An Israeli arms factory, Elbit-Ferranti, in Oldham was targeted by Palestine Action activists. Red paint was poured and sprayed across the reception doors and windows by the direct action group opposed to Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine.
The activists also spray-painted statements such as “Shut Elbit Down”, “War Criminals”, “Tested on Palestinians, Used in Kashmir” and “we will be back” on to the building’ walls.
Activists have campaigned against Elbit’s presence in Oldham previously with no concrete action taken against the company by the council or government to date. Prior to the launch of Palestine Action, Oldham based activists held over ten stalls in Oldham city centre to highlight the atrocities committed by the company.
Five demonstrations were held during which activists organised petitions gathering signatures against the Israeli arms manufacturer. Monthly vigils were also held outside Elbit Ferranti for the past year. In July 2019 activists held a roof top occupation of the factory for three days which sparked local interest and dissent against the factory.
Elbit Systems is Israel’s largest private arms company. The activists claim that their weapons are marketed as “field tested” on Palestinian civilians, notably Gazans who are mostly children and refugees.
Elbit is said to have supplied 85 per cent of the drones used in the war on Gaza in 2014, where over 2,200 Palestinians – 500 of them children – were killed in only 50 days. The Israeli arms company has ten sites across the UK.
Palestine Action is focusing on targeting all of their sites until they are shut down. A member of Palestine Action condemned the British government for allowing Elbit to continue its operation in the UK. “While our government continues to turn a blind-eye to Elbit Systems continuing to break the law in order to manufacturing weapons for Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian people,” said the activists in a statement.
“We too will continue to disrupt and break the law for the sake of human rights, justice and dignity. We will not stop, and we will continue to escalate our actions until Elbit Systems complicity in war crimes and apartheid here in the UK are shut down.”