Socialist Worker

Palestine Action activists occupy drone factory in Runcorn

Issue No. 2759

Palestine Action activists at the drone-tech factory in Runcorn

Palestine Action activists at the drone-tech factory in Runcorn (Pic: VX Pictures)


Palestine solidarity activists have taken direct action against a firm supplying armaments to the Israeli state.

At 4:30am on Thursday morning, Palestine Action supporters stormed, scaled, and occupied the Runcorn Factory of APPH. This is a Canadian-owned aerospace company, which manufactures military technology and landing gear for Elbit Systems' drones.

These drones are used to bomb and track Palestinians. They then enter the global market and are sold as “battle-tested” to repressive regimes across the world.

They have been deployed against civilians and protesters in Myanmar, Armenia, Sri Lanka and against refugees and asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean and English Channel.

Activists broke into the factory to dismantle drone and aircraft machinery. They then destroyed floodlights, ventilators, windows and cameras and sprayed blood-red paint across the premises.

The police then surrounded the building, but occupiers stayed put on the roof of the building.

This action follows a series of others including last month’s occupation of the UAV Tactical Systems factory in Leicester.

Dirtied 

Palestine Action said it will be “targeting all firms which have dirtied their hands by partaking in Elbit's business of bloodshed.

“Israel's war crimes, and Elbit's production of drones to facilitate these, rely on thousands of complicit suppliers, landlords, shippers, and financiers for their effective operations.

“It should be clear by now that we will not rest until Elbit is shut down, making the choice clear for all complicit firms. Cease dealings with Elbit or get shut down along with them".

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Mike Amesbury is the local Labour MP. “I would be very disappointed if any components used for military hardware involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are being manufactured in my constituency,” he said.

Elbit Systems is Israel's largest arms manufacturer. It produces 85 percent of Israel's combat and surveillance drones and 85 percent of its land-based military equipment.

Many Elbit products are linked directly to the killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

The revolt in Palestine last month, which shook the Israeli state, also saw a wave of intensified solidarity across the world. Protests of 100,000 and 180,000 people filled the streets of London.

That must not be a one-off engagement. The campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions has to be stepped up. More solidarity and protest is needed against the British state’s support for arms sales to Israel—and against the suppliers of weapons.

To support the occupation go to APPH, 8 Pembroke Ct, Runcorn, WA7 1TG. Join the demonstration for Palestine during the G7 summit, Saturday 12 June, 1pm Downing Street. Called by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, Friends of al-Aqsa, CND and others

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