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Palestine Actionists fined after dismantling Solvay Wrexham

Palestine Action again targets a supplier for Israel’s weapons industry. Solvay in Wrexham manufactures components for Elbit’s Hermes 450 drones.

After three activists from Palestine Action were convicted of ‘criminal damage’ worth over £20K against Solvay, the Judge gave them one of the lowest possible sentences possible. 

They were only ordered to pay £600 each in court costs and fines, which would go towards the fire service costs during the actions. No compensation costs for Solvay were ordered. 

The three activists dubbed the ‘Solvay 3,’ were on trial at Caernarfon Crown Court from April 15th to April 19th, 2024, after they occupied the roof and dismantled Solvay’s factory in Wrexham in 2021. 

Solvay Wrexham, which has since been rebranded as ‘Synesqo’, manufactures components for Elbit’s Hermes 450 drones. The first prosecution witness, Mr Benjamin Moore, the site manager, admitted the factory also produces parts for Israel’s F-35 fighter jets.

The Israeli military has regularly used both the Hermes 450 drones and F-35 fighter jets in constant bombardments of Gaza before October 7th and since then.  

Despite hearing evidence from all three defendants of their intentions to take action to prevent the greater crime committed by using Solvay’s parts, the Judge ruled out all possible defences, including acting to save lives. 

This led to one of the Solvay 3 dismissing their representation to make their own closing speech to the court, which the Judge remarked as the most moving statement they’ve heard in court. During the closing speech, Thomas Bell said: 

“We know, in the eyes of the law, that we have been left with no legal defence to rely on for our actions. But our actions need no defence, for we do not defend them. We hold no regrets and carry no guilt.” 

To end the speech, he read out the poem ‘If I must die’ by Palestinian Refaat Alareer, who was killed by Israeli drones in December 2023: 

If I must die, 
you must live 
to tell my story 
to sell my things 
to buy a piece of cloth 
and some strings, 
(make it white with a long tail) 
so that a child, somewhere in Gaza 
while looking heaven in the eye 
awaiting his dad who left in a blaze— 
and bid no one farewell 
not even to his flesh 
not even to himself— 
sees the kite, my kite you made, flying up above 
and thinks for a moment an angel is there 
bringing back love 
If I must die 
let it bring hope 
let it be a tale 

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