Posts Tagged ‘Joan Meredith’

EPISODE TWENTY FOUR: “Headbangers against the state”

Fellow peace protesters, Joan and Joy, join Helen for an evening down memory lane as they remember protests past.  However, with the resumed trial just around the corner it isn’t long before thoughts turn to the consequences of that infamous April Fools Day and the terrorism charge that is now more real than ever.


Find out more about Joan’s life of protest on her blog.

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Helen believes passionately in the power of the press to generate publicity, whilst Sylvia typically prefers to fly under the radar.  But being a Yorkshire grandmother on trial for terrorism has a tendency to attract media interest and with the women needing to raise awareness of the issues at stake, they jointly become press gurus as they involve national and local journalists in their story.


Please note, for rights purposes, this episode is only permitted to be distributed on www.disarminggrandmothers.com and youtube.

Read ‘Helen and Sylvia, the new face of terrorism’ in The Independent.

Find out more about the work of Yorkshire CND.


With special thanks to


Telegraph and Argus

The Times

The Yorkshire Post

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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 www.telegraphandargus.co.uk

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Helen and Sylvia, along with friends Joan and Joy, take part in a demonstration in Bradford to show their opposition to the replacement of Trident.  Later that evening plans to spend £20bn building a new fleet of submarines to carry Trident nuclear missiles was approved.  This episode shows the women’s heartfelt views on nuclear weapons and how this belief is shared by a younger generation of peace campaigners.


The UK is just 1 of 9 nuclear weapon countries, to find out more about the issues at stake visit Greenpeace and Yorkshire CND.

Find out more about the vote in the House of Commons to upgrade Trident.

The UK Government is a state party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which works towards nuclear disarmament – read the treaty.


“United States” used with permission from Seize The Day.

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