From our press release:
The Crown Prosecution Service has ‘discontinued proceedings’ against a local activist who was arrested in November 2012 for chaining himself to door handles of the EcoStream store in Western Road. This means that the trial has, in effect, been abandoned.
Andrzej was initially charged with ‘failing to leave private land’ and a trial date was set. However, the activist has been informed that the charges have been dropped ‘due to lack of evidence’. Andrzej did not formally contest the charges, stating that the action was taken to demonstrate that EcoStream is unwelcome in Brighton due to the location of its main factory in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mishor Adumim.
In a statement, Andrzej said: “This action was done as a part of the wider Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. After consulting with other activists I decided to chain myself to the doors of the EcoStream store in order to raise awareness of the company’s active role in the occupation of Palestine. This was especially important for me at the time because Israel had just started bombing Gaza and a ground invasion seemed imminent.”
Local campaigners for the boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel (BDS) hailed the decision to drop charges as a victory for the campaign. Barney Steele, a campaigner for Palestine Solidarity, stated that the action in November clearly demonstrated the strength of opinion locally. ‘Hundreds of local residents have signed our petition and contacted us to convey their support for the campaign against Ecostream. People really object to the prominent presence of a shop in central Brighton that is so closely complicit in the Israeli project of illegal settlement expansion and ethnic cleansing in Palestine’.