Arms fair court case: Moved to tears by support

By Symon Hill
October 3, 2013

Last week, I appeared in court – alongside Chris Wood, Dan Woodhouse, Chloe Skinner and James Clayton – charged under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act. We had knelt in prayer in one of the entrances to the London arms fair on 10th September.

We pled Not Guilty. We are expecting to be tried on 3rd and 4th February in Stratford Magistrates’ Court in London.

I have literally been moved to tears by the support we have received. People who had been involved in the original protest met with us before the court hearing to pray and share communion. Several people sat in the public gallery to show their support. I had no idea that most of them would be there. Two others had made a banner the night before, urging courts to “convict arms dealers” and “not human rights defenders”. They held it outside the court as we awaited the hearing. Many people prayed for us and sent us messages of support. One person even wrote a poem about us.

I was overwhelmed. I am more grateful than I can say for all this and am quite sure that I don’t deserve it. People do far more remarkable things every day with far less support and attention. But I can’t deny that the support is helping me through this process. I can’t speak on behalf of the other four, but I know that the support has made a big impact on them too.

As a Christian, I firmly believe that it is the power of the Holy Spirit that is sustaining us. Yet I am delighted that support has come from people of many religions and none. We stand united against the evil of the arms trade and the hypocrisy that defines morality by order rather than justice.

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(c) Symon Hill is an Ekklesia associate, co-founder of Christianity Uncut and a member of the steering committee of the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).

Symon's latest book is Digital Revolutions: Activism in the internet age, which can be bought from the publisher, New Internationalist, at http://newint.org/books/politics/digital-revolutions, priced £9.99 (or $16.95 in the US).

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