Peace Women defeat MOD in freedom to protest case

Martin Haggerty martin at
Fri Feb 6 19:14:12 GMT 2009

Quote: "Rights worth having are unruly things". Concerning 
protesters' camps, this court ruling has encouraging implications . . .

With best wishes,


Date: Thu, 05 Feb 2009 22:51:32 +0000
To: ftp at
From: ftp <conference at>
Subject: [ftp] Peace Women defeat MOD in freedom to protest case

Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp(aign)


A Ministry of Defence (MoD) byelaw banning camping outside the Atomic
Weapons Establishment Aldermaston was quashed by the court of appeal
today. The case, heard on 26^th November 2008, was an appeal in the
Judicial Review of the Secretary of State for Defence's decision to
introduce byelaws which would have criminalised camping as a form of
peaceful protest.

The case brought by Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp(aign) hinged on
whether the government's ban on camping violated their rights to freedom
of expression and assembly guaranteed by Articles 10 and 11 of the
European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp(aign) have been camping outside the
Atomic Weapons Establishment every month for the last 24 years, in
opposition to the manufacture of UK's nuclear weapons. Following the
original hearing on 1st February 2008, the court quashed a byelaw
outlawing the attaching of banners to the perimeter fence. The MoD chose
not to appeal. Today's judgement reverses the original ruling that the
ban on camping was justified.

In a unanimous verdict, the Court of Appeal today rejected the Secretary
of State for Defence's arguments saying, "Rights worth having are unruly
things". The byelaw prohibiting camping was quashed and the women's
peace camp is no longer criminalised. This ruling has an impact beyond
AWPC and the Aldermaston nuclear weapons factory. It strengthens the
right to protest and legitimises camping as a form of protest.

Speaking outside the court after today's judgement, a representative
from the Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp said "We welcome today's
outcome, which is not only a victory for the women's peace camp but an
important judgement on the right to protest. Aldermaston Women's Peace
Camp will continue to hold our lawful camp to protest against the
government's unlawful nuclear weapons".


Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp(aign)
5 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DX, Britain
email: info at

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Regular monthly, women-only peace camp. Second weekend of each month.
Shareholder actions, propaganda, nonviolent direct action, public awareness,
vegan cake.

"Freedom must be won afresh every morning" (Edward Carpenter, 1844-1929)

Stop ID cards and the Database State

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