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Arms Fair Activists Take Appeal to The Supreme Court

Four activists who were found guilty of protesting against a notorious arm fair have taken an appeal against their convictions to the Supreme Court.

Christopher Cole, Henrietta Cullinan, Joanna Frew and Nora Ziegler formed a blockade outside the ExCel Centre in Docklands as it hosted the 2017 Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) trade fair, locking themselves to each other.

The protestors, who describe themselves as “people of conscience”, were cleared of a criminal charge of obstructing a highway at their original trial in January this year. The district judge found that the activists were legitimately exercising their right to free speech.

The High Court then overturned the verdict in February this year on a point of law, ruling that all four must be convicted.

Solicitors from Hodge Jones & Allen, who are representing the protestors, lodged the appeal at the Supreme Court today (May 1) after judges at the High Court allowed the application.

Raj Chada, partner at Hodge Jones & Allen said “This is a fundamental question as to the rights of people who deliberately obstruct as part of their protest. Our clients were simply highlighting the fact that the UK Government is facilitating the sale of unlawful weapons to despotic regimes. In our view the original ruling that they were legitimately exercising their right to free speech should stand.”