Above Photo: Unsplash / Ömer Yıldız.
Two trials are starting this week, of people who took direct action against Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. Elbit supplies the majority of the drones that the Israeli military use to murder Palestinians.
Elbit manufactures around 85% of Israel’s drones which have been used to massacre Palestinians in Gaza.For example – during Israel’s 51 day attack on Gaza in 2014 – Israeli drones killed 840 Palestinians. Drones were also used extensively in Israel’s 11 day attack on Gaza in 2021.
People have long tried to push the company out of the UK. And, the campaign to shut down Israeli arms companies operating in the UK stepped up after Palestine Action launched in 2020.
This week the case of two people who blocked the doorway of Elbit’s London office is underway. Their protest was one of a series of disruptive actions that eventually contributed to the closure of Elbit’s London HQ.
The campaign tweeted:
At the same time, the trial of three people who were arrested close to Elbit’s premises in Leicester has also begun. Police charged them with carrying items that could be used to cause damage. Palestine Action tweeted:
Court cases of people who take action against Elbit have repeatedly fallen apart. Last year the Canary wrote:
Very few people have been successfully prosecuted during the course of the campaign against Elbit. The likely reason for this is that the Israeli company is extremely scared of having its business exposed through court proceedings.
But, the campaign remains defiant. Palestine Action wrote over the New Year:
In trials across the country, activists have been acquitted, had their cases thrown out by judges, or have seen their charges dropped. In the courts this year, 18 activists have walked free, while 5 have seen minor convictions in the magistrates courts, those being for ‘criminal damage’ or ‘obstruction of the highways’. Dozens of other activists have had their cases dropped and trials postponed, until 2023 or 2024. Palestine Action are set for a number of major jury trials in 2023, where once again activists will deliver the message: Elbit is guilty, Palestine Action is notMobilisations are called for outside every trial, the full list can be seen on our website at https://www.palestineaction.org/elbit-on-trial/
The campaign maintains that resistance has never been stronger. They wrote:
Despite harassment by the state, resistance has never been higher against complicity in Israel’s crimes. On top of this, we are gearing up for another year of action, promising to continue the escalation as we move against Elbit’s remaining sites. Now, we’ve begun the end of Elbit — 2023 is the year to finish them off for good.
You can donate to Palestine Action here.