Freedom News

Protest camp begins at Elbit HQ

Palestine Action brings a protest camp to the headquarters of Elbit in Bristol; this follows other actions in opposition to the continuing proliferation of arms manufacture and Britain’s complicity in the genocide in Gaza:

On Wednesday, activists from Palestine Action set up camp in front of Elbit’s Bristol headquarters at Aztec West 600. Establishing a base of resistance, activists put up gazebos, banners, Palestine flags, and scaled-up trees overlooking the Israeli weapons maker. 

The camp is the latest in a series of actions to kick Elbit out of Aztec West 600, a premise that Somerset Council owns. Since Palestine Action’s launch in July 2020, activists have broken inside the arms manufacturer, occupied the roof, blockaded the gates, and dismantled the premises.

Simultaneously, residents of Somerset have taken several actions to demand that the Somerset Council terminate Elbit’s lease before they sell the property. This sale is motivated by financial pressure on the council. Residents have repeatedly disrupted council meetings in a bid to make their voices heard and reject their county’s complicity in genocide.

After requests to evict Elbit were dismissed by councillors, activists covered Somerset County Hall in red paint and spray painted messages such as ‘Elbit out’, ‘Evict Elbit’ and ‘Blood on your hands’. 

The newly established camp will apply further pressure on the council and reduce the prospect of any future sale without first evicting Elbit. 

Elbit Systems is Israel’s biggest weapons manufacturer, whose UK division is headquartered at Aztec West 600, with both Elbit Systems UK and Elbit Systems Ltd (based in Haifa, Israel) listed as named parties on the lease. Providing 85% of Israel’s military drone fleet and land-based equipment, as well as bullets, bombs, munitions and other weaponry, the company is a key pillar of the ongoing genocide in Gaza. 

By using Gaza as a laboratory for new weaponry, Elbit can market its products as “battle-tested” or “combat-proven” before selling them on to global militaries. Both the export and purchase of Elbit’s weaponry maintain the illegal occupation and subjugation of the Palestinian people.

Palestine Action vow to continue to take action until Elbit is out of Aztec West 600 and ultimately out of Britain. 

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