A Christian peace activist was arrested this morning (Monday 7 September) following a protest at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in central London.
Chris Cole, (aged 46) was charged with £2,000 of criminal damage following a protest at the UK Defence Conference being held at the Centre as part of the week-long Defence Systems Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair.
Cole sprayed ‘Build Peace not War Machines’ on the conference centre doors and ‘arms trade = death’ on the steps. He poured red paint as symbolic blood and wrote ‘stop this bloody business’.
Cole was later charged with ‘approximately £2,000 worth of criminal damage’ and will appear at a plea hearing at Horseferry Road Magistrates Court on 17th September. He is also excluded from the M25 area during the DSEI arms fair, as part of his bail conditions.
Cole said: “Especially in a time of war, we are called to resist the great lie that our security and well-being lies in bigger and better weaponry. The truth is that only justice and love will, in the end, bring real peace and real human security to our nation and the world as a whole.”
Chris Cole has been a speaker the Greenbelt arts and music festival, which takes place over the August bank holiday weekend. He is a member of the Network of Christian Peace Organisations and has previously been jailed for his demonstrations.
In 2007 Cole was jailed for refusing to pay a fine of £661 arising from an anti-Iraq war action at the Ministry of Defence on Holy Innocents Day, 28th December 2004.