Zionists & Hacker (Lee) Harpin vent their fury over an ‘institutionally anti‑Semitic’ justice system
Tony Greenstein speech outside Wolverhampton Court on 6 September 2023 before 4 of the defendants were sentenced
The first thing I want to do is to thank the hundreds of people who stood in solidarity with the four of us who were given between 9 and 12 months suspended sentences last Wednesday. Our ‘crime’ was trying to prevent the genocidal arms factory, Elbit, from continuing to operate.
The importance of solidarity when activists are under attack from the State should never be under estimated. It emphasises that we are not alone in our fight for justice and the struggle against the war makers.
The demonstration outside the court and the willingness of activists to turn up from as far away as Wales emphasised the support we have. It is to the shame of Palestine Solidarity Campaign that at no stage, despite its 2021 conference policy supporting Palestine Action, did they lift a finger in our support. PSC Executive and its Director Ben Jamal are interested in only one thing – living off the back of the Palestinian struggle in order to build yet another NGO.
The demonstration outside Wolverhampton Crown Court when 4 Palestine Actionists were sentenced and walked free on September 6th 2023
When I walked into the dock and listened to HHJ Michael Chambers, a notoriously reactionary Tory judge, even by the standards of his profession, I was prepared to be sent down and I had packed my prison bag, as had my fellow Palestine Actionists.
Chambers had clearly prepared his speech well before he entered the court. The mitigation speeches of our barristers I suspect made little or no impression. His intention was to instil fear in us, so it was a pleasant surprise when he gave us the ‘benefit’ of his doubt that we ‘would no longer undertake violent protests’.
Of course Palestine Action has never indulged in violent protests. Noone has ever been injured by Palestine Action. Attacking an arms company which specialises in the supply of lethal weaponry to some of the most horrific regimes in the world is the opposite of violence. However these simple truths elude some of the brightest minds in the judicial system.
Nonetheless we were happy to promise the probation service that we would not be involved in similar protests in the next two years and we all intend to abide by that promise. Of course we don’t intend to desist from participating in protests against Elbit’s Death Factories.
A short resume of what led to my conviction
On 7 March 2021 I was rung up out of the blue by someone from Palestine Action who asked me to drive a van to the Midlands and to collect some ladders. Having hired a van I set off at about 9 pm. It was only when I phoned a number from a service station on the M40 that I was given a phone number and the address I was going to.
The disappointment of the Zionists is the best thing about the sentencing. Note that Zio Fascist Fiona Sharpe tells Brighton & Hove News editor Jo Wadsworth that she is doing ‘a great job’
Arriving at an Airbnb just after 1 am I almost immediately left with Jeremy Parker to see if we could buy lock-on gear. Whoever had bought the other equipment had forgotten to buy anything to lock on. So much for the efficient military-style operation that the Prosecution sought to portray the action as. It more resembled Dads Army than the SAS.
When I arrived back at the flat all the bags were sealed and apart from the paint tubs I had no idea what they contained. It was only later after we were stopped on our way to Shenstone that I learnt that they contained sledge hammers and a crow bar.
I have no principled objection to damaging an arms factory. None at all. However I don’t think that for the sake of causing £¼m damage that activists should risk 2-3 years imprisonment unless they make that decision collectively at the outset.
However that is water under the bridge. The pontificating of Michael Chambers about damage to the factory – its CCTV, air-conditioning units etc. is the purest of hypocrisy when compared to the damage that Elbit’s drones cause to people’s bodies.
Palestine Action in action at Manchester recruitment agency iO Associates – The demonstration was successful – all ads for Elbit’s death factories were taken down
I envisage that Chambers could have sat in the Nazi Peoples Court denouncing individuals who had caused damage to IG Farben’s factories, which manufactured the gas Zyklon B, used to murder an estimated 4 million people. When your only concern is for property not people then it doesn’t matter what the factory produces.
Fiona Sharpe of Sussex Friends of Israel is a well known anti-Palestinian racist who describes opponents of a Factory of Death as ‘thugs’ – she finds Dr Iain Darcy’s comments I should have been given a medal incomprehensible
I watched Chambers closely over the 7 weeks of the trial. Not once did it even occur to him to question the lawfulness Elbit’s operations at Shenstone, which manufactures drones that are used to murder innocent civilians. Prosecutor Rachel Gould, who I assume is Jewish, also displayed no concern but she is probably a Zionist.
