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The Hammer Blow by Andrea Needham (Cover design Erica Smith)

The Hammer Blow by Andrea Needham (Cover design Erica Smith)

The Hammer Blow: author talk

The Hammer Blow: How 10 Women Disarmed A War Plane, a book written by local resident, mother and peace and environmental campaigner, Andrea Needham, was published earlier this year. The book describes her experience of disarming a Hawk warplane that was bound for illegally- occupied East Timor, threatening the lives of civilians. On Thursday 15 December Andrea gives a talk about her experience at the White Rock Hotel. HOT’s Zelly Restorick writes.

At the end of January 20 years ago, the actions of 10 women prevented a warplane bound for Indonesia from being used in illegally-occupied East Timor. After six months in prison awaiting trial, the women directly involved in the action were acquitted of all charges.

Hawk warplane

Hawk warplane

Andrea Needham is one of these women and The Hammer Blow is her story of what happened, why she got involved and the repercussions. Andrea is a dynamic, courageous campaigner standing up and taking action to change things; someone who doesn’t accept that anything is inevitable.


Praise from Benjamin Zephaniah and Caroline Lucas

“The occupation of East Timor was one of the biggest injustices of our time. I was frustrated by the lack of coverage this occupation got in the British press, and at the same time I was angry with our government for being an apologist for the Indonesians, and for selling them arms. Then I heard about a group of women that undertook a piece of cool, and effective, direct action. They disrupted the sale of a major piece of military hardware, and in doing so they inspired me (and many others) to continue. They went to court, but the truth prevailed.

“This book is an honest, personal account of how, when and why. It goes without saying that it is an important piece of history, but what’s more important is that it shows other women and men what’s possible when we stand together for a just cause. These women really did increase the peace.” Benjamin Zephaniah

“The heroic actions of this small, but determined, group of women is told brilliantly in Andrea Needham’s fascinating account…You can sense just how much human life matters to each and every one of these women. They spent six months in jail for acting upon their consciences – but were eventually, and rightly, found to be innocent.

“Anyone interested in social change, or campaigning for peace, should read this book and take inspiration from the brave actions of these amazing women.” Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion.

The talk is hosted by members of St Leonards Salon, who meet regularly for author talks, book signings, readings and networking.

Andrea Needham

Andrea Needham

The Hammer Blow: talk by author and campaigner Andrea Needham. Thursday 15 December, 7pm, White Rock Hotel, 1-10 White Rock, Hastings, TN34 1JU.

The Hammer Blow is available from Peace News for £10 on 020 7278 3344 or through the PN webshop. Also available via Amazon. (Publisher: Peace News : Jan 2016 : ISBN-10: 094640920X : ISBN-13: 978-0946409204.)

Latest Peace News article about The Hammer Blow book tour experience by Andrea Needham here.

Posted 04:27 Sunday, Dec 11, 2016 In: Literature

1 Comment

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  1. Ms. doubtfire

    United we stand – Andrea is inspirational.

    Comment by Ms. doubtfire — Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 @ 20:50

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