TP Tamarians
"shock troops of the sane, in the war against insanity"

Nov
15

It only takes a few minutes to write a quick message and take a photo of yourself.  What would your message say?

Jun
19
Devonport Blockade trial, June 9/10 2011. Theo’s report
On 9 June 2011, five defendants were due to appear in front of the Magistrates Court in Plymouth, seven months after arrests at the Devonport dockyard blockade, 1st November, 2010. Three of the cases were dismissed, and the following day the remaining 2 were found not guilty. The 3 whose cases were dismissed had originally been charged with “obstructing a constable in the execution of his duty, Contrary to 899(2) Police Act 1996”. They had been lying across the road with others in lock-ons at the Camels Head Gate. This gate leads to Dock 9, where the Trident fleet is serviced. On the day, 1 defendant decided not to come. Brian Larkin and Janet Fenton travelled down from Scotland armed with hefty written authorities and well-researched case documents, ready to represent themselves.


At this point the prosecutor finally presented a written outline of the prosecution’s skeleton argument, (which defendants had never been shown before that day). and at the same time attempted to change the original charge to Obstruction of the Highway. With this, CPS produced their main reference which was the case Stephen Birch v The DPP, 1999. Defendants were given 30 minutes to read it and respond. The gist of this particular case ruling in 1999 was that we could not use the argument that we were obstructing the Highway to prevent a crime. It meant that CPS could stop us using any defence relating to the illegality of Trident. When the judge came back after the half hour break, he said he had just realised that since Obstruction Of Highway was a summary offence, the charge should have been made within 6 months and the cases were therefore dismissed.


He then turned to Theo Simon and David Jesse’s case. We were charged with failing to comply with a condition imposed by a senior police officer under section 14 of the Public Order act 1986, namely to move off the road and/or behind the safety barriers CONTRARY TO SECTION 14 (5) AND (9) OF THE PUBLIC ORDER ACT. We had been arrested after attempting to lock-on with a D-lock under a police van parked in the Dock entrance.


CPS began by objecting to us calling our special witness Professor Nick Grief, again citing the case of Birch V DPP as relevant. Theo attempted unsuccessfully to defend his need for the witness. The judge took the CPS view and also implied that all questions of Trident’s illegality were excluded from discussion. The case was about whether Inspector Bickley’s direction to protesters to move behind the barriers was a lawful condition to impose on the assembly by the terms of Section 14 POA.


Theo Simon was defending himself and David Jesse had a brief appointed by local solicitor David Teague. They worked well together, cross-examining the bronze commander Mr Bickley and the Public Order Tactical Advisor PC Nathan Johnson. It became clear that neither the inspector or his advisor had a clear idea of what specific “serious disruption to the life of the community” was being caused by the blockade, beyond some rush-hour tailbacks. They produced no evidence whatsoever regarding traffic-flows, complaints from the public, incidents occurring, or directives from silver command. PC Johnson at one point claimed that it was “unpeaceful” for people to lie down, and THAT was the serious disorder. Inspector Bickley could not say when he had looked at the traffic congestion and assessed how serious it was as “I wasn’t paying singular attention to the traffic as my attention was on other matters at the time” and “I wasn’t really watching the traffic at that time”. The only evidence was the police video which showed traffic backing up at traffic lights. The judge was not impressed.


This police video also showed Insp. Bickley’s briefing at 5 am. In the briefing he explained the traffic control measures which would operate if there were lock-ons blocking the gate. He also said that once lock-ons were removed he would impose the condition. This meant that he had already decided to use Section 14 to clear the gate at 5 am, before he had witnessed any actual serious disruption. It also meant that the traffic situation was probably under control, and Theo produced a copy of MOD advice issued the day before, which had prepared Dockyard workers in advance for delays.


