IN: UK Women Disarm Hawk Warplane

From: apakabar@clark.net
Date: Tue Jan 30 1996 - 13:00:00 EST


From: John MacDougall <apakabar@clark.net>
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/* Written 10:42 PM Jan 29, 1996 by cscheiner in igc:reg.easttimor */
/* ---------- "UK Women disarm Hawk warplane" ---------- */
From: Charles Scheiner <cscheiner@igc.apc.org>

SEEDS OF HOPE - EAST TIMOR PLOUGHSHARES
WOMEN DISARMING FOR LIFE AND JUSTICE

PRESS RELEASE 29 January 1996 - For immediate release

WOMEN DISARM HAWK JET WITH HAMMERS

Three women were arrested at the British Aerospace military site at
Warton, Lancashire in the early hours of this morning after completely
disarming a Hawk warplane (jet number ZH 955 ) with household hammers.
The women Lotta Kronlid, Joanna Wilson and Andrea Needham. phoned
from inside the South Hangar to say that they had completed a
Ploughshares Action - to disarm Hawk ground-attack aircraft destined
for Indonesia, which were to be used to continue Indonesia's genocide
against the people of East Timor. This is the 56th Ploughshares
action worldwide and the 3rd in Britain. Inspired by the biblical
injunction "to beat swords into ploughshares", these are nonviolent
acts of disarmament in which the activists take full responsibility
for their actions. The women are currently being held at Lytham St.
Annes police station and are due in court to present a plea tomorrow.
They are charged with illegal entry and criminal damage, expected to
be millions of pounds worth.

British Aerospace are due to deliver 24 Hawk Jets to Indonesia during
1996. Lotta Kronlid, a gardener from Oxford, said, There is
substantial evidence that Hawks from previous deals have been used by
the Indonesian military to bomb civilians in neighbouring East Timor.
Indonesia has illegally occupied East Timor for over twenty years - in
defiance of ten UN resolutions - and has been responsible for the
deaths of 200,000 people, approximately one-third of the pre-invasion
population."

For three years, many local and national groups and individuals have
been calling on both British Aerospace and the British government to
cancel the Hawk deal. The Warton site - where the Hawks are assembled
and tested - has been the focus of regular protest Joanna Wilson who
is a borough councillor in Kirkby, Merseyside, said, "Despite a
sustained campaign, the British government and British Aerospace have
refused to stop the sale. These planes will very soon be killing
people in East Timor unless action is taken immediately to stop them."

Andrea Needham, a nurse and peace activist also from Kirkby, said, "I
pray that what we do today in disarming these planes will be a smell
ray of hope for our sisters and brothers struggling for peace and
justice in East Timor.

Angie Zelter, an environmental campaigner from Norfolk, is part of the
group but has not yet carried out her part of the action:
"Ploughshares actions seek to empower others to believe in their
ability to disarm weapons and be publicly accountable for their
actions. In keeping with this spirit I will carry out my act of
disarmament soon and hope that others will continue this work."
(Interviews available)

For further information: Phone 0171-249-6949, and
fax / phone: 0171-923-9511

The Seeds of Hope - East Timor Ploughshares group has prepared a
broadcast quality video, taped interviews and a report about the
action, which are available to the press. Personal statements,
indictment and photos are also available.