Anti-arms trade campaigners in Nottingham handed out hundreds of leaflets to people attending a health conference next door to arms company Heckler & Koch on Wednesday 26th September. The conference, called Good Health in Hard Times, took place at the Trent Vineyard church, which occupies Units 1 & 2 at Easter Park – an industrial park on Lenton Lane. The arms company, which makes submachine guns and assault rifles, operates from the unmarked warehouse at Unit 3.
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A group of performance artists and activists has come up with a bold plan to rid the world of the scourge of Heckler & Koch weapons – to seal the factory inside a concrete sarcophagus. Just as a the damaged nuclear reactor at Chernobyl was encased in concrete to protect the world from radioactive emissions, so the Zentrum für Politische Schönheit (Centre for Political Beauty) intends to seal off Heckler & Koch’s main factory in Germany in order to prevent its harmful products from escaping and causing further loss of life.
On May 20th at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court, anti-arms-trade activist Kirk Jackson was found guilty of aggravated trespass for his part in a protest that shut down an arms company for a day. He was given a twelve month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £350 court costs.
The charge arose from a February 18th protest at the Nottingham warehouse of international arms company Heckler & Koch. Before dawn, four activists locked themselves to the gates, preventing employees from entering, while Kirk and another activist climbed onto the roof and displayed banners accusing the company of “arming repressive regimes”.
On Thursday 20th May, an anti-arms-trade activist will stand trial at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court. Kirk Jackson is pleading not guilty to a charge of aggravated trespass for his part in a protest that closed the international sales office of arms company Heckler & Koch for a day.
On 18th Feburary, Jackson and another local activist climbed onto the roof of Heckler & Koch’s unmarked warehouse in the Lenton Lane industrial estate and unfurled banners accusing the company of “arming repressive regimes”.
Five pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay between £40 and £195 each in costs and fines. The two with prior convictions were also served with 12-month restraining orders preventing them from entering Easter Park, the industrial park in which Heckler & Koch’s warehouse is situated.
The sixth activist pleaded not guilty. His trial will take place at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Thursday May 20th at 09:45. The arms company’s Managing Director will be called as a witness. A bail condition preventing the activists from associating with each other was lifted.
The latest film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, director of Amélie, is a wacky caper about a group of oddball characters who decide to take direct action against the arms trade. In it, the products of one Nottingham-based arms company – Heckler & Koch – make a brief appearance.
Micmacs follows the fortunes of hapless video store clerk Bazil, who decides to take revenge on two arms companies – one that made the landmine that killed his father, and the other that made the bullet that nearly killed him.
The six activists arrived at H&K’s Nottingham warehouse building before any employees turned up. Using D-locks and arm-tubes, one pair locked themselves to the staff entrance while another pair blockaded the goods gate. Meanwhile the other two gained access to the roof and hung anti-arms-trade banners on the front of the building.