There was very little chance to cross-examine how the police responded to our reporting of a war-crime in Dock 9, as the judge did not want to hear it. He did allow Theo to spell out the case against Trident in his own defence, as this was relevant to his state of mind at the time. Both David’s brief and Theo summarised their case that there was no serious disruption to the life of the community within the terms of the act, and Theo referred repeatedly to The Government Reply to the Seventh Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights, 2009. This states among other things that “inconvenience or simple disruption are not sufficient grounds to restrict protests”.


The judge agreed in his judgement that the issuing of a condition under Section 14 had been disproportionate and it was therefore unlawful, so we were free and could claim our costs back. There was fantastic turnout of support and a van-load of cops “just in case”, (in case we became “unpeaceful”?). The Evening Herald have run a good report on the whole proceedings.


The outcome of David and Theo’s case is interesting because it has helped to clarify things a bit more around Section 14 and possible defences. The whole business of how the arrests at Devonport Dockyard have been – or have not been – prosecuted gives some clues to how both the police, the MOD and the crown are operating. At the administrative level there is undoubtedly everyday inefficiency and workload pressure in the CPS which leads to mismanagement of cases, but this conceals in my opinion a conscious manoeuvring that goes on at some level to avoid the legality of Trident becoming an issue in the court. Blockaders might prepare accordingly, and we should assume that the police are also learning as they go along.


Stephen Birch v The DPP, 1999.

http://tyneside.metapath.org/legalsupport/caselaw87.html


Evening Herald, Saturday June 11, 2011

http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/N-protesters-cleared-defying-police/story-12753398-detail/story.html


The Government Reply to the Seventh Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights, 2009

http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm76/7633/7633.pdf

 

Nov
03

More pictures courtesy of Dan Viesnik, who walked all the way from London to attend this action.  Thanks Dan.

Nov
03

ITV West Country News – http://www.itv.com/westcountry-west/protesters-at-devonport13158/

Navy Net (some agree with us!) – http://www.navy-net.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic/t=28347/postdays=0/postorder=asc/start=0.html

Photos from Swiss contingent – http://fotos.lilith2.net/main.php?g2_itemId=5557

Report from London solidarity action –  http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/11/467273.html

Main Indymedia article – http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/10/467165.html?c=on#c258845

Radio Plymouth – http://www.radioplymouth.com/p/news/local/arrests-made-at-plymouth-dockyard-following-morning-protests

People’s Republic of South Devon – http://www.peoplesrepublicofsouthdevon.co.uk/2010/11/01/12-arrested-as-anti-trident-protest-continues/#comments

Wrexham solidarity action –  http://bristol.indymedia.org/article/697333

First hand account –  http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/11/467237.html

Tamarians blog (photos) – https://plymouthtamarians.wordpress.com/

BBC Devon on arrests – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-11675752

Mid Devon Star Report – http://www.middevonstar.co.uk/news/8491107.Devonport_anti_nuclear_protesters_charged/

BBC and “minor scuffles” report – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-11663840

Daily Mirror – http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/11/02/nuclear-weapon-demonstrators-held-after-superglueing-hands-together-115875-22683531/

Press TV – http://www.presstv.ir/detail/149393.html

Morning Star (with mistakes) – http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/97122

Plymouth Herald – http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/news/Anti-nuclear-protesters-blockade-naval-base/article-2820135-detail/article.html

PRSD – http://www.peoplesrepublicofsouthdevon.co.uk/2010/10/31/trident-protestors-arrive-in-plymouth/

Devonport People  – http://www.devonportpeople.co.uk/news/Trident-protest-plans-naval-base-blockade/story-10132291-detail/story.html

Green Feed – http://www.greenfeed.org.uk/feeds/?p=88743

CND Cymru – http://www.cndcymru.org/plymouth-trident-ploushares-demonstration-at-charles-cross-police-station

Manchester Wired – http://www.manchesterwired.co.uk/news.php/104277-Charges-over-anti-nuclear-protest-in-Plymouth   (article also in Birmingham Wired, Liverpool, Glasgow, Bristol and several other regional papers)

Green Reading – http://greenreading.blogspot.com/2010/11/devonport-blockade-13-arrested.html

Glue Text – http://www-a.gluetext.com/content/a/Anti-nuclear/Anti-nuclear_protest_at_dockyard.html

Some folk slagging us off – http://www.volkszone.com/VZi/showthread.php?s=515b32c106fcba00b3817b8b4b2da264&t=674960

Rocket News – http://www.rocketnews.com/2010/11/anti-nuclear-protest-at-dockyard/

Nov
03

These pictures are courtesy of our comrades from Switzerland.

