This morning, the Elbit Systems UK arms company received a visit from several activists from new direct action group Palestine Action. Elbit’s London HQ is on the sixth floor of an office building at 77 Kingsway in London and several campaigners entered the building hoping to stage an occupation.
They were prevented from getting past the lobby by heavy-handed security officers, none of whom were wearing any SIA identification as required by law.
Before being ejected from the building, the activists spilt blood red paint and sprayed slogans in the reception area. Their action follows a recent night-time visit by an unknown group who daubed the outside of the building.
Elbit, which Palestine Action claim is the largest private arms company in Israel, has several UK subsidiaries. Some of their factories here in the UK have been the target of previous actions to shut them down, sometimes for days, but to date the company has declined to prosecute. Activists believe this proves that the company has a lot to hide, and they claim it is complicit in war crimes because it sells drones to the Israeli regime which are used to target unarmed Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
Without any shame, Elbit actually advertise their goods as “battle-tested”, which is taken to include their use against Palestinians. The UK government’s own reviews have admitted it is likely that UK-made arms have been used in Gaza.
Israel has said it will annex the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, a plan condemned internationally, and described by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as illegal.
Palestine Action was launched this week, and brings together groups from all round the country in a direct action and divestment-pressure campaign against firms such as Elbit and JCB which support Israeli war crimes.
To get involved, check out PalestineAction.org