As part of their nationwide campaign against an Israeli arms manufacturer, pro-Palestine activists in the UK have staged a protest outside the company’s plant in the borough of Oldham.
Palestine Action, a London-based pro-Palestine advocacy group, shared a series of tweets showing masked activists standing on the roof of the Israeli arms factory on Monday, holding ‘Shut down Elbit’ banners.
They announced that they had taken to the roof of Israel’s arms factory in Oldham "once more", spraying it with fire extinguishers, and "laying bare the profits of a military occupation and extinguishing Elbit through direct action".
We've taken to the roof of Israel’s arms factory in #Oldham once more, spraying it blood red with fire extinguishers, laying bare the profits of a military occupation and extinguishing Elbit through direct action. #ShutElbitDown pic.twitter.com/oQV1bmoNMK— Palestine Action (@Pal_action) August 23, 2021
In another tweet, the group said they had “blockaded” the gates of the Israeli arms factory in Oldham by vehicles, and halted its “deadly production line”.
“The roof's ours,” it declared.
One of the pictures showed an activist sitting on the roof, with clenched fist. The caption read: “They may try to lock us up in chains but we’ll always keep coming back and taking the fight to Elbit to tear apart their links in Israel's killer supply chain.”
They may try to lock us up in chains but we’ll always keep coming back and taking the fight to Elbit to tear apart their links in Israel's killer supply chain. #ShutElbitDown pic.twitter.com/Amxvs7blWy— Palestine Action (@Pal_action) August 23, 2021
In a statement published on its website, Palestine Action said the move comes “as Israel continues to raid Palestinian communities in Gaza and the West Bank while brutalizing civilians, using UK-manufactured weapons and technologies produced by firms such as Elbit Systems.”
It said the Oldham arms factory is used for the “production of a range of specialist weapons technologies, including components for Israeli drones and battle tanks.”
“The activists currently occupying the Elbit Ferranti factory have once again shown the power of direct action against Israeli oppression. While Western governments continue to side with the oppressors, and while media attention in Palestinian suffering has dwindled, Palestinians are still exposed to daily brutality, starvation, apartheid and death. These activists are bravely standing against this injustice – and we will continue to do so until Elbit is shut down,” the statement quoted the spokesman as saying.
Protests gain pace
It is the second time in three months that pro-Palestine activists in UK have scaled the roof of an Israeli arms factory. In May, the week-long protest in Leicester, a city in the English Midlands, had resulted in court action.
The group has been vigorously campaigning against Elbit, Israel’s largest arms producer, across the UK since last year, targeting a number of sites owned by the arms company.
The protesters say the factories owned by the Israeli regime manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles which have been used to deadly effect on Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.
“These drones have been directly linked to the butchering of children in Gaza, and activists occupying the site are determined that no more of them end up in Israel’s hands,” Palestine Action said in a statement in May.
On Sunday, dozens of people, including women and children, gathered outside the Israeli arms factory in Oldham to stage a protest.
“The problem with the world is the people who cause the wars want all the money and it’s the poor people who suffer. Imagine a world with no wars at all,” a young girl said in her speech at the protest.
Last week, activists gathered outside the Israeli-owned arms factory in Leicester, blockading the entrance to UAV Tactical Systems, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems.
The protests come in the wake of the Israeli regime’s latest military aggression on the besieged enclave of Gaza, injuring at least 41 Palestinians, two of them critically.
Palestinian groups in Gaza have vowed to continue resistance.