Last week we reported four Palestine Action activists took to the roof of the Elbit/Thales drone assembly plant in Leicester taking direct action to shut the plant down. After three days, two of them came down in order to preserve rations, while the remaining protesters managed to sustain the action for a further three days, surviving on rain water scooped off their tent because police refused to provide any food or water and even arrested supporters who tried to offer aid.
On the 24th May, police finally brought the two men down off the roof, but local people came out in their hundreds and surrounded the gates to the site showing solidarity and preventing the arrest van from leaving for more than six hours into the night.
The very next morning three activists – Alex, Samia and Tom – climbed on the roof of the Elite KL Elbit subsidiary in Tamworth. They sprayed slogans, spilled red paint and closed the site down again. Palestine Action believe the Tamworth site manufactures tank components. Private security and police worked together to bring this occupation to an end after just one day.
Neither Elbit nor any of their subsidiaries have ever responded to requests for comment, and the court case that was due to begin on the 17th has been the subject of legal wrangles and now appears to have been postponed into the Autumn of 2022. The only case ever brought by Elbit against protesters was six years ago, but it collapsed when the company refused to produce documents in front of a jury.
The recent assault on Gaza has brought new urgency and strength to the Palestine Action campaign, with members joining in their hundreds and local people protesting in solidarity with the actions both at Leicester and also at the gates of the Elbit Ferranti subsidiary in Oldham.