Monthly Archives: May 2013

Not in the public interest

I’m partway through writing something about GM (or ‘GM creep’ as I’m calling it) and food security; and I might want to say something about extreme energy. But first, this landed in my inbox this evening – written by Lindis Percy, a grandmother activist, and forwarded to me by my mum; I have an urge to share it.

“This is interesting friends… well it is to me! I was due to answer to bail again at Harrogate police station today but heard yesterday from the custody officer at the police station that ‘no further action’ was going to be taken as it was ‘not in the public interest’ to continue. During the snowy weather in the afternoon of 21 January this year – the day Barack Obama was publicly ‘sworn in’ in Washington for his second term – I was the lone protester at NSA Menwith Hill. I had an upside down US flag with the words ‘NOW THEN….SECOND AND ONLY CHANCE OBAMA’. Nothing was happening at the base… except for 24 hour gathering of intelligence/surveillance/intelligence-led warfare – use of US military Drones – and the crucial connection to US Missile Defense (two space-based infra-red radomes constructed in 1999 etc etc – see Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases [CAAB] website to read about the legal action we took in the High Court in 1999).I had been quietly talking to a Ministry of Defence police officer and the MOD guarding service (‘security’) at the entrance to the base, about why I was there. A car arrived to go into the base, the barrier went up and the driver was waved through – no showing of ID.  I asked the MOD security guard how did he know this person was not up to no good when he entered the base? He replied ‘because I can tell by his face’. I looked him straight in the eyes and asked him if he could tell by my face what I was going to do? Later I felt moved to walk in. No one told me to stop. I quietly walked up the main ‘street’ and stood with the flag in front of a car coming out of the base. The car turned round and went back. I walked about 200 yds into the base before an MOD police van arrived.

I was arrested under section 128 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) 2005, by James Sheehan (PC Ministry of Defence Police) and taken to Harrogate police station. I was not charged, as the decision to charge under this odious section is up to the Attorney General – Dominic Green had six months to decide whether to prosecute or not. Pre-charge bail conditions were imposed. We went to the court the following week to argue that the ‘pre-charge’ bail conditions imposed were impossible and they were changed to enable me to protest at the Tuesday pm weekly demonstration at the gates of NSA Menwith Hill.  I have been on bail for four months until yesterday.


So friends… as walking into NSA Menwith Hill is apparently acceptable and it is ‘not in the public interest’ to bring a charge under the SOCPA legislation – perhaps think what you might consider doing? If it’s not ‘in the public interest’ to bring a case against me, wouldn’t that apply to anyone else too?  I think it is very much ‘in the public interest’ to go in and see what they are doing and take a walk in the Yorkshire Dales.”

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