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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 May, 2004, 19:39 GMT 20:39 UK
Ten arrested over weapons protest
Protesters on the roof
Protesters highlighted the firm's role in making arms systems
Ten people have been arrested during a protest over arms exports at a defence manufacturers in Brighton.

Demonstrators blocked off the road leading to EdoMBM Technology, which makes equipment for bombs and missiles.

Five protesters then gathered on the roof of the building near Lewes Road on Thursday.

In a statement, the firm said it respected the right to peaceful protest but said demonstrators should respect the rights of the firm and its staff.

"The purpose of our defence products is to give the best equipment we can to our armed forces.

Protesters blockade the road
Five protesters chained themselves to the metal barricade
"EdoMBM Technology sells its products in strict compliance with UK government export regulations and policy and is confident they are administered effectively," it said.

Initially five demonstrators blocked the road for about three hours after constructing a metal cage and chaining themselves inside it.

They were arrested for obstruction after police moved in and dismantled the barrier.

But then another group of five people continued their protest on the roof of the company, to highlight the firm's role in making weapons systems.

One of the protesters, Alastair Arthur, said: "What you see on the television - when you see those pictures coming back from Iraq - that is your friendly neighbour who is making those bombs.

"It is not some far away industry in another country.

"It is very much here, on your doorstep."

Four of the activists came down from EdoMBM's roof voluntarily later in the afternoon, and were arrested by police for aggravated trespass.

A lone protester who remained on the company's roof was arrested in the evening.

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