Block the Factory

 

block

Last summer’s assault on Gaza, which killed over 2,200 Palestinians, was one of the most brutal effects of Israel’s ongoing occupation and colonisation of historic Palestine. The massacre was carried out using drones manufactured by Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. In response, activists occupied Elbit’s factory in Shenstone, causing its operations to grind to a halt and costing Elbit over £100,000.

On 6th July, to mark the first anniversary of the assault on Gaza, groups and campaigners from across the UK are going back to Elbit’s factory to demand that the UK stops arming Israel. Join us for a day of creative action in solidarity with Palestine!

The Boycott Israel Network, nus black students’ campaign, West Midlands PSC, Drone Campaign Network, Coventry Friends of Palestine, Smash EDO, Manchester Palestine Action, Glasgow Palestine Action, Campaign Against Arms Trade, Stop The Arms Fair coalition, War on Want, Scottish PSC, Bristol PSC, Abergavenny PSC, Sheffield Creative Action for Peace (SCRAP), Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Bristol Against Arms Trade, Brighton Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Occupy London, Bristol Psc, Leeds Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions – BDS, Jews for Justice for Palestinians , Inminds.com – Boycott Israel
@revolutionarysocialism and London Palestine Action will be there taking collective action to block the factory from making these weapons.

International endorsers:
CODEPINK: Women For Peace
Jews for a Just Peace – Denmark
Justice for Palestine Matters, Australia
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
NYC Solidarity with Palestine
Boycott From Within (Israeli Citizens for BDS)

Other orgs – please email blockthefactory@gmail.com to endorse!

We will be transforming the space around the arms factory, converting it from a site of destruction into a fun, creative and child-friendly environment. Let’s create a space that meets our needs and not the needs of Israeli and multinational corporations that export death for profit.

Whether you have never been on a protest before or are a seasoned activist, whether you are disabled, an older person, a younger person, whether you have five children or none, we need you to come and make this the biggest, most beautiful action yet at an arms factory in the UK!

** WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO? **

If you are active in a Palestine action or solidarity group in the UK, and want to be involved in planning the action, or even just coming along on the day, let us know! Email blockthefactory@gmail.com.

The action is what we make it! Could you run a kids’ space there? Lead a mass lock-on? Set up a craft tent? Run a tranquil space? Coordinate a Palestinian food picnic? Make paper wind turbines – not drones? Buddy up with wheelchair users? Whatever your skills and ideas, they are needed to make the day work. Email blockthefactory@gmail.com.

** PRACTICAL INFORMATION **

We will be having breakfast at 7am, so try and get there by then if you can!

A Map of where the factory is: http://bit.ly/1FdsCNL

TRANSPORT:

Shenstone is a small village outside Birmingham, accessible by National Rail trains. If you are coming from outside Birmingham, this generally means travelling to Birmingham New Street and changing there.

If you are coming from a big city where there is an active Palestine Solidarity movement it might make more sense to book a mini-bus or coach instead – please let us know to expect you.

ACCESSIBILITY:

We want to make the day as accessible and inclusive as possible. If you have access needs or will be coming with children and would like to discuss practical arrangements, please get in in touch by emailing blockthefactory@gmail.com.

ON THE DAY:

Come rain or shine, we will be there! Please come prepared for all weathers and conditions – bring raincoats, suncream, comfortable shoes, sunglasses and plenty of food and water.

POLICE:

We will work together to make the action space as safe and accessible as possible. However, we can’t guarantee that the actions of the police towards us will always be safe. We will have experienced legal observers present on the day, and lots of people who are experienced in dealing with the police. We will have Know Your Rights cards and bust-cards. We recommend that you check out https://greenandblackcross.org/ before coming along.

** BACKGROUND **

Despite international condemnation, Israeli apartheid, occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people continues. The UK government has done nothing to hold Israel to account for its crimes. Instead, the government is placing profits from the arms trade before justice for Palestinians.

Elbit is Israel’s largest arms company. Its Hermes 450 drones have been described as “the backbone” of Israel’s aerial attacks. Elbit’s UK subsidiary, UAV Engines Ltd, manufactures engines for drones at the Shenstone factory, which are exported to Israel and countries around the world. By manufacturing parts for Elbit, UAV Engines Ltd profits from Palestinian suffering. Amnesty International has also previously suggested that engines manufactured at this factory could have been used in attacks on Gaza.

Read more about Elbit Systems: www.corporatewatch.org/company-profiles/elbit
http://www.stopthewall.org/stop-elbit-updated-factsheet

More information on the UAV Engine factory (owned by Elbit Systems): www.uavenginesltd.co.uk,
http://londonpalestineaction.tumblr.com/post/109598110614/israeli-arms-company-and-uk-government-running

More information on the UK-Israeli Arms Trade: www.caat.org.uk/resources/countries/israel

 

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