English Police revoke bail for anti-war activists

by Ciaron O’Reilly

English Police revoke bail on 3 EDO Decommissioners – Trial set for May 17th. 2010 – Solidarity Needed!

The EDO Decommissioners http://decommissioners.co.uk/ are 6 anti-war activists who decommissioned EDO in Brighton/England and 3 others who arrested following the non-violent disarmament action.

EDO supplies components for Israeli F16 Bombers. The decommissioning action took place on January 16th. 2009 during the Israeli bombing of Gaza when the body count stood at 1400 (300 children) slain Palestinians.

Elijah Smith, Tom Woodhead, Robert Nicholls, Ornella Saibene, Robert Alford and Harvey Tadman broke into EDO. Once inside they barricaded themselves in and set to work to dismantle the war machine. Equipment used to make weapon components (including components for Israeli F16’s), were trashed while computers, filing cabinets and office furnishings were thrown out of the window. Pre-recorded video statements by the activists were also left at the scene, the activists waited at the scene and were arrested. Three other activists were arrested later. EDO claims $500,000 damage was caused.

The 9 have had a trial date set for May 17th. 2010 in Brighton, England. Initially two of the activists were denied bail. Robert Alford has recently been released from jail on bail. Elijah Smith has been refused bail and is unlikely to be released from jail before trial.

All those released have been done under harsh conditions including that they are not permitted to communicate with each other. When I visited 5 of the defendants in Bristol this year I had to do that individually. Although they had all attended a solidarity demonstration with Elijah Smith outside Bristol Prison that morning they were careful not to talk to each other, make eye contact or be in close proximity.

This past weekend the police have arrested and returned to jail 3 of the EDO Decommissioners, merely for attending an anti-arms trade demonstration in Manchester http://www.targetbrimar.org.uk/?page_id=117

The war making state continues to turn the screws on these non-violent activists. All they have is there spirit and integrity expressed in the decommissioning in response to the suffering of Gaza AND whatever solidarity we can muster.

-Palestinian solidarity, anti-war and anti-arms trade movements need to embrace these defendants and the forthcoming trial to tackle the roots in our first world midst of the suffering visited on Gaza.

-Check out the Decommissioners website and familiarise yourself with the case http://decommissioners.co.uk/

-Send a solidarity letter or postcard to the imprisoned Elijah Smith or the other 8 defendants. Letters will be redirected from this address c/- PO Box 6, Booty, 82 Colston Street, Bristol. BS1 5BB ENGLAND

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