The Hammer Blow

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June 20, 2016 by thehammerblowblog

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May 2017 news: The Hammer Blow has been shortlisted for the 2017 Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing

The Hammer Blow is Andrea Needham’s firsthand account of her part in the Seeds of Hope East Timor Ploughshares action. On 29 January 1996, Andrea, Jo Blackman and Lotta Kronlid broke into a British Aerospace factory in Lancashire and used household hammers to disarm a Hawk warplane bound for Indonesia.The plane would have been used to continue Indonesia’s campaign of genocide against the people of occupied East Timor and the aim of the action was to stop the plane being delivered.

They were arrested, charged with £2.4m of criminal damage, and sent to prison to await trial. A week later, Angie Zelter joined them, accused of conspiracy. After six months in prison, all four were acquitted by a Liverpool jury in a court case that effectively put Britain’s arms trade on trial.

The disarmament could not have happened without the support of the other six members of the Seeds of Hope Ploughshares group – Lyn Bliss, Clare Fearnley, Emily Johns, Jen Parker, Ricarda Steinbrecher and Rowan Tilly – who were absolutely integral to the whole action from the very start. ‘The Hammer Blow – how 10 women disarmed a warplane’, was published by Peace News on 29 January 2016, the 20th anniversary of the action.

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