At Mold Crown Court, Judge Rowlands gave three activists a 23 months sentence, and one other to 27 months, after the four were convicted of “conspiracy to commit criminal damage” against a Welsh based US weapons factory, Teledyne Labtech. The action which took place on the 9th December 2022, saw two of the four dismantle military equipment from the inside of the factory, whilst the others occupied the roof. In total, it’s alleged the four damaged over £1.2million worth of equipment belonging to the firm, severely disrupting the production of weaponry. A Palestine Action statement on the sentencing:
“The four activists are the longest serving prisoners for taking action with Palestine Action to disrupt the war machine. Their incarceration demonstrates Britain prioritising the interests of an arms industry which facilitates the genocide of the Palestinian people, over the freedom of its own citizens. The necessity to take direct action is derived from the criminal actions of our government, who have remained complicit in the colonisation of Palestine for over a century. The four activists who put their liberty on the line to break this chain of complicity should be upheld as the heroes they are, not imprisoned.”
Half of their sentences are expected to be served in prison, of which they have served nearly 7 months to date, as they’ve been remanded since the action took place.
Three of the activists, given sentences of 23 months, pleaded guilty at trial under the pressure of facing harsher sentences if they proceeded. The other, Ruth Hogg, a PhD student, given a sentence of 27 months, was convicted at trial. This verdict came after the majority of their defences were disallowed by the Judge, including preventing the greater crime and acting in necessity to save lives. Despite the Judge not allowing evidence of Israel’s war crimes to be heard in court, Ruth argued that any damage caused would disrupt the flow of British made weapons to Israel for use against the Palestinian people.
During the trial, misled Teledyne employees said they weren’t aware that the components they built were used in weaponry. Their claims were contradicted by their manager, Adele MacLachlan, who had to admit in court that their products are used for missiles, and listed a variety of weapons companies they work with, including Raytheon, BAE Systems and Leonardo. On the day of the action, Teledyne Labtech took down a page on their website which listed the weaponry their products are used in.
Teledyne Labtech is a Welsh subsidiary of the American weapons company, Teledyne. The Welsh factory specialise in manufacturing components for a range of weaponry, including military radar systems, missiles, fighter jets and military drones. Teledyne have been supplying armed drones to Israel since at least 1973, and are the largest listed exporter of weaponry from Britain to the apartheid state of Israel.
Image: Vladimir Morozov