Peaceful protest in the UK

Rooftop protest against arms dealers
Press Release, Smash EDO , 2 September 2006

23 August 2006 – Protesters are currently occupying the roof of an arms manufacturer who supply weapons to the Israeli army used in the bombing of Gaza and Lebanon.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning (today) protesters climbed 40 feet onto the roof of EDO MBM on Home Farm Road, Brighton. Activists aim to draw attention to the production of weaponry used in war crimes.

Sarah Johnson, press spokeswoman for Smash EDO, said ‘Over a thousand civilians have died as a result of Israel’s bombing of Lebanon. Israel continues to kill civilians in the West Bank and Gaza with weaponry armed with components made in Brighton. EDO MBM are profiting from murder, we will not tolerate their presence in Brighton.’

This is the fourth large protest at EDO MBM since the beginning of the war in Lebanon. Shortly after the war started activists blockaded the factory by chaining themselves to barrels of cement, soon afterwards local artists brought impressions of the horrors of war to the factory gates and a held ‘day of rage’ was held outside the factory.

Andrew Beckett, press spokesman for the campaign said ‘EDO produces components for the Hellfire missile, it was a Hellfire that was used to destroy the ambulance leaving Qana, on 23rd July this year. The directors of EDO are complicit in murder’

Smash EDO demonstrate every Wednesday at EDO MBM, Home Farm Road.

EDO MBM Technologies Ltd are the sole subsidiary of huge U.S arms conglomerate EDO Corp. They supply crucial components for Raytheon’s Paveway guided bomb system, widely used in the “Shock and Awe” campaign in Iraq.

EDO MBM makes electrical weapons components for the Israeli military. EDO MBM manufactures components to be incorporated into the Hellfire missile, which the Israeli army has recently used to attack the civilian population of Gaza . They have organised conferences on the development of UCAVs, unmanned aircraft which are widely used in aerial attacks on Gaza . EDO Corporation, of which EDO MBM Brighton is a wholly owned trading unit, has a direct contract with the Israeli Navy who murdered 10 civilians on a beach near Beit Lahiya, Gaza, earlier this month.

People involved in the anti-EDO campaign include, but are not limited to: local residents, the Brighton Quakers, peace activists, anti-capitalists, Palestine Solidarity groups, human rights groups, trade unionists, academics and students.

The campaign started in August 2004 with a peace camp. Its avowed aim is to expose EDO MBM and their complicity in war crimes and to remove them from Brighton.

Smash EDO is a grassroots campaign in Brighton made up of antiwar activists.

Ban Israel from Biennale, British architects urge

Posted by peoplesgeography on September 6th, 2006

By Assaf Uni | Ha’aretz | Last update – 01:46 06/09/2006

LONDON – A British architects’ association is calling on the 10th International Architecture Biennale in Venice to consider keeping an Israeli pavilion from participating in this year’s exhibition, which opens Sunday.“We request that the Biennale Committee consider withdrawing the Israeli entry as being provocative and counterproductive to the aims of this Biennale, and particularly distasteful in the context of the aftermath of an ugly, unnecessary war and wanton destruction of neighboring Lebanon, and a continuing one-sided war in Gaza,” the group Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine wrote in a petition to exhibition organizers.

<!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> <!–[endif]–>The British organization also requested a contribution from the Palestinians, saying: “Whatever you do about the Israeli participation, we would like the organizers to consider asking for a Palestinian contribution, highlighting the historic and ongoing displacement of the Palestinian people.”
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Society of Architects has sent a similar letter to Biennale organizers, asking for the cancellation of the Israeli display. One of the reasons the group cites is that Israeli architects are “fully engaged” in a “system of oppression and control.”As of press time, Biennale officials had not responded to the call to keep the Israelis out. The architecture exhibition – part of the Venice Biennale, which also includes other art forms – is the leading event in the architecture world, and lasts until November 19.

The British group argues that the Israeli display serves propaganda purposes, and ignores the Palestinians’ role as the primary victim of the conflict with Israel. The exhibit, called “Life Saver: Typology of Commemoration in Israel,” focuses on the phenomenon of memorialization in Israel, and depicts 15 structures established in the memory of those who died in Israeli wars and the Holocaust.

Israeli architect Tula Amir, who curated the project, writes: “Justification of Israel’s wars provides legitimization of the blood that has been spilled and is liable to be spilled in the future.”

Jewish-British architect Abe Hayeem, who is behind the petition, uses Amir’s words to explain why the exhibit should be withdrawn: It essentially justifies Israel’s wars instead of criticizing them, he said. Amir, however, said the issue was addressed in the description accompanying the exhibit.

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