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Six protesters are in Watford Magistrate's Court facing charges for their part in a demonstration
Peace activists protested on the steps of Watford Magistrates Court yesterday, as fellow demonstrators appeared in the dock.
Inside a group named Northwood Six faced charges for their part in the “Die-in” protest, which saw the road outside the military nerve centre blocked by bodies.
Katrina Alton, Stephen Barnes, Gabriel Carlyle, Maya Evans, Milan Rai and Angela Zelter were part of a group which staged a “Die-in” outside Northwood Headquarters earlier this year.
The court was shown DVD evidence gathered by a police camera man, including Chief Inspector John Dempsey Brench giving the protesters five minutes to move, and then their removal by police officers.
CI Brench said: “I had to consider the life of the community which was being affected. The road was not held up for just 20 minutes, but from the time they left the tube station to the time they returned.”
The group wanted to stage their demonstration outside the gates of the base but were instead instructed to remain on an area of land named “pretty corner”.
“serious disruption to the life of the community” under section 14 of the public order act.
Mr Sandell, defending, suggested that had the protest been allowed outside the gate they would have taken up less room on the road.
CI Brench countered that the police are not responsible for the area outside the base, and that heavy goods traffic regularly used the gate.
A similar protest held in Northwood in 2003 led to 70 people being arrested for sitting down in the road.
The case continues and is thought to conclude later today.
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