GREEN PARTY leader Natalie Bennett threw her support behind anti-war campaigners yesterday who were facing trial following an arms trade protest.
Eight people, including Cambridge councillor Angela Ditchfield, were facing charges after blocking a road and disrupting last year’s Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair.
Ms Bennett said that if the Stop the Arms Fair group was able to actually prevent arms sales it was all worthwhile.
“Their peaceful act of civil disobedience will increase people’s awareness of this dreadful marketplace in our country, which damages our own security as well as that of other nations,” she said.
“They were aiming to prevent or delay delivery of arms that could be used in deadly, criminal and human rights abusing acts around the world.”
Also standing outside the court in Stratford, London, was the Greens’ mayoral candidate Sian Berry.
Campaigner Tom Franklin, whose case was being heard, said he did not regret his actions because: “It is intolerable that the government is supporting the sale of illegal weapons and weapons being used to kill ordinary people from the West Bank to Yemen and Sudan.
“‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.’ So I had to try to prevent evil.”
His words were echoed in the defendants’ official statement which argued that their “principled actions were to prevent further crimes.”
The trial was still ongoing when the Star went to press.