Not Guilty – “Resisting War Crimes Is Not A Crime” – Its Official
On the 30th of June and the 2 July 2010 the defendants in the edo decommissioners case were found Not Guilty. Five by unanimous verdicts of the Jury and two later by direction of the judge. The group, admitted they broke into the plant and sabotaged equipment, causing damage estimated at about £200,000.
But during their four – week trial at Hove Crown Court the activists said they were legally justified in breaking into the factory because they believe EDO/ITT are breaking export rules by selling military equipment to Israel, which they believed would be used to commit war crimes in the occupied territories of Palestine.
A decommissioners said “We made our case very clear and 12 normal people from Sussex heard that case and agreed unanimously that we’d done nothing wrong. We did around £200,000 of damage and we’ve never denied that. We did what we believed was necessary and the jury agreed.”
Caroline Lucas said: ‘I am absolutely delighted that the jury has recognised that the actions of the decommissioners were a legitimate response to the atrocities being committed in Gaza. I do not advocate non violent direct action lightly; however in this situation it is clear that the decommissioners had exhausted all democratic avenues and, crucially, that their actions were driven by the responsibility to prevent further suffering in Gaza.’
Noam Chomsky said ‘I would like to express my respect and admiration for those who are undertaking non-violent resistance to oppose British participation in Israel’s cruel crimes in Gaza.’
The trial followed just a few days after 9 people who attempted to decommission Raytheon in Derry during Israel’s 2009 assault on Gaza were also acquitted by a jury.