The CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) and the police have informed the #Elbit5 activists from Palestine Action that their three day occupation on top of Elbit’s UAV Engine factory in Shenstone cost Elbit Systems over £160,000 in losses. The overall cost to Elbit Systems Shenstone factory are expected to be higher as the factory will not be opening anytime soon. Palestine Action and our supporters consider every pound cost to Elbit throughout this occupation, every minute the factory is shut down, a small victory in fighting for an end to the UK’s complicity in Israel’s apartheid regime, and justice for the victims of the crimes that Elbit Systems is complicit in and consists of another small step toward shutting Elbit down for good.
Following being held by police for over 40 hours, Palestine Action activists were released Friday evening following a successful three day long occupation of the Elbit Systems UAV Engine factory in Shenstone. Activists climbed on top of the factory early Monday morning and throughout the occupation managed to smash all the factories front windows, drilled holes into the ceiling, threw the air conditioning units to the ground and poured red paint down the front of the factory as to symbolise the blood of Elbit’s Palestinian victims.
The factory was targeted as it plays a key role in the oppression, subjugation and murdering of Palestinian civilians. The engines are owned, manufactured and produced by and for Elbit Systems, specifically for their Hermes-900 drones that are deployed on Palestinians, notably in the besieged Gaza strip, where they are then sold on the international arms market as “field tested”, that is field tested on a population that consists mostly of refugees and children.
The violent and intimidating reactions toward Palestine Action activists and their supporters by the police, both during the occupation and after the arrests is informative. It is clear that the police maintain a special interest in protecting Elbit Systems, as soon UK police will be deploying Elbit Systems drones in skies over the UK for the sake of mass-surveillance techniques that likely infringe on human rights and civil liberties.
It has also been revealed that the government has both diplomatic and material interests in protecting Elbits war profiteering, as Elbit systems have been provided a contract by the Home Office to carry out border force work under the insidious title of “Search & Rescue”, to scan the channel for migrant and refugee boats. Furthermore, in a recent meeting between Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Orit Farkash and UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Palestine Action was discussed and was demanded to be pressured and shut down by the Israeli Minister along with the wider UK BDS movement.
The growing links between Israel and Elbit Systems with the British police and state must be challenged and resisted. It is clear that the UK government and the police will not only continue to turn a blind eye to Israel’s and by extension, Elbit Systems crimes against the Palestinian people. But they will actively seek to protect and support them. This is why it is our job, together, to take a stand, and do something.
There are ten Elbit sites across the UK, where actions have already occurred at a number of them from Oldham to London. As the #Elbit5 take Elbit to task for its crimes in crown court, we are calling on people to take direct action now against these insidious links and the UK’s continuing support for Israel’s brutal apartheid regime against the Palestinian people. Time and time again, Palestine Action activists have protested, thrown paint and sprayed graffiti on Elbit sites and the companies that continue to harbour them, with no further action taken against activists.
Now is the time to make Elbit know that they and their racist crimes are not welcome here, whether against Palestinians in Gaza, or refugees in the English channel. They, like the UK government are running scared of the power of autonomous direct action for Palestine, and they should be. Those wishing to join our struggle can either take autonomous actions and send the pictures of their actions to firstname.lastname@example.org without officially joining, and we will share if such actions align with our principles.
We call on all those who support the principles of anti-racism, equality and justice to join our growing network by the link provided: bit.ly/JoinPalAct where you can get in contact with local activists in your area, to communicate, to organise and together we can #ShutElbitDown for good.
(Source: Palestine Action)