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Scots block bloc in cop case drop shock

January 30, 2014

One of 2013’s hangovers was the trial of the Scottish section from the Burghfield Big Blockade, which took place on 10 January. This was the criminal consequence of September’s successful shutdown of the illegal atomic arms factory AWE Burghfield. Of the five-strong affinity group, one had not been charged, and another copped a plea, leaving three to go before the district judge charged with wilful obstruction of the highway.

burghfield blockadeA passionate and robust defence had been prepared, detailing the nuclear crimes and public safety nightmare of the bomb factory, but in the event this was not required. An embarrassed CPS officer confessed to the defendants beforehand that the police evidence was in disarray, to the extent that it did not identify any one of us as a person arrested at the blockade. Having been offered the opportunity to plug the holes in the prosecution’s case in order to be able to hold forth in court on the topic of nuclear weapons, we mulled it over for a surprisingly long time before preferring to ask the judge to refuse an adjournment and dismiss the case. Which they did.courtroom artistThe failure of the CPS case seems to have been consequent to the vast amounts of data and footage they collected during the Action AWE Disarmament Camp. As none of us had confirmed our details to the police during the blockade, all of the police statements referred to ‘Male 1’, ‘Female 2’, etc. In order to link these statements to us, the CPS would have had to go through dozens of hours of video footage to locate recordings of us being warned and arrested.

cutting team

The lesson is repeated: don’t tell the police anything apart from your essential particulars when arrested (and only give those to the desk sergeant at the station in England). Never give a comment interview, and don’t negotiate any statement with the police or CPS. This good practice is why we’re now awaiting cheques for our travel expenses instead of paying fines.

A permitted exception to this would be the mass-grass Report a War Crime event on 8th February in Reading. Good luck to all participants.

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