UK’s Block the Factory activists protest Elbit System factories on 1st anniversary of Israel’s 2014 Gaza massacre

Activism
on 15 Comments

Marking the first anniversary of Israel’s 51 day assault on Gaza last summer, Block the Factory activists in the UK protested at 3 Elbit Systems arms factories in the UK this morning; Elbit’s Elite KL factory in Tamworth, Staffordshire; Instro Precision in Broadstairs, Kent, and a UAV Engines plant at Shenstone, Lichfield, a factory that manufactures and exports drone engines to Israel.

Protesters seen on the roof of the Instro Precision factory in Broadstairs, Kent Photo: Block the Factory/ IBTimes

Protesters seen on the roof of the Instro Precision factory in Broadstairs, Kent Photo: Block the Factory/ IBTimes

Elbit Systems is Israel’s largest publicly traded weapons company with government military contracts in the US, UK and Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Their arms are used by Israel to target and massacre civilians in Gaza.

 UAV Engines plant at Shenstone, Lichfield Screen shot Ruptly TV

UAV Engines plant at Shenstone, Lichfield Screen shot Ruptly TV

The peaceful actions planned by protesters were met by a heavy police presence at Shenstone’s UVA Engine factory.

Screen shot Ruptly TV

Screen shot Ruptly TV

Still, the activists successfully shut down the UVA factory for the day.

Several people were arrested:

RT UK  cites activist Alex Levan, 31, said organizers had intended the protest to be peaceful.

A variety of campaign groups including War on Want, Campaign Against the Arms Trade and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign united under the umbrella movement “Block the Factory” to organize the day of action.

Speaking to RT, activist Alex Levan, 31, said organizers had intended the protest to be peaceful.

“There were lots of police from early on,” he said. “They were very rough, they manhandled protestors, [and] they were very heavy-handed.”

“The idea was to reclaim the space around the factory and to turn it into a real festival environment, a creative activist environment with workshops, with a family space, with arts and crafts.”

“But the police were heavy-handed, they’ve made at least 10 arrests, but there will probably be more. These were completely unprovoked arrests, these were peaceful protests,” he added.

International Business Times cites London Palestine Action‘s Elly Hassan:

“Israel was only able to massacre 2,200 Palestinians in Gaza last summer because factories like these are allowed to operate and because governments such as the UK government continue to allow arms exports to Israel.

“People have come here from all over the country to show their solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality and to demand that the UK government imposes a two-way military embargo on Israel.”

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About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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15 Responses

  1. amigo
    July 6, 2015, 2:40 pm

    Must have been a big crowd protesting.That,s a lot of “Peelers” , (http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/Sir-Robert-Peel/) to put down a peaceful demo.

    Is that a Star of David I see on their helmets.I wonder how many got their crowd control training in the rogue nation.

    Cameron must have got the call threatening to cancel all orders if he did not “take care ” of this problem.

    Congrats to the protesters.Shutting down the place for one hour is progress.

    • JLewisDickerson
      July 6, 2015, 4:44 pm

      RE: “I wonder how many got their crowd control training in the rogue nation.” ~ amigo

      WATCH: ■ Catalan Police in Israel: repression courses “Tested In Combat”

      CATALAN POLICE TRAINING IN ISRAEL [VIDEO, 05:40] ~ February 16, 2014
      “Public security” training in Israel for police from Catalonia – or how to wage war on your own civilian population to protect the investments of bankster criminals!
      SOURCE – http://roblosricos.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/catalan-police-training-in-israel/

      • JLewisDickerson
        July 6, 2015, 4:51 pm

        P.S. Here is a very powerful testimonial regarding the impact of Israel’s “tested in combat” marketing on policing.
        An Israeli Soldier’s Story – Eran Efrati [VIDEO, 40:05]

        Published on Mar 8, 2014
        The talk by Eran Efrati was filmed in Denver, Colorado on March 3, 2014 as part of The Soldier and the Refusenik U.S. tour with Maya Wind. Eran talks about his experiences in the IDF and then more broadly discusses Israel, its relationship to the U.S. and the global expansion of militarism. The talk by Eran Efrati was filmed in Denver, Colorado on March 3, 2014 as part of The Soldier and the Refusenik U.S. tour with Maya Wind. Eran talks about his experiences in the IDF and then more broadly discusses Israel, its relationship to the U.S. and the global expansion of militarism.

