacre outside EDO MBM, Home Farm Rd. 2.30 – 6pm

Monday 18th January 2010 – Smash EDO – Remember Gaza Mass Demo


Noise Demonstrations

Smash EDO holds noise demonstrations every Wednesday outside EDO on Home Farm Road. However, EDO is closing over Xmas and we’re taking a break too. The last noise demonstration of 2009 is at 4pm on Wednesday 16th December. The first one of 2010 will be on Wednesday 13th January which will be a special demo to Remember the Gaza massacre.


Target Barclays

Take action against Barclays, market maker for ITT – the Target Barclays campaign continues. As the market maker for ITT, Barclays Capital make a tidy profit from every share ITT sell – making them complicit in EDO/ITTs manufacture of weaponry for the Israeli army  more


Update on ‘No Borders’ Blockade Case 

Nine people were in court in early November for charges arising from a blockade of EDO MBM/ITT in solidarity with migrants during the Calais No Borders camp this summer. The blockade was to highlight the links between the arms trade, war and the creation of refugees. One defendant was found with no case to answer, two were acquitted and five were convicted of obstruction of the highway. They were given 12 month conditional discharges.


Carnival Against the Arms Trade Protesters’ Appeals Successful

Two activists, Robert Alford and Elijah Smith, who were arrested at the Carnival Against the Arms Trade last June appealed  their convictions last week. The court quashed their convictions for aggravated trespass. See here for full report.


Stop Press – Decommissioners Court Case Adjourned til May 2010

The court case of six people who broke into EDO MBM/ITT during the bombing of Gaza, known as the decommissioners, has been adjourned until 17th May 2010. This is due to delays on the part of the Crown Prosecution Service which have hampered the defendants ability to prepare their defence in time for the trial (originally planned for October).

Elijah Smith is still on remand in HMP Horfield. Please send messages of support to Elijah Smith, XP7551, HMP Bristol, 19 cambridge Road, Horfield, BS7 8PS


Please Urge Brighton and Hove Council to table a Motion against EDO MBM/ITT’S Complicity in War Crimes 

Smash EDO has launched a petition for residents of Brighton and Hove to urge Brighton and Hove City Council: 

Click here to sign the petition

EDO MBM, based in Moulsecoomb, is a weapons manufacturer owned by the American multi-national ITT. They make weapon components for the Paveway guided bomb programme, which was the most used aerial weapon in the attack on Iraq. They also own the patents of the Zero Retention Force Arming Unit and the Ejector Release Unit ERU 151, both essential components for the F16 aircraft’s VER-2 bomb rack, used by the Israeli Air Force against civilians in Gaza.
Since 2004 there has been a growing campaign against EDO MBM in Brighton. Campaigners have used diverse tactics to highlight and resist this murderous business in our city. There have been blockades, rooftop occupations, street theatre and hundreds of noise demos outside the factory. Thousands of people have also taken to the streets against them during nationally advertised events.

During the massacre in Gaza in January this year, the Green Party attempted to table a motion condemning the activities of EDO MBM/ITT at the full Council meeting. The motion was refused a hearing by the city Council convenor. A leaked document from the Green Party reveals that the reason given was that ‘the issue is not directly related to Brighton and has no bearing on the well being of the city’. On the evening of this refusal six people broke in to the EDO factory in solidarity with the people of Gaza, who were simultaneously being bombed with the aid of Brighton manufactured EDO components. In an attempt to ‘decommission’ the weapons they caused up to £300,000 worth of damage to the machinery aiding this atrocity.

We, the undersigned residents of Brighton and Hove, believe that the refusal to hear the original motion was wrong and disagree strongly with the notion that what is being manufactured and sold in Brighton is of no concern or relevance to the city’s citizens. We urge you to accept the tabling of this new motion and to condemn the activities of EDO and their complicity in war crimes.

Sincerely,The Undersigned

Click here to sign the petition


Sign the ‘Support the Decommissioners’ Petition

This Petition will be handed into the Foreign Office prior to the trial of the decommissioners

This petition is from the ‘Support the Decommissioners’ campaign, a support group for six people who broke into EDO MBM/ITT in Brighton during Israel’s bombing of Gaza in January 2009. By the 17th January, the night of the break in, Israel had killed over a thousand civilians By the end of Israel’s aerial bombardment over 1400 people had died, including up to 400 children. Foreign secretary David Miliband has admitted that British supplied weapons were undoubtedly used during Israel’s bombardment.

On January 17th Ornella Saibene, Robert Nicholls, Harvey Tadman, Elijah Smith, Tom Woodhead and Robert Alford broke into the EDO factory and destroyed computers and manufacturing equipment in order to disable the factory’s capacity to manufacture weapons for the Israeli army.

War crimes, including murder, the targeting of civilians and the wanton targeting of civilian objects had been committed in Gaza during January. The decommissioning of EDO was intended to prevent the factory aiding and abetting those crimes any further.

EDO has been granted UK export licenses for components which are incorporate into the Israeli F16, including licences for the ERU 151, the bomb rack for the Israeli F16.

The decommissioning of EDO action was only necessary because the UK governmnent continues to grant licenses for the export of weapons components to Israel (either through direct or indirect exports). In July 2009, as a response to public outcry against British companies’ complicity in ar crimes in Gaza. David Milibands revoked 5 out of 182 existing export licenses to Israel, leaving the majority of exports unhindered

Israel has persistently committed war crimes and crimes against humanity; during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, the bombing of Lebanon in 2006 and Operation Cast Lead in 2009. Despite this British arms sales to Israel are increasing.

We, the Undersigned demand:

– An arms embargo on Israel
– For all existing export licenses to Israel (either indirectly or directly) to be revoked
– An end to British governmnent purchases from Israeli arms companies (as these purchases help develop the Israeli arms industry)

Until these demands are fulfilled actions like the decommissioning will be necessary

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

Click here to sign the petition


New Decommissioners Pamphlet Released – If I had a Hammer

A new 26 page pamphlet, entitled ‘If I Had a Hammer – Decommissioning the Arms Trade’ has been released in support of the decommissioning of EDO MBM in January 2009 during the bombing of Gaza. The pamphlet includes accounts by people who took part in the action and articles about EDO’s supply of weapons to Israel and from Trident Ploughshares and the Free Gaza movement. Download it here (print ready), or click here for a version for reading on the web.


For older news stories see the archived news page here