British law prioritises concern for property over people. As Lord Denning, former Master of the Rolls explained in Southwark LBC v Williams
“… if hunger were once allowed to be an excuse for stealing, it would open a door through which all kinds of lawlessness and disorder would pass… if homelessness were once admitted as a defence to trespass, no one’s house could be safe. Necessity would open a door which no man could shut. … So the courts must, for the sake of law and order, take a firm stand. They must refuse to admit the plea of necessity to the hungry and the homeless; “
Denning also intoned in respect of the Birmingham 6, who were wrongly convicted of the Birmingham pub bombings in 1974:
“We shouldn’t have all these campaigns to get the Birmingham Six released if they’d been hanged. They’d have been forgotten, and the whole community would be satisfied… It is better that some innocent men remain in jail than that the integrity of the English judicial system be impugned.”
I imagine that this is carved in stone in the Chambers home. At times he seemed to operate in tandem with the Prosecutor who has no doubt appeared before him for many years. It was on very rare occasions that they disagreed. 95% of the time he upheld her objections and 95% of the time he overruled the defence barristers’ objections. He even ruled that I had to disclose what I had said to my solicitor, which is a clear breach of legal privilege.
Good Law Project on right to defend yourself
One of the few occasions in which he overruled the Prosecutor was on the question of whether I had lied. Gould had originally asserted that when I was stopped by the Police and asked where I was going I lied when I said ‘I’m going for a drive’. I successfully persuaded her that what I said was factually true even though it wasn’t the answer the policeman wanted.
Chambers was having none of it. It was, as far as he was concerned, a lie albeit he then issued what is called a Lucas direction.
Chambers is a man who operates in a moral vacuum. He is certainly no philosopher and gave no indication that he is capable of deep thought or reflection. That is not true of all judges and in recent years there have been a number who were capable of both.
Lord Steyn – South African born Jewish judge who sat as a Law Lord
Free speech included not only the inoffensive but also the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome, and the provocative, as long as such speech did not tend to provoke violence.
Other notable judges included Thomas Bingham, described as the greatest judge of his generation, who formulated 8 principles of the Rule of Law, Lord Philips the first President of the Supreme Court and Lord Woolf.
Even some of the more right-wing judges such as Jonathan Sumption were capable of straying from black letter law. In his final diatribe Chambers quoted Sumption to the effect that the Suffragettes had set back the cause of women’s emancipation by 5 years. However he forgot to mention that Sumption, in the Reith lecture, had stated that there was ‘“no moral obligation to obey the law”. Sumption went on to say that there was no obligation to obey the COVID laws.
The one thing Chambers was good at was in his ability to be selective in who and what he quoted. During the case and in his summing up Chambers quoted what is clearly his favourite judge, Lord Hoffman. What he didn’t quote was Hoffman’s observation that
Civil disobedience on conscientious grounds has a long and honourable history in this country. People who break the law to affirm their belief in the injustice of a law or government action are sometimes vindicated by history.
Mentioning the suffragettes Hoffman went on to say that “It is the mark of a civilised community that it can accommodate protests and demonstrations of this kind.” However most judges, Chambers included, are incapable of understanding that the law can be an instrument of tyranny.
As has often been pointed out, there was nothing illegal under German law in exterminating people because of their race. Demolishing peoples’ homes in Israel and using torture is not illegal in Israel either.
Patrick Devlin, a former Law Lord said of the jury system that
It is a protection against tyranny. It is also an insurance that the criminal law will conform to the ordinary man’s idea of what is fair and just. If it does not the jury will not be a party to its enforcement. They have in the past used their power of acquittal to defeat the full operation of laws which they thought to be too hard…. One way or another they are prone to give effect to their repugnance to a law by refusing to convict under it. The small body of men, who under modern conditions, constitute the effective body of legislators have to bear this in mind. It affects the character of the laws they make, for it is no use making laws which will not be enforced.
Devlin pointed to the reality of laws. Most MPs never read what they vote for before it is passed into law. They are written by parliamentary draughtsmen.
A jury may refuse to convict in spite of the law and the evidence because it concludes that the law is an unjust law. The jury passes its verdict on the law. Secondly, it ensures that the prosecution and the judge are on trial.
“He’s also been calling on jurors to return outcomes according to conscience. That’s a serious matter of contempt.
