Prisoner of Conscience

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee reports the bleeding obvious, that our failure to support a ceasfire in the Lebanon materially damaged the UK’s political standing (courtesy of rabid Zionist and “Peace Envoy” T. Blair). The FAC report is well worth reading in full, as it is scathing on the disaster of Iraq as well.

The official government response shows that, for all Brown’s claims, spin is still alive and well. Lying through his teeth, an FCO spokesman said that:

The UK worked strenuously for a ceasefire in Lebanon.

In fact the opposite was true. I had a friend and former colleague call me from our Mission to the United Nations phone me from New York at the time in deep personal despair, as he had been instructed to keep an early ceasfire resolution off the Security Council agenda by making it known that we would veto it. Meanwhile everyday he was seeing news footage of dead Lebanese chhildren dragged from the rubble of their homes.

One brave man who tried to do something about it was Marcus Armstrong. For having better moral sense and a great deal more guts than the rest of us, Marcus is now in jail. I received this email yesterday asking for messages of support, and I thought this was the best way I could pass it on, with my warmest endorsement.

During August 2006 US airforce planes, and planes chartered by them, were stopping to refuel at Prestwick airport while delivering munitions to the Israeli army. These bombs were then being used in the indiscriminate bombing of Lebanon and Lebanese civilians.

Protestors gathered at Prestwick. Their aim was to raise awareness among the population locally and worldwide and to try to stop the flights. Information in the press and public channels was incomplete and contradictory.

Some of the issues under discussion were

Prestwick is a civilian airport unsuitable for such military activity

There was much secrecy surrounding the flights . Why?

Muntions passing through our peaceful part of Ayrshire were killing innocent civilians elsewhere

Shannon airport had already refused permission . Why was it granted at Prestwick?

On 3 nights in early August some of the protestors broke into Prestwick and to carry out a citizens inspection of the planes to establish whether the flights were actually carrying munitions. 8 of these protestors were tried at Ayr sheriff court ;last week . Evidence against them was incomplete. After the first 5 days of the trail 7 were released. Today was the last day of the trial. The last protestor, Marcus Armstrong , stood accused of breaking into the airfield and boarding a plane.

Marcus bravely conducted his own defence. He didn’t to deny the action but defended his motives. It was, he said, his responsibility , right and duty to try to protect the innocent civilians for whom the munitions were destined. He was trying to do this by gathering information, raising awareness and perhaps he would be able to disrupt the flights.

Its a difficult thing for a civilian to defend himself in a court of law. Marcus remained calm and focussed. At the end of the day the sheriff found him guilty and fined him ‘750. ( the maximum for this offence is ‘5 000) Marcus maintains that his action was not a criminal offence. He refused to pay the fine and has chosen the alternative, imprisonment.

The term of imprisonment is 28 days, though he is likely to serve only half of this. If you wish to support him you can write to

Marcus Armstrong,


Her Majesty’s Prison Kilmarnock,


Mauchline Road,




you may wish to add ‘prisoner of conscience’ on the envelope

A previous peace protestor says a picture postcard is most uplifting!