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Activists Blockade NATO Conference

Anti-militarist activists today blockaded a NATO conference at a stately home in the Sussex countryside. Meanwhile, banners were hung off road bridges close to the venue to greet delegates as they arrived at Wiston House in Steyning.

Protesters succeeded in blocking the front entrance for more than an hour, leading to chaotic scenes on the A283, as cars queued to get into the estate.

Anti-NATO banners are hung from road bridges around Wiston House

Second banner near the NATO meeting in Steyning

Blockading the entrance to Wiston house

Cars prevented from entering NATO conference

Delegate's car blocked from reaching the NATO conference in Steyning

An event official told protesters: “If you stop the event from happening, delegates won’t be here to see you protesting so you won’t get your message across to them!!”

Activists also picketed the rear entrance, with police being forced to escort cars into the conference. One protester was arrested and roughly handcuffed by three large policemen for reasons which are unclear.

Leaflets were also handed out to locals in Steyning town centre, where the campaigners were followed by intelligence gathering police.

Official-looking person wondering how he will get into the conference

Picketing the back entrance with Wiston House in the background. Sussex countryside is so beautiful but can only be enjoyed by the bourgeois few

NATO is holding a “Post 2014 Strategic Narrative Conference” from Monday 17th to Wednesday 19th March. Its aim is to set the agenda and content for the 2014 NATO Summit, in Newport, Wales, in September.

Chloe Marsh of anti-arms trade campaign Smash EDO said: “Senior NATO and member state officials, parliamentarians, and defence and security experts – responsible for untold death, illegal torture flights, and wars purely to protect Western interests – are gathering right now in Steyning. We are here to oppose them.”

NATO’s “strategic narrative” is essentially the lies with which it aims to hoodwink the public and justify its next imperialistic invasion. The conference’s official website even admits that it is planning “the elements of a proactive communications strategy to convey NATO’s post 2014 strategic narrative and validation of the utility of military force to member state politicians and publics.”

Michelle Tester of Smash EDO said: “some of us have visited regions that have been targeted by NATO. We have seen buildings devastated by bombings and we have met local people who have lost friends and family. We oppose the demonisation by western governments and the media of people from countries that are the victims of NATO’s invasions.”

Activist group Stop NATO Cymru, part of the Anarchist Action Network will be mobilising against the NATO summit in Newport in September. See their website for the call-out.

Upcoming events

First of all, a big thank you to everyone who has donated money to the campaign. We are so grateful for your generosity and support.

Here’s a few upcoming events:

FLY KITES NOT DRONES! 2PM, SUNDAY 23RD MARCH ON THE LEVEL (wind permitting!):

A drones awareness-raising event where we will fly kites, give out cakes and
give info about:
- EDO’s complicity in marketing drone technology
- The changing and horrifying tactics of war (constant drone presence in the
sky in places like Gaza, and drone attacks on people in countries like Yemen)
- How you can get involved with campaigning against drones.

MIDDLEMAN PRESENTS: SPIT SHAKE SISTERS and BEATNIK HORRORS - SMASH EDO
FUNDRAISER! SATURDAY 5TH APRIL, 7.30PM AT THE COWLEY CLUB:

you are cordially invited to middleman’s VERY FIRST EVENT! here to raise money
for smashEDO to help them pay off court fines for their amazing efforts to
STOP ARMS MANUFACTURING. if you believe in the stop war efforts this will be a
brilliant way to show support while enjoying a night of brilliant and loud
rock music from the SPIT SHAKE SISTERS and BEATNIK HORRORS!!
all we ask is a three pound donation on the door!

