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EDO film is box office SMASH

March 21st, 2008 · post by Fred Goodsell · Make a comment

4 years ago a group of activists began a campaign against the Brighton arms manufacturers EDO MBM. This campaign escalated into SMASH EDO!, costing the company millions of pounds. The campaign also suffered heavy police repression with several campaigners facing injunctions against then and weekly arrests for others.

A film titled “On The Verge” was made, documenting the campaign and a lengthy UK screening tour was set up. On the day of the Brighton Premier, just hours before the showing was to take place, the organisers received a call.

“The cinema had been contacted at 4.15pm by environmental health officer, Martin New, claiming that as the film does not have an official BBFC classification, the DoY would be in breach of their licence if the screening went ahead. The timing left the cinema with no option but to cancel. According to one source, the police then phoned the cinema and warned them that they should “bolt the doors” as these protesters were “extremely violent” and likely to try and force entry!”

Fortunately the film was relocated at short notice with around 140 people in attendance over two screenings.

Read more about the Brighton ban here

“Staff at the Arthouse Community Cafe in Bedford Place, Southampton were approached at 11 a.m (Weds 19th March) by police accompanied by licensing officers. Threats were made concerning their licensing if the film, due to be shown on Thursday 20th was screened. Jani Franck director of the Community Cafe said “I grew up in South Africa and this feels awfully familiar. This has nothing to do with protecting the public this is nothing but censorship”

Organisers in Chichester, Bath and Oxford have also suffered police pressure to cancel the showing.

A Spokesman for the production company SchMovies said ““I am extremely disappointed but not entirely surprised by the police’s action. There may be issues with certification but as we’re not charging for entry this shouldn’t be an issue. If the police really had problems over the certificate they could have approached us at a much earlier stage. Our film although focussing mainly on the rights and wrongs of protest shows a number of examples of questionable police behaviour – Perhaps this is why they left their move so late”

A spokesman for the campaign said ‘It looks like a co-ordinated campaign against the film. When the police are reduced to banning film showings via the back door another blow has been struck against our rights to free speech and free assembly’

Upcoming Tour dates still on (Screening & Talk) in March:

24th – Oxford. OARC
25th – Bath. Friends’ Meeting Place.
26th – Hereford. The Barrels Pub.
27th – Bristol. Kebele Social Centre.

Check with venue for late programme changes!

For more info on the “banned” film and where you can see it click here

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