Today three activists were found guilty in Derby Magistrates court. They were charged with an offence under the Trade Unions Relations Consolidated act, and accused of causing a ‘private nuisance’.
Their ‘crime’ was to blockade the entrance to a JCB factory in the Midlands for in September 2018. Their intention? To persuade the Directors of JCB that they should immediately stop allowing JCB bulldozers to be used by the Israeli Civil Administration, border police and Israeli military to destroy Palestinian homes, businesses and communities.
Two of the three activists had been in Palestine over the summer of 2018 and had witnessed JCB bulldozers being used to demolish homes in the village of Khan Al Ahmar where preparations were being made by the Israeli authorities to bulldoze the whole village.
The court heard compelling evidence that the activists had felt there was no option but to take direct action, in view of the fact that the Bamford family, who are the owners of JCB, have repeatedly ignored all attempts to engage with them regarding the use of JCB bulldozers in the demolition of Palestinian homes.
Following the verdict the JCB 3 stated that they were extremely disappointed and concerned that the Judge had ignored the evidence presented in court that JCB were complicit in the war crimes being committed throughout Palestine by the Israeli governments’ systematic policy of home demolitions.
As the trial drew to a close news began to filter through of a tragedy unfolding in Wadi al Hommous, occupied Palestine, where over 100 homes were being demolished on the orders of the Israeli authorities. Todays demolition has left up to 1,000 people homeless and traumatised, and is believed to be the biggest single demolition of Palestinian homes since 1967. It marks a horrific escalation in Israel’s litany of war crimes, and footage of JCB bulldozers at the site, alongside Caterpillar and Hyundai bulldozers, is yet more evidence of the complicity of all three companies in Israel’s war crimes.
In response to the Wadi al Hommous demolitions the Boycott National Committee has reminded their supporters of the call to action against the companies involved in home demolitions – https://twitter.com/BDSmovement/status/1153230971757649920
Go to http://corporateoccupation.org/stop-the-demolitions/ to find out how to take action against JCB Please consider donating to our crowdfunder, to support the defendants in paying the court costs of £520 each – https://www.chuffed.org/project/support-the-jcb-5
(the prosecution asked that the defendants be forced pay compensation to JCB, but the judge refused)
The defendants were each given a 24 month conditional discharge. We think there were several errors in the judges ruling and are considering an appeal.
Four of the JCB 5 will be in court again on November 13-15th for taking direct action at the JCB world Logistics HQ near Stoke on Trent. They still need our support.
Finally, JCB and Caterpillar will both be exhibiting their military products at the DSEI arms fair in London. Join the week of action to stop the setting up of the fair – www.stopthearmsfair.org.uk<http://www.stopthearmsfair.org.uk>
Stop the Demolitions campaign
July 22nd 2019