“It’s a serious contempt to invite jurors to return outcomes which are not in accordance with the facts, but in accordance with their conscience
If it is a serious contempt of court to point out what is a part of the Common Law, then why is there a plaque on the walls of the Old Bailey which refers to the Bushel case of 1670, that says exactly this?
Chambers, whatever his other sins might be, cannot be accused of originality. He is incapable of comprehending any social or political analysis that challenges his conventional conservative upbringing.
Chambers favourite comparison when challenged on police malpractice was of the police uncovering a gang plying drugs on the motorway. This was in connection to the Public Immunity Certificate that Chambers granted before the swearing in of the jury, thus preventing any discussion on what information the police possessed. Chambers had difficulty comprehending the difference between a gang of drug smugglers and human rights activists.
It is clear that the Police had intelligence on our action even before it occurred yet when they stopped the van they told us that it was because the van was not registered in the area. A clear lie. When they opened the van and saw the Palestinian flags they asked ‘are they Israeli?’ In other words the Police were given a license to lie on oath.
Chambers was fond of quoting the reactionary new Lady Chief Justice, Sue Carr who succeeded the even more reactionary Ian Burnett, distinguished only by the umbrella that others held for him. Carr’s only claim to fame is that she is the first woman to take the post. Like Thatcher the only acceptable woman for the most senior judicial post is a deeply reactionary one.
Carr demonstrated her mettle at the end of July when she refused to grant a right of appeal to Morgan Trowland and Marcus Decker who had scaled Dartford Bridge as part of a Just Stop Oil protest. I say this despite disagreeing with their method of protest. It is oil refineries not people who should be blockaded. However the sentences were grossly disproportionate and intended to chill the right to protest.
Amongst the more stupid of Chambers statements were that “It was clear from the evidence you gave to the jury that you were unrepentant.” Were we seriously expected to ‘repent’ for having targeted an Israeli arms factory?
Other equally stupid statements were that “You each demonstrated an unswerving, blinkered commitment to your cause.’ Blinkered? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
Elbit doesn’t just supply Israel with 85% of its drones. It supplies every genocidal state in the world. There is no conflict – from Yemen to Kashmir to Myanmar – in which Elbit doesn’t help murderous regimes kill their own citizens. The case of Myanmar is particularly egregious since the Burmese Generals have massacred and expelled the Rohinga people in their thousands. Even the UK government has sanctioned this regime but as far as Elbit is concerned no regime is out of bounds.
For Chambers the real evil is not the children whose lives are snuffed out by Elbit weapons but the daubing of the company’s walls with red paint. The immorality of our judges, and Chambers is just an example, has a long tradition. The International Criminal Court Act 2001 has become a dead letter.
Other idiotic observations of Chambers were that:
“It’s apparent to everyone that … public attitudes have hardened towards tolerance for extreme actions or minorities choosing disruption or criminal damage rather than using the main routes that are open to protest in a democratic society.
“That has also been reflected by recent decisions of the court of appeal.”
Leaving aside whether we are an ‘extreme minority’ it is true that the recent decision of the Court of Appeal on Colston was hostile to direct action and follows the move to the right of the Supreme Court. But there is no evidence that public attitudes have hardened. On the contrary. The Colston decision which provoked the Court of Appeal into reinterpreting the law occurred precisely because a jury had acquitted the protesters.
What is true is that the Courts have bowed to the desire of Tory Ministers to outlaw direct action and the right to protest.
Throughout the trial Chambers displayed his political bias, referring to the Israeli-Palestinian ‘conflict’. Would he have termed the occupation of France by Nazi Germany a ‘conflict’ or an occupation?
Israel pours concrete into water wells to deprive Palestinians of water
Whenever there is a coup e’etat, such as in the case of Rhodesia in 1964, when it declared UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) the courts are quick to fall into line.
I quoted in my book the decision of the Dutch Supreme Court in November 1940 by 12-5 that there were no grounds to refuse to sign the Aryan Declaration. This meant the Nazis were given the legal go ahead to dismiss all Jewish government employees. In the process they betrayed fellow Supreme Court Judge Lodewijk Visser who was Jewish. The decision was a recognition of who held power. There was no basis in Dutch law for such a decision.
The decision to prosecute Palestine Action activists was itself a political act
I mentioned the eight principles of the Rule of Law as set out by Thomas Bingham. The third of these rules was that:
The laws of the land should apply equally to all, save to the extent that objective differences justify differentiation
The fifth rule was that
The law must afford adequate protection of fundamental human rights.
