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The Hammer Blow: How Ten Women Disarmed a Warplane

by Andrea Needham - £10.00  Peace News (2016)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780946409204 | ISBN 10: 094640920x

On 29 January 1996, Jo Blackman, Lotta Kronlid and Andrea Needham broke into a British Aerospace factory in Lancashire and used household hammers to disarm a Hawk warplane bound for Indonesia. They were arrested, charged with £2.4m of criminal damage, and sent to prison to await trial. A week later, Angie Zelter joined them, accused of conspiracy. After six months in prison, all four were acquitted by a Liverpool jury in a court case that effectively put Britain's arms trade on trial.

The disarmament could not have happened without the support of the other six members of the Seeds of Hope Ploughshares group - Lyn Bliss, Clare Fearnley, Emily Johns, Jen Parker, Ricarda Steinbrecher and Rowan Tilly - who were absolutely integral to the whole action from the very start.

"The heroic actions of this small, but determined, group of women is told brilliantly in Andrea Needham's fascinating account. You can sense just how much human life matters to each and every one of these women. They spent six months in jail for acting upon their consciences - but were eventually, and rightly, found to be innocent. Anyone interested in social change, or campaigning for peace, should read this book and take inspiration from the brave actions of these amazing women."
(Caroline Lucas MP)
"Seeds of Hope was a wonderful act of solidarity with the people of East Timor threatened by British weapons. The support of people around the world throughout our long struggle for independence was crucial, and this action raised the profile of Britain's role in arming Indonesia, and raised the spirits of the Timorese people. The Hammer Blow gives a fascinating inside account of the whole story, and should be read by anyone concerned about solidarity and justice.'"
(Bella Galhos, Timorese human rights activist)
"An excellently written, fast-paced, emotional roller-coaster, this is the story of how four courageous women prevented Hawk jets from gunning down innocent East Timorese. This vivid and inspiring tale is especially relevant in the post-Snowden era as governments around the world step up attempts to criminalise protest"
(Rob Newman, comedian )

(Price & availability last checked: May 2016)

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In booklists: Protests, Demonstrations and Direct Action, Women's Activism, Peace Activism,
In categories: Changing the World, Feminism & Women, Peace & Human Rights,

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