DSEI arms fair: Four cleared of protest charges in second acquittal this week

Two of the four anti-war activists protest last year's DSEI arms fair. Picture: CAAT

Two of the four anti-war activists protest last year's DSEI arms fair. Picture: CAAT - Credit: Campaign Against Arms Trade

Four anti-war activists have been cleared of wilfully obstructing a highway leading to a major arms fair at the ExCeL, following a similar ruling earlier this week.

Stratford Magistrates’ Court dismissed the case against the men yesterday.

Nicolas Cooper, 36, Tom Franklin, 59, and 29-year-olds Samuel Donaldson and Louis Dorton admitted blocking both carriageways in Royal Albert Way last September to prevent weapons reaching the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) gun show.

They had abseiled off a flyover and unfurled two banners protesting the fair, one calling DSEI “state terrorism”, the court heard.

They defended their actions as a peaceful protest protected under the European Convention on Human Rights.

District Judge Hamilton acquitted a further four anti-war activists of similar charges on Wednesday, describing their protest as “reasonable”.