A group of several dozen Bristol residents blockaded a weapons factory in Bristol yesterday morning in solidarity with the people of Palestine. They arrived at the site in Filton at 8:20 am and prevented vehicle access to the site by standing together at the entrance.
This ‘research, development and manufacturing hub’ of ‘battle tested’ weapons is Elbit’s second facility in Bristol, in addition to one at Aztec West. It was opened in July 2023 by the Israeli ambassador, Tzipi Hotovely, and local Conservative MP Jack Lopresti.
Elbit Systems UK operates across England and Wales and is the largest non-government-owned Israeli weapons company. It supplies 85% of Israel’s drone fleet and land-based military equipment.
One of the protestors, Chris Taylor from Redfield, said:
“Since October last year, Israel’s onslaught in the Gaza strip has killed over 27,000 Palestinians and caused mass displacement, destroying homes, schools and hospitals and resulting in catastrophic levels of starvation and the spread of infectious diseases. Elbit’s new iron sting missiles and drone technologies are being used to massacre the Palestinian people indiscriminately. We refuse to allow Elbit’s business to continue in Bristol.”
This action follows a wave of demos, pickets, strikes and occupations at similar sites that have been ongoing since the Israeli government ramped up its killing of Palestinians.
Protestor Jo Hills added:
“Local residents organised today’s action with many and no group affiliations. We are appalled by the mounting campaign of ethnic cleansing and have come here this morning at the request of those under bombardment. The people of Gaza are calling for all of us to keep shutting down these facilities because they are vital in the state terror being inflicted upon them. If our politicians continue to turn a blind eye to the suffering, our communities must grind arms exports to a halt.”