peace activists sentenced re: political graffiti

From: "Ethicalcensus News" <news@ethicalcensus.org.uk>
Sent: Monday, 19 March, 2012 7:12:36 PM
Subject: Barbara Dowling jailed

News from ethicalcensus.org.uk
 
Barbara Dowling jailed 
   
Two peace activists were sentenced today in Dumbarton Sheriff Court for painting "political graffiti" on the walls of the court following a 2010 trial in which they maintained that the court did not uphold international law with respect to the illegality of the Trident nuclear weapon system. Barbara Dowling , a retired Occuptational Therapist, 67, of Knightswood was given 3 months in prison and Janet Fenton , 64, Secretary of Scottish CND was given 120 hours Community Service.
 
Barbara Dowling also has an ongoing court case in relation to the 2011 Census . Her trial in the census case is scheduled for 15 May in Glasgow Sheriff Court, with an intermediate diet on 6 May.
 
You can write to Barbara at:

Barbara Dowling
HMP Cornton Vale
STIRLING
FK9 5NU  
 
Press Release from Trident Ploughshares
19th March 2012
 
3 Month Prison Sentence for Anti-Nuclear Court Graffiti Protest
 
In October 2010 Barbara Dowling and Janet Fenton appeared at a session of the JP court within the Sheriff Court building in Dumbarton accused of a breach of the peace during a blockade of Faslane naval base, home to the UK's Trident nuclear weapon submarines. Justice Ross refused to hear their defence and, according to the defendants, appeared to have made up her mind before all the evidence was put before the court. She would not allow them to put their argument that they had a right to disrupt the illegal work at Faslane under international humanitarian law.
 
Immediately following the trial they painted on internal walls of the court slogans indicating the failure of the court to uphold international law. At the trial last month Barbara and Janet accepted that they had painted the court's walls but maintained their not guilty plea as they felt that the public needed to know that the court did not uphold international law. Finding them guilty Sheriff Anderson deferred sentence until today in order to obtain Social Enquiry Reports.
 
The women still felt justified in their actions and were disappointed that the Social Enquiry Reports did not accurately represent their positions.
 
Barbara Dowling said " I did what the courts refuse to do: I upheld international law in regard to nuclear weapons. I am not guilty of a crime and I am not co-operating with an unjust punishment"
 
Janet Fenton said "I consider that I do Service for the Community all the time in working for peace. Doing 120 hours for the Community shouldn't be a problem" 
  
 Notes:
 
Trident Ploughshares is a part of the international nuclear disarmament movement. Trident Ploughshares activists have pledged to disarm the UK Trident nuclear weapons system in a non-violent, open, peaceful, safe and fully accountable manner.