Duration: 30:22 minutes

Anne Daly and Ronan Tynan’s first documentary film about the struggle to halt the genocide in East Timor by the brutal Indonesian military occupation of the small Pacific nation.

A film about incredible courage, commitment and a willingness to sacrifice their own personal liberty for the people of East Timor by four English women who broke into a British military base and damaged a hawk jet fighter to stop it being exported to Indonesia for use in the genocide against the Timorese.

The women waited to be arrested after damaging the plane and were sensationally acquitted by a jury in Liverpool who accepted their defense that they sought to use only reasonable force to stop the hawk fighter being used to commit genocide in East Timor.

The documentary features an intimate portrait of two of the women featured in the documentary borough counsellor Joanna Wilson and nurse Andrea Needham.

More background:

On 29 January 1996, three women entered the British Aerospace military base at Warton, Lancashire armed with household hammers. They smashed the radar nose and control panel of a Hawk ground-attack aircraft, which was part of an order of 24 aircraft destined for Indonesia. They called their act a Ploughshares Action, which was inspired by the biblical injunction (Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3) ‘to beat swords into ploughshares’. A British activist named Chris Cole had performed a Ploughshares action on British Aerospace three years earlier. The three women – borough counsellor Joanna Wilson, gardener Lotta Kronlid and nurse Andrea Needham – were charged with illegal entry and criminal damage. The fourth member of the group was environmental campaigner Angie Zelter, who had supported them and publicly announced her intention to carry out another Ploughshares Action. Zelter was arrested the next year while on her way to a public meeting. Their trial by jury began on 23 July 1997. Solidarity activists organised blockades, sit-ins, teach-ins and other vigils, all of which combined to generate enormous negative publicity for the Indonesian occupation. Sensationally, they were all acquitted after the jury accepted their defense – they claimed they had acted lawfully because they were using ‘reasonable force’ to prevent the much greater crime of genocide. The entire episode served to highlight Indonesia’s human rights abuses, and the equally crucial factor of Western support for Indonesia’s actions.