BAE occupiers court result.
Direct action 1 Corporate scumbags 0
Activists sentenced for BAE office occupation.
Two of the five activists facing charges for occupying the offices of BAE systems back in april were in court today for sentencing. After many a chortle at various gems in the prosecution's evidence against us it was time to face the music. Tim Rose from Douglas and partners put forward a nifty bit of litigation with plenty of thumbs up for civil disobedience. The two defendants eventually got to speak up for themselves and give the verdict on BAE's wrongdoings. This is the statement they read out in court:
"'The greatest evil is not done in those ‘sordid dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint. It is not even done in concentration camps and labour camps. In thee we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered, moved, seconded, carried and minuted in clean, carpeted, warmed and well lit offices, by quiet men with white collars, cut fingernails and smooth shaven cheeks, who do not need to raise their voices.' "
( CS LEWIS, 1961.)
And there was more where that came from...
"We are pleading guilty today because in the eyes of the law we are guilty of these offences. But in truth we feel no guilt whatsoever for out actions which we believe to be justified.
BAE profit from arming dictators and despots perpetrating death and destruction on a global scale.
To us this corrupt company represents a ruthless, murderous system intent on profit at all costs.
BAE are the real criminals in this case, fanning the flames of conflict and war with the full backing of the law and total impunity.
What is legal and what is right are not always the same. Laws change with political agendas and business interests.
The peaceful protest we took part in on 26 April would not have been illegal just a few years ago.
In recent years we have seen an onslaught of laws eroding rights to peaceful protest and criminalising dissent.
Taking direct action means taking responsibility for creating a better world. For this to happen we need more people to think for themselves about what is right and to act accordingly, rather than being bound by the law."
The magi then shuffled off to have a ponder, returning 5 minutes later with some punishment...
Conditional discharge x 2!!! £60 court costs.
Total result!!! If that's not a green light for more direct action to disrupt death dealing companies I don't know what is. The defendants were expecting hefty fines and possibly community service so were well chuffed. They did however manage to refrain from an all horns blaring victory drive through the BAE site at Filton, but only just.
But it's not over yet... The remaining three activists have decided to fight the case and put BAE in the dock some more. The trial date is set for 29th October, 10am at Yate magistrates court and is expected to last two days. Support will be appreciated as will more direct action against BAE and the arms industry. Put a spanner in the works of the war machine!