A Palestine Action activist, Sean Middleborough, was remanded to prison on Monday, 15th January, following their arrest on Sunday morning for allegedly planning to disrupt business at the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Charged with ‘conspiracy to commit public nuisance’ under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, the activist, Sean, was remanded after an appearance at Wirral Magistrates Court on Monday morning. Five other activists were released from police custody without charges, awaiting further investigation.
Upon his remand and removal to prison, Sean shouted “Free Palestine” on his way into the custody van. Lawyers will be submitting an application for the immediate granting of bail. Police arrested five other activists within the same operation, who have been released on police bail pending investigation.
Sean and five other activists are accused of having planned to blockade the LSE, which, through its trading in bonds and shares, plays a significant role in facilitating the occupation of Palestine. The LSE has raised over £4.73 billion in the sale of bonds for the apartheid state of Israel in the past six years. The exchange describes itself as “a key partner to Israeli businesses, by enabling them to raise capital internationally” and trades shares in weapons manufacturers arming Israel’s regime, including BAE Systems, Babcock, and QinetiQ.
In a meeting on the 8th February 2022 between the UK Secretary of State and Israeli investors, which included representatives from Israeli weapons companies Elbit Systems and Rafael, it was noted that “The London Stock Exchange has a strong and important relationship with Israel”. This relationship involves the LSE holding capital market conferences in Israel and hosting Israeli businesses on the exchange, which has a combined market capital of $ 14.7 billion.
The arrests came after a Daily Express journalist’, Max Parry, went undercover in the group to report on activities and hand information on alleged plans to the police. The Daily Express has, along with the vast majority of the British print and broadcast media, conspired to manufacture consent for the ongoing genocide of Palestinians, which so far has claimed over 25,000 Palestinian lives. That they have failed to report even the basic facts of Israel’s crimes is indictment enough, but they have now gone so far as to act on behalf of the police in criminalising the direct action movement opposing these crimes.
This incident is just one episode in the ongoing crackdown by the state against those activists who stand on the side of humanity and against the side of genocide, and numerous activists seeking an end to bloodshed have found themselves detained by the British state. Regardless, Palestine Action has repeatedly stated its unwavering commitment to Palestinian liberation and the ending of all arms production and shipments for the zionist entity, refusing to back down.