Elbit Systems is Israel's largest arms manufacturer. At the end of the 2021, it had 10 sites across the UK and 4 subsidiaries. Today it has only 9 sites across the UK and only 3 subsidiaries.
This is the story of how an activist group, in tandem with the local community courageously stood up and shut down an Elbit Systems arms factory in the British town of Oldham.
From Israel's drone killing of four Palestinian boys playing football on the beach in 2014, to the apartheid wall in the West Bank which the International Court of Justice has deemed illegal, the fingerprints of Elbit Systems can be found. From the anti migrant infrastructure in Arizona to the Indian Army occupying Kashmir, Elbit Systems profiteers.
UK based activist group, Palestine Action, have launched a relentless campaign to shut down Elbit factories in the country, through direct action. They claim to have carried out almost 100 actions in a year, causing almost £20 million worth of damage to Elbit's operations. Their defense is that criminal damage to stop war crimes is no offence.
There is yet to be one conviction of Palestine Action activists of any crime in British law. They claim Elbit Systems fears stepping into court with them and having the reality of its operations discussed openly.
Following many months of weekly protests, it became clear that Elbit's presence in the community was just not tenable. The company not only withdrew from Oldham completely but it sold its toxic brand Ferranti Technology for around £10 million.
The shutting down of Elbit systems in Oldham is what bottom up, community enforced BDS looks like. With Palestine Action continuing their sustained campaign to shut down Elbit Systems arms factories and communities across the country waking up to the enemy within, how much longer can Elbit maintain its presence in the UK.