Pictures from – http://fotos.lilith2.net/main.php?g2_itemId=5557

Nov
03

The Tamarians wish to extend heart-felt thanks to all who came and/or supported the blockade on Monday.  It was a great success.  Next time will be even better😉

Pictures courtesy of Chris Gwyntopher.

Nov
01

Nov
01

Devonport 'The Big Blockade'

Nov
01

Devonport 'The Big Blockade' 6b

Nov
01

Devonport 'The Big Blockade' 5b

Nov
01

Devonport 'The Big Blockade' 4b

Nov
01

Devonport 'The Big Blockade' 3b

Nov
01

Devonport 'The Big Blockade' 2b

Nov
01

Devonport 'The Big Blockade' 1b

Nov
01

Devonport 'The Big Blockade'

Nov
01

Devonport 'The Big Blockade' 6

Nov
01

Devonport 'The Big Blockade' 5

Nov
01

Devonport 'The Big Blockade' 4

Nov
01

Nov
01

Devonport 'The Big Blockade 2010' 2

Nov
01

DEvonport 'The Big Blockade' 2010

Oct
30

TRIDENT PLOUGHSHARES

 PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release

 PLYMOUTH DESERVES BETTER – TRIDENT IS CANCER, CUT IT OUT.

Anti-nuclear campaigners from as far as Switzerland have been arriving in Plymouth this weekend for the non-violent and peaceful blockade of Devonport Dockyard planned for 6am on the 1st of November 2010, called by the Plymouth-based Trident Ploughshares group, The Tamarians.

Including Trident Ploughshares, those expected to be participating are CND, the Green Party and other environmentalists, religious groups, secularists, and trade unionists.  One person has walked from London to Plymouth in order to attend.   These are the people once described by the late Kurt Vonnegut as “shock troops of the sane in the war against insanity”.

Tamarians member John Robb described them as “working and educated citizens united against a useless and dumb waste of money.”

 The campaigners would like to stress to the beleaguered people of Plymouth that they are “anti-Trident, not anti-dockyard”.

The Tamarians argue that the only way to ‘Save Our Dockyard’ is to cut out the cancerous growth that is Trident.  They point to a recent report that shows that Trident costs more jobs than it creates.  They say nuclear weaponry is poison for the soul, and Trident is poison for the people of Plymouth, who deserve a better legacy than a radioactive one.

The world-class skills of the work-force in the dockyard could multiply, and inspire the World if they were put to green and sustainable ends, they say.  Rather than ever dwindling and ever riskier nuclear work, maintaining an illegal and useless relic from last century.

“Plymouth Deserves Better” say the campaigners, who claim the Trident work in Devonport is turning the City into the “Sellafield of the South West”.

 Contacts – John Robb – 07840129247.    Press queries – 07969858214.      Angie Zelter – 07835354652

 Photos available as blockade commences from https://plymouthtamarians.wordpress.com/

 END.

 Notes.

 CND Report, Trident Costs Jobs – http://www.cnduk.org/images/stories/briefings/trident/trident-jobs-ukeconomy.pdf

 For further info about issues surrounding Trident refit work at Devonport, contact Ian Avent of CANSAR, 07799337433, or email avent362@btinternet.com

 Blockade Briefing Pack – http://tridentploughshares.org/article1608

Trident Ploughshares – http@//tridentploughshares.org

Tamarians –   https://plymouthtamarians.wordpress.com/

CND – http://www.cnduk.org

 ICM Poll showing that more than half respondents favour nuclear disarmament –

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jul/13/icm-poll-nuclear-weapons

 Article VI of the NPT, ratified by the UK, stipulates –

Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and international control.

