The trial of two Oxford peace activists who attempted to disarm B52 bombers on their way to Iraq is taking place all this week. Toby Olditch and Phil Pritchard went into Fairford airbase just two days before the planes were used, hoping to disable the bombers and thus save civilian lives in Iraq and inspire others to action.
They were arrested before reaching the planes but have gone on to fight a high-profile legal battle, using their case to challenge the legality of the war and raise awareness. The upshot of this has been that various courts, up to and including the House of Lords, spinelessly (but predictably) refusing to allow arguments about the legality of the war. The legal argument for the trial now focuses on Phil and Toby's reasonable belief that they were acting to prevent war crimes.
Support at court is very welcome during the trial, either to come inside or with banners etc outside; Bristol Crown Court is on Small Street, off Corn Street, in Bristol town centre. Check the trial blog for the latest updates.
Margaret Jones and Paul Milling's trial for a similiar action resulted in a hung jury recently and they are awaiting a re-trial.
Meanwhile a Peace Picnic takes place this Saturday 7th October at RAF Croughton, a local US/UK spybase.
B52two trial blog | B52two homepage | trial report | press release
Toby + Phil outside court on day one of the trial