Security forces at Farnborough ‘96 are on alert for a possible protest demonstration against the arms trade.

The alert follows the acquittal in July of four women of the Ploughshares group who were charged with seriously damaging a BAe Hawk military aircraft at the company's Warton, Lancashire site.

The women based their defence on the contention that they were trying to halt the sales of arms to be used against civilians in Indonesian-occupied East Timor.

"The court case is entirely up to BAe, unless it involves the industry as a whole," says an SBAC spokeswoman. SBAC says there were "no implications" for the Farnborough show from the case, although the spokeswoman adds that there could be a "severe knock-on" effect for the industry if the Ploughshares peace group succeeded in their further legal action to outlaw arms sales to alleged "oppressive regimes."

"This is a secure site and we put a lot of effort into security on behalf of the exhibitors," she says.

BAe says it has taken out an injunction to prevent the four women from further interfering with its lawful business. Security sources describe the Ploughshares protesters as a "... small group who rarely attract large crowds to their protests".

¦ What's a Peugeot 406 doing in the static display?

That's the question aircraft ground movement contractors were asking when they had to wait an hour and a half to park an RAF Tornado in the slot occupied by the French car. The owner was traced and given a severe ticking off by police.



Source: Flight Daily News