They poured red paint down the front of the building, sprayed red paint from converted fire extinguishers on walls, painted slogans such as ‘Shut Elbit Down’ on the roof, and damaged CCTV cameras and other equipment. Their actions closed down the company for the day and they were arrested by a specialist police team who brought them safely down from the roof as evening fell.
Elite KL is a subsidiary of Israeli weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems, and the action was the latest instalment in an ongoing campaign which aims to stop Elbit from producing equipment in the UK which is linked to war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank.
Yesterday’s action came just three weeks after six activists caused thousands of pounds of damage in a rooftop occupation at UAV Systems in Shenstone, another Elbit subsidiary, and one week after police arrested six more activists who were alleged to be planning another action there. Two of those were remanded in prison after appearing court, but lawyers successfully appealed and they were released on bail after a few days.
Despite dozens of actions against Elbit targets, there is only one case currently set for trial, in May this year. The activists believe they have lawful excuse and it is up to Elbit to show that their business is lawful. A previous trial was abandoned by the Crown Prosecution Service when at the last moment Elbit refused to provide documents to the court.
According to Palestine Action, Elbit systems produces surveillance equipment for Israel’s apartheid wall, and engines for its fleet of military drones, while Elite-KL produces components for Israel’s tanks and armoured vehicles, used in the illegal occupation of Palestine.
Elite-KL have been invited to comment. Elbit have ignored several requests for a statement.