On Trial

Putting the arms fair on trial

The 2013 DSEi arms fair was challenged and impeded with daily direct action. Hundreds of people took part, and thirty faced arrest when they placed their bodies in the way of the arms fair’s deadly business. Some have already been cautioned, or issued with fines. Others have pleaded not guilty – and plan to put the arms fair on trial!

This week a group of those arrested at the DSEI arms fair have begun private prosecution proceedings against arms companies who exhibited at DSEI 2013. French company Magforce International and Chinese company Tianjin MyWay International Trading will be summonsed to appear at Thames Magistrates Court to answer information about alleged crimes including the unlawful promotion for sale of leg irons, electric stun batons and electric stun guns. Find out more here.

Send the protesters a message of support.

Court case update:
The activists due to stand trial on 26 February have had the case against them dropped! Read their statement here.
This follows a not guilty verdict at the trial of the Christian activists who blocked access to the fair on its opening morning.

Arms Trade on trial!  Supporting Occupy vs the Arms Fair protesters in court
Arms Trade on trial!

Support the defendants

Find latest details of forthcoming court dates on Facebook

The five Christians whose action blocked the Custom House entrance to the arms fair on 10th September have been found not guilty of aggravated trespass.

It was the video evidence supplied by the police for purposes of prosecution which helped the five win the case, ironically. They had not received clear instructions as to what to do when they left the Excel ground, it was decided. You can read more about the outcome of the trial here.

Six protesters arrested at the Occupy vs the arms fair protests on 8 September and tried at Stratford Magistrates’ Court have had all the charges dropped against them, whilst Sylvia Boyes, 71, has been charged with obstructing the highway, but spoke powerfully in court about her reasons behind her actions.

Watch a video interview with a protester; read the defendants’ statement and read the open letter from groups in Palestine in solidarity with the activists. See the public letter in their support signed by individuals including Caroline Lucas MP, Michael Mansfield QC and Mark Thomas, and over 30 civil society organisations, published in the Guardian on 1 November 2013.

One protester has pleaded guilty -  “Guilty of acting in solidarity with those struggling against oppression and facing brutal repression for doing so in Bahrain, Turkey and other countries.”   The magistrate said she spoke “with dignity and passion” and gave her a a conditional discharge and order to pay total costs of £100.


Messages of support for the protesters on trial

Add your message of support here!

Check out the photos and videos of the activists’ impressive actions too!