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Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2001 17:51:31 -0000
Subject: loombreaker 23


A Manchester jury once again could not reach a verdict on the charge against Rosie and Rachel of criminal damage to a Trident nuclear submarine. This being the second time a jury has failed to convict the two disarmers, the crown prosecutor confirmed they would not try to put them on trial again.

On 1st February 1999 Rachel and Rosie swam to and boarded the Trident nuclear weapon submarine HMS Vengeance, then docked at Barrow-in-Furness. They draped banners, painted slogans and damaged testing equipment on the conning tower. Their first trial was aborted when the prosecution failed to come up with reasonable estimates of the damage done. The second trial last year ended with acquittal for the women on the minor charge related to painting slogans and the jury was hung on the more serious criminal damage charge. It was admitted by a Crown witness at the trial that their action had delayed HMS Vengeance for a month. Their defence was that they had acted out of necessity due to the threat posed by the Trident nuclear weapon system.

Rachel said: "I feel great - this is an excellent outcome. It's good to know that at least three people - probably more - knew we were justified in our action and held out for that."

It is heartening to know that two people can have such a massive impact on Britain's nuclear weapons system, and then walk free, because Manchester people when presented with evidence about the destructive power of Trident, feel they were justified in their actions.

As the trial ended Trident Ploughshares supporters learned that the campaign had been awarded the 2001 Right Livelihood Award (also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize), to be handed over in the Swedish parliament in December. The Award honours the campaign as "a model of principled, transparent and non-violent direct action dedicated to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Their imaginative campaign highlights the illegality of these weapons."

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