Palestine Action, a mass direct action movement working to end UK complicity with Israeli apartheid, occupied the rooftop of Elbit Systems’ offices in Aztec West, Bristol, yesterday morning and remained throughout the day.
Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest arms manufacturer, has 10 factories and offices in the UK. Palestine Action have successfully targeted Elbit on over 50 occasions over the last eight months, frequently shutting down factories through rooftop occupations.
This is the first time that the Elbit offices in Bristol have been targeted, however.
The activists, two young women dressed in the red boiler suits characteristic of Palestine Action, unfurled banners and let off flares. A simultaneous action at an Elbit factory in Oldham, Greater Manchester, saw activists break windows and spray red paint on the building.
According to Palestine Action, Elbit Systems field tests its weapons on Palestinians in Gaza before selling them around the world, to customers including the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and the government of Myanmar.
Details of exactly what occurs at the Bristol offices are unclear, as Elbit makes little of what they do publicly available. The Elbit offices are part of a wider unseen network of Bristol companies engaged in the arms trade, on which TBA has reported previously.
In occupying Elbit’s Bristol offices, Palestine Action hoped to send a message to Bristolians that ‘it is up to us, the people, to take a stand and force these war criminals out’.
Palestine Action vow to continue disrupting Elbit operations until they ‘bring its business-of-killing to a halt’.