Spring Quarterly 2018
In spite of nine guilty verdicts at Stratford Magistrates Court in Scotland, there was commendation from judges for protesters who blocked entrances to London’s ExCel Centre last Sept. 6, disrupting the delivery of military gear to the world’s largest arms bazaar, the Defense and Security Equipment International “Arms Fair.” Protesters were charged with obstructing the highway during “No To Nuclear Day” which turned a spotlight on the participation of nuclear weapons builders BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, Babcock International, Thales, and Lockheed Martin. Coordinated by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, protesters blocked both entrances to the ExCel site causing considerable disruption to Fair preparations. Nine protesters were fined less than £200, and the district judge commended them for their passion and for acting out of concern for the public interest.
Angie Zelter, one of the defendants, said, “both judges have shown sympathy …. Perhaps they too recognize that the real criminals are those who make a squalid profit out of conflict and preparations for nuclear war. I feel our protest and today’s court appearance have been very effective is raising public awareness and concern about the blatant trade in the tools of death. We must never fall into the trap of thinking that peaceful direct action is a waste of time.”
—Trident Ploughshares, Jan. 12, 2018