For immediate release: 2 June 2006
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today expressed its support for activists Helen John and Sylvia Boyce, who have been arrested again in their ongoing attempt to challenge the trespass laws under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) at the US Menwith Hill spy base in North Yorkshire. Ms John, 68, and Ms Boyce, 62, were first arrested on 1st April, the same day that the new SOCPA law went into effect at Menwith Hill. In the two months since their original arrest, Attorney General Lord Goldsmith and the Crown Prosecution Service have failed to bring charges against the two grandmothers.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, “It seems that the government created this legislation without fully thinking through its practical applicability. It is not acceptable in a free and democratic country to suppress non-violent protest by telling people to stay away from certain places. Perhaps the government realises this and is too ashamed to bring charges against Helen and Sylvia.”
After her most recent arrest, Helen John said, “I want this case to be heard in a court of law, but that is probably the last place the government wants it to go. The SOCPA criminal trespass law does not protect the people of Britain against terrorism – it is exclusively designed to protect US military fighting capability in the UK. I would like to see more people join us in challenging these laws so that the government is forced to overturn this oppressive and unnecessary legislation.”
Notes to Editor:
1. For further information and interviews please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 32,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.