 NPT background – http://reachingcriticalwill.org/

 For further info on the international campaigns for the NPT Review Treaty to commit to negotiations towards a Nuclear Weapons Convention, see http://www.icanw.org

Oct
29

TRIDENT PLOUGHSHARES

 PRESS RELEASE:   For Immediate Release.

 TRIDENT IS THE ONLY CUT WORTH MAKING.

On Monday 1st November 2010, from 6am, local and national anti-nuclear campaigners will be gathering at Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth to non-violently and peacefully attempt to impede the on-going work related to the Trident nuclear weapons system.  This action has been organised by the Plymouth-based TP group, The Tamarians, and is being supported by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and a number of other local and national environmental groups.

Tamarians member John Robb said The Cold War is over and we now face no foreseeable nuclear threat.  It is insane that people up and down the country are at risk of losing their homes and their jobs due to spending cuts, but something like £80 billion is to be spent on an obscene weapon that can never be used.

 Plymouth University student, Meredith Fisk said It is terrible that at a time when students are being forced to front more money and have their funding cut, that the government are intent on spending billions on weapons of mass destruction.

 Trident Ploughshares argue that as Trident is used by the UK government to ‘project force into the World’, this constitutes a real and on-going threat to other nations.  Trident Ploughshares insist that the continuous deployment of armed Trident submarines is an on-going criminal act.  They also say that the UK government’s stated policy of Trident Replacement runs contrary to its obligations under the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty.

Trident Ploughshares founder Angie Zelter said Nuclear weapons distort the moral fabric of our society and undermine our humanity.  With our world facing massive ecological crises caused by corporate power abuse backed by military might, we need to actively promote a culture of peace not war.  So please come to Devonport on the 1st of November, join the blockade, and start dismantling the war machine.  Non-violent and sustained people power will transform our world.

 Campaigners point to a recent report by CND that exposes the myth that Trident creates jobs.  It finds that Trident costs more jobs than it creates.  Research by another local group has found evidence suggesting the incidences of cancer in people living close to the Dockyard are massively higher than the national average.

Trident is not good for the nation, and certainly not good for the people of Plymouth, which is gaining a name as the ‘Sellafield of the South West’.

Trident Ploughshares are not alone in believing that the expertise of the workforce in Devonport makes Plymouth ideally placed to become a centre of excellence in renewable and sustainable technologies of the future that would provide stable, secure and expanding work opportunities.  This would be a huge improvement over the current situation where an ever-dwindling number is employed in the genocidal technologies of the past, facing uncertain job prospects, and subject to the whims of political change.

Contacts – John Robb -07840129247.    Press queries – 07969858214.  

Photos available as blockade commences from https://plymouthtamarians.wordpress.com/

END.

Notes.

CND Report, Trident Costs Jobs – http://www.cnduk.org/images/stories/briefings/trident/trident-jobs-ukeconomy.pdf

For further info about issues surrounding Trident refit work at Devonport, contact Ian Avent of CANSAR, 07799337433, or email avent362@btinternet.com

Blockade Briefing Pack – http://tridentploughshares.org/article1608

Trident Ploughshares – http@//tridentploughshares.org

Tamarians –   https://plymouthtamarians.wordpress.com/

CND – http://www.cnduk.org

ICM Poll showing that more than half respondents favour nuclear disarmament –

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jul/13/icm-poll-nuclear-weapons

Article VI of the NPT, ratified by the UK, stipulates –

Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and international control.

 NPT background – http://reachingcriticalwill.org/

 For further info on the international campaigns for the NPT Review Treaty to commit to negotiations towards a Nuclear Weapons Convention, see http://www.icanw.org