Peace activist wins base trespass trial
A PEACE protester is celebrating after a case accusing her of trespassing at RAF Mildenhall was dismissed.
The case against Lindis Percy, a veteran campaigner, was dismissed at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court.
Ms Percy, 69, successfully defended herself in a two-day trial against a charge of trespass on the base, which is occupied by the United States Air Force (USAF).
A well-known activist, Ms Percy is joint co-ordinator of the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (CAAB).
“This is about the truth being told,” she said. “I am very pleased.”
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Ms Percy, of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, was previously the centre of media attention when she climbed the gates of Buckingham Palace in 2003 to protest against the state visit by American president George Bush.
The trial at Bury Magistrates’ Court heard Ministry of Defence police arrested Ms Percy at RAF Mildenhall on October 30, 2009, when she had walked on to the base through a manned checkpoint.
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Sqd Ldr Richard Fryer, the station commander at the base, told the court Ms Percy had entered a section of the site protected by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCAP) 2005.
Ms Percy maintained she had been given permission to enter the base when she was stopped at around 1.20pm, having shown her driving licence to a guard on the manned checkpoint.
District Judge David Cooper, presiding, dismissed the case one day into a two-day trial on Tuesday.
After the case, Ms Percy, a Quaker, said she had been carrying out research into the site on behalf of the CAAB, which examines the role of the US visiting forces and their agencies in the UK.
“I’m peaceful,” said Ms Percy. “I’m totally against violence. I was carrying out research into what the Americans are doing.”
She first became active in 1979 when she became involved in a campaign to stop cruise missiles being deployed at Greenham Common.
Ms Percy claims residents living near bases occupied by American forces have a right to know what activities are taking place near their homes.
“I am not anti-American,” she said. “But I do have problems with American foreign bases.’’