MOBILISATION AGAINST THE NATO SUMMIT IN WALES: SEPTEMBER 2014:

This year NATO will have their next summit at Celtic Manor Resort, in Newport,
south Wales. In early September 2014, “world leaders” – all directly
responsible for untold death, illegal torture flights, and wars fought purely
to protect Western business interests and resource supply routes – will gather
on the edge of this historic Welsh city.
See the call-out by Stop NATO Cymru:
https://network23.org/stopg8/call-to-action-from-stop-nato-cymru/

SMASH EDO OPEN MEETING: 6.30pm, Weds 12th February 2014

SMASH EDO OPEN MEETING: 6.30pm, Weds 12th February:

EDO MBM can be found on Home Farm Rd in Brighton. Their products include bomb racks and arming units and they jointly developed the Paveway missile with Raytheon. EDO is also a ‘List X’ site certified to carry out secret research and development work on new weapons systems.

We can shut them down but we need your help! Come to the meeting to find out how you can get involved!

A CALL-OUT FOR DONATIONS!!!

Smash EDO are urgently in need of money to pay for activists’ court fines. One person was fined over £1,000 for getting arrested for ringing a cowbell on a music demonstration last year. Two others locked and glued themselves to the gates of EDO on the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq in March last year. They each received fines of over £500.

We would really appreciate any donation, even if it is just a couple of pounds. Anything would help, as the activists found guilty do not have much money to pay these court fines.

Please make donations to:

Sussex ESF, Sort code 309528, account number 04127007 (Lloyds BANK).

Please email us and inform us you have made a donation.

Alternatively you can send a cheque (payable to Sussex ESF) to Smash EDO, C/O Unemployed Centre, 6 Tilbury Place, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 0GY.

Thank you for all your support over the years!
Smash EDO.

Resist the drone wars – Public meeting and discussion – Wednesday Jan 29th, 7pm, Cowley Club, Brighton

Yosra Al Showa - Killed in an Israeli drone strike on her home onNovember 20 2012

Yosra Al Showa - Killed in an Israeli drone strike on her home on November 20 2012

 

“If they just knew for a second what a weapon can do, what it costs us I think they would stop. I think they have no souls, when they look at the TV and see the news did they see the people killed by these drones, how did they feel? If they just came here for one night and heard the bombing and the planes and the drones – I don’t know what they would feel – I think they should come here and live our experience in war and they would understand”

 

Ridda Abu Znaid, who watched as her sister and cousin were killed by an Israeli drone strike in the Gaza strip in 2009 speaking about the companies who manufacture drones

Resist the drone wars – Public meeting and discussion, 7pm Wednesday 29th January 2014, The Cowley Club, 12 London Road, Brighton, ALL WELCOME

Corporate Watch have recently visited Gaza to research Israeli drone attacks. Drones were the weapon that caused the most deaths during the Israeli attack on Gaza in 2012. But the Israeli drone industry is profitable as well as deadly. Israeli arms companies, profiting from their experience gained by committing war crimes against the people of Gaza, have sold drone technology to 49 countries around the world. Israeli company Elbit are working with the UK government to develop a British drone. Come and hear the stories of those at the receiving end of drone technology and find out how you can join the campaign to make sure Elbit don’t profit any further from the bloodshed they have caused in Gaza.

To read more about Israel’s drones click here.

Smash EDO will speak about the campaign to close down EDO MBM, the Brighton arms factory. EDO is owned by ITT Exelis which markets equipment used on UK and US drones.

Download a PDF of the flyer for the event here

Halloween – The Day Of The Dead…

Every year the victims of the arms trade rise from the grave and haunt the Brighton arms factory. This year they were joined by grim reapers, Satan and Abu Ghraib torture prisoners…

On Halloween, the day to remember the dead, we reminded EDO of those who are killed by components made on our doorstep. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Palestine, Pakistan and Yemen, people have lost family members, friends, people they love, because of imperialist aims at grabbing resources and power, and because of arms companies whose interests lie in more invasions, more death, more destruction, more heartbreak.

As EDO workers left the building, they were met with chants of “blood on your hands, shame on you”.

Every bomb that is dropped, every bullet that is fired in the name of this war of terror, has to be made somewhere. And wherever that is, it can be resisted.