Anni Rainbow was arrested at the weekly CAAB demonstration at NSA Menwith
Hill for an alleged 'obstruction of the highway'. Anni was sitting in the
wheelchair at the side of the entrance to Menwith Hill with the majority of
the wheelchair over the 'yellow line' - therefore not on the highway.
Lindis Percy was arrested soon after Annis' arrest also for an alleged
'obstruction of the highway'. Lindis was quietly walking across the
entrance to the base. She was over the 'yellow line' and therefore was not
on the highway either.
Anni and Lindis were taken separately to Harrogate Police Station. Anni
went in a special taxi after Lindis was taken in a Ministry of Defence
Police Agency van. There was a difficulty between North Yorkshire Police
(NYP) and the Ministry of Defence Police Agency (MDPA) as to which force
should pay the taxi driver. We believe that North Yorkshire Police paid
after the MDPA insisted that this was a 'custody' matter and therefore the
responsibility of NYP.
At Harrogate Police Station both Lindis and Anni insisted that Sergeant
Downham (Custody Officer) looked at the video recording that was taken
during the demonstration as neither Lindis nor Anni were on the highway.
This should be done before any decision to release, bail or charge was made.
Anni and Lindis were in detention for over five hours and eventually charged
separately with 'obstruction of the highway'. Sergeant Downham said that he
had seen some of the video and 'had seen enough' to charge. The CPS had not
A yellow line was painted across the entrance to Menwith Hill about three
years ago. It is a practice that is done in America at US bases. It is not
a practice that is done here.
In 1995 Lindis took a case to the High Court to challenge a similar line (a
red line on a map of Menwith Hill but not painted on the ground, which was
meant to deliniate where the boundary was for the life time injunction
imposed on her). She lost the case as the two Judges who gave their ruling
said 'it is the stuff of neighbour hood disputes Ms Percy' and therefore not
tenable to paint credible and legal boundaries on the ground.
Since then CAAB has challenged the yellow line twice in the courts. Each
time the District Judge (DJ) has ruled the yellow line to be lawful. On the
last occasion at Harrogate Magistrates' Court a 'lea way' of 3 feet was
expressed by the Defence Estates Surveyor. The DJ said he would agree 18
inches of that to be on the base side of the yellow line.
It was very clear that once again these spurious arrest were orchestrated by
the American authorities. A senior MDPA officer who was present at the
demonstration on this night, appeared to carry out their instructions. It
is unusal for such a senior MDPA to be present however. Steve Barlow (Chief
Inspector) was there as well as an Inspector and numerous other ranks of
the MDPA - clearly in consultation with the American authority present.
Anni and Lindis are bailed to appear at Harrogate Magistrates' Court for the
'plea date' on Thursday 3 June 2004. Lindis is already bailed to appear on
that day to hear if the CPS are to go ahead with an alleged breach of s.69
'aggravated trespass' (Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994). She was
arrested for this at the CAAB demonstration the week before.
We do need more people to come on Tuesday nights 6-8 pm at the main entrance
Over the years we have continually struggled to uphold the right to peaceful
protest - going backwards and forwards to the courts so that this Human
Right is maintained. These latest arrests appear to be another attempt to
stop Anni and Lindis from peacefully protesting.
We are not however suppressed in spirit and will continue to demonstrate
The CAAB weekly protest is specifically directed to the people who work on
this base and the dangerous and illegal roles that they and the base plays.
WE ASK THAT ANYONE WHO READS THIS KINDLY CONSIDERS OUR REQUEST TO JOIN US AT
THE WEEKLY DEMONSTRATION.
These peaceful demonstrations have happened every Tuesday evening for over
four years now.
Anni Rainbow and Lindis Percy
CAMPAIGN FOR THE ACCOUNTABILITY OF AMERICAN BASES (CAAB)
8 Park Row, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 1HQ, England, U.K.
Tel/fax no: +44 (0)1943 466405 0R +44 (0)1482 702033
email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change
the world: indeed it's the only thing that ever does." Margaret Mead