Sunday, 27 June 2010

The Decommissioners

Some good friends of mine are currently on trial in Brighton. One night in January last year they entered the premises of EDO-MBM, an arms manufacturer, and smashed the place to smithereens. There were no employees around at the time - there was no intimidation or violence, just the destruction of property.

The backdrop to that night's events was Israel's murderous assault on the residents of Gaza. That assault had been underway for some days when my friends entered the factory; they, along with millions of decent human beings around the world, were appalled at what was going on. They knew that the company EDO-MBM - who owned the factory - supplied Israel with components for their weaponry. With world leaders squirming away from taking material action against Israel's barbarism, my friends stepped into the breech. They acted as best they could to prevent further blood shed.

My friends are heroes, and my earnest hope is that they will be acquitted. You can follow how the trial is going here.

(As an aside: it is nearly eighteen months since my friends took action to save lives. All of them have suffered serious disruption to their lives through court-ordered curfews, court appearances, police raids etc. One, however, has suffered more than all the others: Elijah James Smith has been in jail on remand since the night of the action. His treatment is a disgrace, and a shocking indictment of the British justice system. Although I fervently hope for a "not guilty" finding, it's terrible to think of the privations that Elijah has endured. No verdict can give him back the last year and a half.)

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