'Put Down the Sword', a Christian direct-action group, argued in court that their protest drew from Romans 3:8: “You cannot do evil that good may come”.
The High Court today overturned the convictions of a group of Christian activists who were arrested for blocking the entrance to Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment last summer.
Five people from the Christian group Put Down the Sword were convicted of Obstructing the Highway, after blocking traffic in and out of the Burghfield, West Berkshire, where new Trident nuclear missiles are built.
In their trial, the defendants argued that they felt compelled by their faith to take action ‘for peace and justice’, even when this lead them into conflict with the law.
They argued in court that their action drew from the principle of Romans 3:8: “You cannot do evil that good may come”, or, ends do not justify means.
The five activists used superglue and ‘lock-on tubes’, with the message ‘Jesus said love your enemies don’t bomb them’, to block the entrance to the military facility on 27th June 2016.
Having had their convictions overturned, the group released a statement today saying: “Trident is an illegal and immoral waste of money, a crime against humanity and God.”
“The prosecution said we could just have joined in a prayer vigil to the side of the road, instead of lying in it; we said our consciences wouldn’t allow that.”
“We believe prayer is important but sometimes our faith compels us to put our whole bodies in the way of injustice and violence”
The group have undertaken direct action against nuclear weapons for several years, as well as direct action against fossil fuel company BP and arms companies.Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.