Smash EDO Court Victory For The Right To Protest

23rd March 2007
Smash EDO Press Release
www.smashedo.org.uk

Chris Osmond, campaigner against Brighton arms manufacturer EDO MBM, was found not guilty of ‘inciting another to breach a police order’ at Brighton Magistrates today. The case related to a demonstration on August 13th 2005, when forty peace protestors were prevented from marching down Brighton’s North St by over 100 police.

Although four people were arrested on the day only Mr Osmond was charged under Section 12 of the Public Order Act. The defence argued that Mr Osmond was targeted for arrest as along-term campaigner and a litigant in person in high court proceedings.

The case is the last prosecution to arise out of the civil injunction EDOMBM attempted to obtain to criminalise protest outside their factory in Mouslecoombe.

“Today’s not guilty verdict has come after two years of attempts by Sussex Police to stifle the right to protest. Time and again these cases have come to court and been thrown out. It’s time the police backed off” said Chris Osmond “By standing up to this intimidation we’ve won an important victory for civil liberties.”

Notes for Journalists

By March 2006 the Crown Prosecution Service were forced to drop, or failed in, 23 criminal prosecutions after a court case in February came close to uncovering collusion between EDO MBM and Sussex Police.The relationship between Sussex Police and EDO BM is now the subject of aseries of police complaints and an Independent Police ComplaintsCommission(IPCC)enquiry.

Smash EDO demonstrate every Wednesday at EDO MBM, Home Farm Road, 4-6pm.

The campaign.

Brighton & Hove is a UN Peace Messenger City

EDO MBM Technologies Ltd are the sole UK subsidiary of huge U.S arms conglomerate EDO Corp, which was once named No. 10 in the Forbes list of100 fastest growing companies. They are now named as one of Forbes top tenlosers after four years of campaigning against the company.EDO supply bomb release mechanisms to the US and UK armed forces amongstothers. They supply crucial components for Raytheon’s Paveway guided bombsystem, widely used in the “Shock and Awe” campaign in Iraq.

EDO MBM makes electrical weapons components for the Israeli military.

EDOMBM manufactures components to be incorporated into the Hellfire missile,which the Israeli army has recently used to attack the civilian populationof Gaza. They have organised conferences on the development of UCAVs,unmanned aircraft which are widely used in aerial attacks on Gaza. EDOCorporation, of which EDO MBM Brighton is a wholly owned trading unit, hasa direct contract with the Israeli Navy who murdered 10 civilians on abeach near Beit Lahiya, Gaza, earlier this month.People involved in the anti-EDO campaign include, but are not limited to:local residents, the Brighton Quakers, peace activists, anti-capitalists,Palestine Solidarity groups, human rights groups, trade unionists,academics and students.

The campaign started in August 2004 with a peace camp. It’s avowed aim isto expose EDO MBM and their complicity in war crimes and to remove them from Brighton.Contact Andrew Beckett or Sarah Johnson.

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