Angie Zelter (born 5 June 1951) is a British activist and the founder of a number of international campaign groups, including Trident Ploughshares and the International Woman's Peace Service. Zelter is known for non-violent direct action campaigns and has been arrested over 100 times in Belgium, Canada, England, Malaysia, Norway, Poland and Scotland, serving 16 prison sentences. Zelter is a self-professed 'global citizen'.
In the 1980s Zelter founded the Snowball Campaign, which encouraged mass civil disobedience with participants each cutting one strand of a fence around US military bases in the UK, then waiting to be arrested. During the campaign, which lasted three years, there were around 2,500 arrests and many of the activists were sent to jail for non-payment of fines. Caroline Lucas, future Green party leader and MP was involved in the campaign, and poet Oliver Bernard was sent to prison.
In 1996 she was part of a group that disarmed a BAE Hawk Jet, ZH955, causing £1.5million damage and preventing it from being exported to Indonesia where it would have been used to attack East Timor. She was acquitted for this action in a victory which forced the issue of arms control onto the mainstream agenda.
Along with American Ellen Moxley and Ulla Røder from Denmark, she became known as one of the Trident Three of the Trident Ploughshares, after the women succeeded in entering Maytime, a floating trident sonar testing station in Loch Goil, and damaged 20 computers and other electronic equipment and circuit boxes, cut an antenna, jammed machinery with superglue, sand, and syrup and tipped logbooks, files, computer hardware, and papers overboard. In December 2001 the Trident Three were awarded the Right Livelihood Award.
During the April 2019 Extinction Rebellion London occupations Zelter was arrested on Waterloo Bridge and in Parliament Square, becoming the first activist to be prosecuted. She was given a conditional discharge in June 2019, after arguing in court that humans faced mass extinction unless governments implemented wide-ranging changes.
Zelter was one of more than 1,400 protesters arrested during the October 2019 'Extinction Rebellion Autumn Uprising' two-week campaign in London. She was charged under Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986, pleaded guilty, and was ordered to pay a £460 fine, £85 costs and £46 surcharge.
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At that time Caroline was also involved with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Inspired by the women at Greenham Common, she took part in the Snowball Campaign, a countrywide movement against nuclear weapons which saw growing numbers of people cutting fences at various military bases with the aim of getting arrested. "The idea was you had so many people doing it, the courts wouldn't be able to process everyone and, hopefully, it would prompt a rethink of nuclear weapons. Sadly, it didn't get to that level. I did get arrested but eventually they dropped the charges, which was a bit disappointing."
- Barker, Elspeth (30 June 2013). "Oliver Bernard obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
In 1985 he became a Catholic and was involved in the Snowball campaign to cut the wire perimeter fences at airbases, in protest at the government's attitude to nuclear weapons. For this he was sent to prison for several weeks, emerging in a very good mood: "I felt grateful to just about everyone," he said.
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When I was released, I came straight back out and went around all the four places where the blockades were still held and checked where they needed more support. I went back to a friend's house, had a rest then came and joined here at Oxford Circus this morning. I plan on being here for at least two weeks. If I get arrested again, so be it.
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- Trident Ploughshares
- "WITNESS BOX STATEMENT – Angie Zelter, Hendon Magistrates Court 25th June 2019". Extinction Rebellion. 25 June 2019.