Thursday, June 14, 2012

Episode 12 in the Disarming Grandmothers of the UK Documentary Series: "A Credit To The Community"

14 june 2012

“Peace Activists on trial for Terrorism”

Almost a year since their arrest, Helen and Sylvia’s trial for terrorism begins.  The consequences of a conviction could result in 51 weeks in prison and/or a £5,000 fine, however, it seems when facing potential incarceration there is always time for a little light relief first!

Their defence argument centres on the legitimacy of choosing the sites which are to be designated under Section 128 of The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA).  By designating sites of nuclear and/or military interest under the act – sites which are likely to attract anti-nuclear, anti-war and environmental campaigners, they argue that freedom of speech and the right of protest is being severely threatened.

In relation to the designation of U.S Spy Base Menwith Hill under the act, they raise the question of whether a British law can and should be used to protect American interests.  With the Judge taking an interest in the designation of sites under SOCPA and how these decisions arise, it seems that these two grandmothers from Yorkshire may be onto something; the question is, are they up to it?


Have a look at press coverage from their trial: from The Telegraph and Argus and BBC Look North – Day 1 & Day 2.

For a greater understanding of their initial act of protest which led to the charge, watch “A terrorist but not a violent terrorist” in the opening trilogy.

To find out what has happened in court previously, please watch “We don’t seem to understand it”.

Read Liberty’s statement on the importance of protest on the news page.


“Peace Protest Grans on Trial” and “Judge Warns US Spy Base Grans” reproduced courtesy of the Telegraph & Argus, Bradford

And what is wrong with expressing ones' right to free speech and peaceful assembly?

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