The eighth rule was that
The rule of law requires compliance by the state with its obligations in international law as in national law.
Suffice to say all three of these rules were broken when this prosecution was brought.
According to the Good Law Project some £10 billion of the £12.5 billion spent on PPE during the COVID crisis was written off. The government set up a VIP lane, subsequently declared unlawful, in order that it could hand contracts to its friends and cronies who then recycled some of it back to the Tory Party.
The most infamous case was that of Tory peer Lady Michelle Mone who trousered £200m and made a £100m profit on PPE that was unfit for use. Matt Hancock’s pub landlord Alex Bourne got away with £30m for a PPE contract that never delivered anything. Has there even been a whisper of an investigation still less a prosecution? Of course not. The rule of law in today’s Britain applies almost exclusively to those without means.
We saw that in the refusal of the Met to prosecute Boris Johnson for his violations of COVID regulations. It was only the threat of judicial review which forced them to do so. When they did reverse their position they chose to investigate just 1 of the 10+ parties Johnson had attended.
As the Good Law Project, which had brought the judicial review said of the Met’s reasons for not investigating:
It points to a Met that does not want to investigate potential criminality in Government, or to a police force that is excessively deferential to those in power. It is a policy which dramatically undermines the rule of law.
The Court of Appeal ruling that those acquitted in the Colston case should not have been able to rely on human rights defences is a continuation of a long tradition of judicial racism that ignored the plunder and genocide of the British Empire. That Ian Burnett and fellows should oppose the toppling of a statue celebrating a mass murderer should be no surprise.
Liar Lee Harpin, or as I call him, Hacker Harpin, described me as a prison escapee!
The decision to bring our prosecution is a clear contradiction of Bingham’s rule no. 8, compliance with international law. Elbit’s factories manufacture drones, not for civil but military use. It supplies these drones knowing full well that they will be used against civilians, be it in Gaza, Myanmar or Sudan. As the New York Times reported after the 2021 military coup in Myanmar:
The generals, who staged a coup a month ago, are now back in charge with a far more sophisticated arsenal at their disposal: Israeli-made surveillance drones, European iPhone cracking devices and American software that can hack into computers and vacuum up their contents.
Chamber’s only concern was the £30,000 loss that might have been caused to Elbit Systems. The man is morally bankrupt yet he sits in judgement on others.
The real question is the lawfulness of Elbit operations at Shenstone not minor and petty criminal damage.
Fellow racist Gaynor Bond expresses her sympathy to Jonathan Hoffman – ‘so sorry JH. X’
It is no wonder that Chambers repeatedly called Britain a ‘mature democracy’ when the word kleptocracy would be more apposite. Clearly the word ‘democracy’ means something different to judges, even those as elevated as the Recorder of Wolverhampton and ordinary people.
Today there is an attempt by the Tory government, backed up by Starmer, to criminalise all effective public protest. The courts are making it clear that they will not place any obstacles in their way. That is why there is an urgent need for greater collaboration between climate action and Palestine solidarity groups such as in Oldham where Elbit’s factory was shut down.
The Zionists were not happy with Hoffman’s fellow criminal Damon Lenzner accusing the justice system of ‘institutional antisemitism’
But this is the week when we can rejoice at the discomfort of the Zionists. There was Damon Lenzner, the crooked crony of Jonathan Hoffman telling his coterie of Zionist fascists that the justice system was ‘institutionally anti-Semitic’ for not gaoling someone who is Jewish! And there was Hacker Harpin, arrested for eavesdropping on other peoples’ phones (including the parents of a dead child) with his usual quota of mistakes in the Jewish News – I counted 4 (see letter).
My letter to the Jewish News pointing out their mistakes – it was sent last Friday – has still not been corrected
But when it came to it, HHJ Chambers proved that his bark was worse than his bite as he recognised that gaoling those who oppose a genocidal company is not a good look – even for the judiciary.
There is just one part of the sentence – 20 days of rehabilitation – that might prove problematic. We have no need of ‘rehabilitation’. This sounds very much like a Chinese or North Korean re-education camp which teaches protestors to love their government.
I have reinstated all the blogs I was forced to take down
I was forced, at the end of the trial on May 16, to take down all my blogs written during the trial because of the threat of being immediately gaoled for Contempt of Court. Now the trial is over, a jury can’t be prejudiced and they can be put back, which is what I have done. They are: