Freedom News

Four Palestine Action activists remanded to prison for dismantling Israel’s weaponry

Four Palestine Action activists have been remanded after taking direct action to shut down the Teledyne Labtech factory in Presteigne, Wales. According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the group caused over £500K of damages  to the factory. Their actions caused significant disruption to the flow of arms from Britain to Israel’s apartheid state. Demonstrators tore up offices, broke computers, smashed machinery and covered the building in red paint and began an occupation of the roof in an attempt to force the factory to suspend its operations.

The group has stated that “Britain is now a hostile environment for all companies involved in the brutalisation and murder of Palestinians. Elbit Systems is one such company, but Teledyne Technologies are another major player. They supply surveillance equipment for Israel’s apartheid wall, and targeting systems for their fleet of combat drones.”

The factory the group targeted, Teledyne Labtech, manufacture technologies “integrated into the world’s most sophisticated defence systems”, including in military radar systems, electronic warfare systems, missile seeker heads, military communications other capacities. ​​​​​​​The American-owned firm hold weapons export licences for both Israel and India, where their surveillance and targeting systems are used in the repression and killing of indigenous Palestinians and Kashmiris.  Teledyne also produces image sensors for military applications, as well as radar technologies around the borders of the occupied West Bank and Gaza

Israel’s armed drone fleet, deployed in successive assaults on Gaza since the 51-day attack in 2014, are also outfitted with Teledyne targeting systems. These enable Israel to precision target children and schools, as they did in 2014, when 547 Palestinian children were killed during Operation Protective Edge. Teledyne Technologies’ products are therefore directly attributable to the surveillance and murder of thousands of Palestinians. The fact that IDF commanders have been told this year to use drones in targeted assassinations in the West Bank means that Teledyne will be responsible for many more deaths.

The pre-trial detention of activists comes after Palestine Action’s primary target, Elbit Systems, was forced out of a £280 million set of contracts with the Royal Navy. The British state is reacting to a series of victories for Palestine Action, including the closure of an Elbit arms factory in Oldham and of their London Headquarters. Palestine Action has been taken to the courts multiple times but the state has found it hard to secure convictions. Notably in Southwark Crown Court, activists from the group were unanimously acquitted by a jury. Elbit Systems faces a crisis of confidence from the British government and direct action from the British people. Activists have stated that it is only a matter of time before the company is forced out of Britain. 

In response to the imprisonment of the activists, Palestine Action states:

“The imprisonment of the four activists is a desperate attempt by the state to deter disruption of Israel’s military supply chain, and facilitate the ongoing military repression of the Palestinian people. Their protection of apartheid and settler colonialism in Palestine demonstrates why our actions are necessary. We call for the immediate release of our political prisoners, and vow to continue to disrupt the war machine until Palestinians are also free”

Palestine Action have said that an immediate appeal will be put in to the Crown Court requesting the activists’ release and ask supporters to donate to their legal fund: Legal Defence Fund – Palestine Action

Images: Vladimir Morozov

Discover more from Freedom News

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading