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Archive for April, 2012

EPISODE FIVE: A THREAT TO THE GOVERNMENT, THANK GOD. 

In this episode we hear Helen talk openly about her previous direct actions; including one which resulted with her being issued with a lifetime ban from the City of London… but the question is does she adhere to it?

CREDITS

 Photographs supplied by Helen John

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EPISODE FOUR: FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL PROTECTION

Sylvia and I take a walk around the perimeter of Menwith Hill and find ourselves accused of forming an unlicensed procession!  Coinciding with a small organised CND demonstration at the entrance to the base, our walk took the police’s interest as being potential ‘splinter group’ activity.  This episode serves as an example to the everyday erosion of basic civil liberties which peace campaigners, in particular, find themselves regularly challenging.

FURTHER RESOURCES

Watch Episode 3  in the Opening Trilogy to find out more about Menwith Hill.

Or alternatively visit the RAF website, CND or Russia Today. 

For a touch of humour see The Mark Thomas Comedy Product about Menwith Hill.

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Three episodes about the grandmothers, their ‘serious organised crime’ and the Spy Base they trespassed into.  A starter pack if you will before the series gets under way.

EPISODE ONE: “NUTS IN A FUNNY WAY”

Helen John and Sylvia Boyes are as similar as they are different.  This episode looks at the women behind the campaign: their family’s reaction and their reasons for protest with a little military drive by thrown in…

FURTHER RESOURCES

For further information about Fylingdales please visit CND or the RAF website.

Find out why Helen and Sylvia were concerned about an attack on Iran

EPISODE TWO: “A TERRORIST BUT NOT A VIOLENT TERRORIST”

On 6th April 2006, former Greenham Common protesters, Helen and Sylvia walked over a yellow line at U.S Spy Base, Menwith Hill.  The yellow line represented the boundary of a designated site under The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, one which, if crossed, was punishable by up to 51 weeks in prison and/or a £5,000 fine.  Helen and Sylvia believe that section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, which is part of the Terrorism Act, adds a layer of protection to American war fighting and is a backward step for civil liberties.  Their act of protest made front page of the Independent, sparked a trial for terrorism and caught the eye of a filmmaker who decided to tell their story.

FURTHER RESOURCES

Read the article in The Independent

Read a statement from Liberty highlighting their concerns of Government legislation that works to stifle protest on the news page. 

EPISODE THREE: OUTSIDE THE PERIMETER FENCES

This episode examines the US Spy Base, Menwith Hill, in Yorkshire.  Hearing from David Cameron (when he was speaking as leader of the opposition) CND and Helen and Sylvia, this episode asks the question whether national security is ever worth compromising our civil liberties for.

CREDITS

Footage used from David Cameron’s Web Cameron courtesy of The Conservative Party.

FURTHER RESOURCES

For further information about Menwith Hill visit CND or the RAF website.

To find out about the latest demonstration against the base see Russia Today. 

To see The Mark Thomas Comedy Product about Menwith Hill please click here

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Peace Campaigners Helen and Sylvia grew up during the Cold War; they have 10 grandchildren, have been arrested countless times, been imprisoned at Holloway, and were the first people to be charged, under new Anti-terror legislation, for invading a U.S military base to free Britain of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Credits

‘United States’ used with permission from Seize the day

Disarming Grandmothers is a 31 part web series which follows their lives through their trial for terrorism: revealing their relationship with the authorities and the press to their quirky direct actions in the dead of night!  Spanning almost 6 years in production, this series provides a unique insight into the modern day peace movement through the eyes of two extraordinary women.

New episodes will be released weekly in this blog or click here for the latest news about Disarming Grandmothers.

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