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Archive for the ‘Trial for Terrorism’ Category

EPISODE TWENTY: “PROTECT THE ILLEGAL LAW BREAKING”

The prosecution decline the judge’s informal request to provide information about Menwith Hill and details about the designation of sites under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act.  With the burden of proof falling heavy on Helen and Sylvia, it is up to these two Yorkshire grandmothers to find expert witnesses to speak on their behalf.  With the prosecution and defence failing to reach deadlines, the women begin to question whether their trial for terrorism will ever be over and if their evidence will be allowed to be heard.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Find out more about Menwith Hill by watching episode 3 in the Opening Trilogy

Find out what happened last time Helen and Sylvia were in court – watch episode 16

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EPISODE SIXTEEN: INFAMY AT LAST

Helen and Sylvia’s trial has been adjourned and a hearing takes place to decide what elements of their defence are legitimate to be used in their trial.  But the women and the press appear misled, as the difference between a formal direction and an informal request, means that perhaps nothing, after all, has been decided.  381 days after their arrest it seems the women are no closer to bringing the real issues into a British Court.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Read intial news reports:

BBC

Telegraph and Argus

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EPISODE TWELVE: A CREDIT TO THE COMMUNITY

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?

FURTHER INFORMATION

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.

CREDITS

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

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EPISODE SEVEN: WE DON’T SEEM TO UNDERSTAND IT

After being charged under section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act for trespassing into US Spy Base, Menwith Hill, Helen and Sylvia take their first steps into court.  This episode condenses their first few court appearances and shows the baffling nature of the British legal system, especially when encountered by two elderly grandmothers.  But the question is: wouldn’t you be confused too?

FURTHER INFORMATION

To find out more about the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, Menwith Hill and Helen and Sylvia’s act of protest which led to the charge, watch episode 2 & 3 in the Opening Trilogy

Find out what Liberty had to say about the importance of protest on the news page.

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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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