Two people hold a brightly coloured banner. One person has their face covered.

Boeing protest demands halt to arms sales

Bristol’s role in the global arms trade was called out by demonstrators outside the Filton offices of major defence company Boeing as they protested the sale of weapons to Turkey.

Demonstrators arrived at the Boeing offices at approximately 4pm on Thursday and remained outside playing music, shouting slogans, banging pots and pans and reading out a statement.

Earlier in the day, a twitter storm and phone blockade of Boeing’s Bristol offices jammed their communications, which activists say prompted the office to turn off their phones and send workers home early.

The protest, on December 1, came in the second week of action against Boeing by Kurdistan solidarity groups following the publication of a picture of a bomb shell with “Boeing” printed on the casing that had been dropped near the Kurdish town of Kobane on November 19.

In November, Turkey launched Operation Clay Sword, a series of air assaults on Kurdish areas in Iraq and northern Syria. The Turkish government claims the strikes are retaliation for a bomb attack on an Istanbul market, which killed six people.

Both the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have denied any involvement in the Istanbul attack.

Boeing is not the only arms dealer in the Bristol area. Members of the KSN say they will return to Filton on Saturday, December 3, to join a day of action organised by Campaign Against the Arms Trade against six arms factories based in the area.

Protesters hold banners outside the doors of an office building. One banner reads "Defend Kurdistan". Demonstrators raise one fist.
Protesters outside the Boeing offices in Filton. Image: Wong Yat Him.
A longer range shot shows protesters standing in a line whilst a large office building rises above them in the background.
Protesters gathered from 4pm having previously launched a Twitter storm against Boeing. Image: Wong Yat Him.

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