        PAST COMMENTS:

        Bornajoo October 24, 2014, 3:37 pm
        @JLewisDickerson
        That was indeed a very powerful must-watch testimonial. Thank you for the link. More honest and courageous people from within like Eran urgently required
        The digger you deep it just becomes even more hideous, even more grotesque and even more evil.

        MRW October 27, 2014, 12:43 am
        Everyone should see that “An Israeli Soldier’s Story – Eran Efrati [VIDEO, 40:05].”
        If you can’t stand to watch the whole thing, the last 10 minutes will do it.

        SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2014/10/there-things-around#comment-717880

      • amigo
        July 6, 2015, 7:04 pm

        JLD. Thanks for the links and videos.

        Very enlightening .

        Thank you for all the hard work you do providing us with such detailed reports.Much appreciated and very useful tools when I am trying to convince a doubter.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 6, 2015, 8:03 pm

        thanks dickerson, great video.

  2. CigarGod
    July 7, 2015, 9:10 am

    “Their arms are used to target and massacre civilians.”
    Cant be said enough, Annie.
    Always love your no BS style.

    • ivri
      July 7, 2015, 4:33 pm

      And what about Hamas` missiles and mortars? Or the arms supplied by the West in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen? And so and on …. Are they all directed at military targets only?

      • CigarGod
        July 7, 2015, 5:40 pm

        Focus, dude. Focus.
        Repeat after me: This article is about______.

      • ivri
        July 8, 2015, 9:27 am

        Listen Cigar, if and when you quarrel with your girlfriend/wife and would tell her to listen only to your segment/side of the problems between you and ask her to shut up on her – what she will respond is what I skip here…

      • CigarGod
        July 8, 2015, 10:08 am

        My wives and girlfriends would never dream of arguing that I was unfair for not criticizing a neighbor or someone in another country for doing the same thing she does…that I might feel is wrong.

        I could try to tell her that Ivri’s wife lets him fart at the dinner table, but I wouldn’t want to erode my credibility…in case I someday wanted to make a serious argument on something.

  3. ivri
    July 7, 2015, 4:27 pm

    The big guys are not going to boycott Israel. Period. That applies to the Republicans and Hillary in the US; the arms guys and intelligence agencies in Europe; the hi-tech and Internet Giants; The military-Industrial complexes all around the world – East and West.
    The reasons: Israel –related problems are dwarfed by others – and many of them – which attract all the attention ; Israel in needed as part of the continually shrinking West for self-interest reasons of the latter; Israel has grown into the US in an inextricable manner – so in most industries separation is already impractical.

    • justicewillprevail
      July 8, 2015, 5:37 am

      Israel is most definitely not ‘needed’ – it is a huge part of the problem. Its strategy to make itself inextricable with the US has succeeded to the point where there are many insiders who deplore the influence of a foreign power on the US. They are biting their lip for now, but once a movement grows, their voices will be heard. Who cares that they are ‘big guys’ – that alone makes them vulnerable.

    • amigo
      July 8, 2015, 12:58 pm

      Citizen , thanks for that link.Congrats to the activists who made this happen.
      I tred to leave a message with the Carey dance group but their site was withdrawn , probably due to high traffic.

      I know several of the people at IPSC and not one of them would make threats against anyone.Typical blow-back by zionists and their apologists who live on lies and deceit.The upside is Israelis will not be enjoying a night of Irish dancing.

    • a blah chick
      July 8, 2015, 1:11 pm

      I read that this morning because Jews Sans Frontieres had a link on their twitter feed. It’s par for the course that BDS folks are always accused of threatening people when in fact that is a tactic of the other side.

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