Palestine Action activists, a direct action group opposed to Israel’s brutal occupation, targeted the London sites of its biggest arms company, Elbit Systems, in protest over the company’s alleged role in the “destruction, oppression and murder of indigenous people across the world.”
Activists covered three of the sites in red paint, in what seems to be an attempt to symbolise its alleged role in the spilling of Palestinian blood, with messages calling on the landlord to shut down Elbit’s operation in the UK.
The Israeli arms manufacturer has ten bases across Britain, including four arms factories which produce parts for drones used in Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine.
Elbit has been targeted for direct action several times by groups around Britain after its boasts at arms fairs that its weapons are battle-tested in Gaza, which has a largely civilian population. Thousands of innocent Palestinian men, women and children have been killed in Israel’s military offensives.
The sites targeted by activists from Palestine Action include Elbit Systems HQ office in central London, as well as their landlord’s HQ offices, LaSalle Asset Management in Mayfair. Elbit’s factory, Elbit-Instro, was also targeted in Kent.
Statements such as “Shut Elbit Down”, “Tested on Palestinians, Used in Kashmir” were spray painted on the sites.
One of these sites included Elbit’s HQ, which has been targeted by protesters for the fourth time in a fortnight. Activists wrote letters stating they will continue to paint Elbit red to disrupt “business as usual” and appropriately address the immorality of Elbit’s presence in the UK.
Palestine Action wrote to the landlord of Elbit’s HQ, LaSalle Asset Management, calling on the company to kick Elbit Systems out prior to the action. To date, there has been no response, prompting activists to take action by covering the front glass doors and windows of the landlord’s HQ office in red paint with the message “if you aid war criminals, you are war criminals”.
A message was also placed on the wall which pledged to continue the protest until the landlord shut Elbit down.
Elbit Systems is Israel’s largest private arms company, marketing their weapons as “field tested” on Palestinian civilians, notably Gazans who are mostly children and refugees.
Campaigners say Elbit supplied 85 per cent of the drones used in the invasion of Gaza in 2014, where over 2,200 Palestinians, including 500 children, were killed in only 50 days.
Palestine Action says that it is focusing on targeting all of the ten sites from which Elbit runs its operation until they are shut down. “For every Palestinian life Elbit has taken, for every Palestinian home Elbit has destroyed and for every life which has suffered so Elbit can profit, we will take action. We will continue to escalate until we shut Elbit down,” said Palestine Action activists.