kills

Palestine Action has now successfully shut down two Elbit Systems sites in the U.K., including its London headquarters. Photo by Kingsway Photos

Direct Action Works: Elbit Have Left the Building

Offering a glimmer of hope "the merchants of death are not invincible," Palestine Action has successfully shut down the London headquarters of Israel's largest arms company Elbit Systems after pummeling them with six actions in six weeks. Days later, activists also again occupied a drone factory in Shenstone, arguing, "If you aid war criminals, you are war criminals." The London closure marks the second rout of an Elbit site in the U.K. in under two years, prompting the group's defiant slogan "2 Down, 8 To Go." "Maybe (Elbit) should have a think," says one member. "We are not going away."

Offering a glimmer of hope "the merchants of death are not invincible," Palestine Action has successfully, permanently shut downthe London headquarters of Israel's largest arms manufacturer Elbit Systems, with multiple sites in the U.K., after pummeling them with six actions in six weeks. Elbit makes 85% of Israel's drone fleet along with bullets, tear gas, surveillance equipment et al; the company likes to boast its weapons systems are "battle-tested on Palestinians." The London closure marks Palestine Action's second rout of a British Elbit site in less than two years, prompting the group's defiant new slogan "2 Down, 8 To Go." London's office was also the site of the group's inaugural action in an 18-month campaign that used fiery direct action and civil disobedience - occupations, blockades, defacement, smoke flares, throwing fake blood, locking themselves together - to demand the U.K. end its complicity with Israel's apartheid regime and #ShutElbitDown.

Last week, after 15 actions against the London office, sister actions against its landlords and dozens of arrests, the group announced Elbit had "left the building," closing its posh office at 77 Kingsway. The move came just five months after Elbit also sold its large plant in Oldham, reportedly at a loss, after repeated protests there. In a mark of the success of Palestine Action and other BDS groups, Israel champion and U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel has proposed a National Security Bill that would stymie pro-Palestinian efforts - or "hostile state activity" - by giving protected status to companies making "aircraft (equipment) used for military purposes." Clearly undeterred, Palestine Action continues to target Elbit's eight remaining sites. Most recently, they returned to an Elbit subsidiary in Shenstone making drone engines to scale the roof, occupy the building, dismantle the equipment and declare, "If you aid war criminals, you are war criminals." Their message there, as in London and Oldham: "We've proven direction action works. Maybe (Elbit) should have a think - we are not going away."

Join the Movement: Become Part of the Solution Today

We're optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.

We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter counts.

Your contribution supports this new media model—free, independent, and dedicated to uncovering the truth. Stand with us in the fight for social justice, human rights, and equality. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.