Above Photo: Guy Smallman.
Marking the launch of Palestine Action Scotland, six activists have stormed and occupied the roof of arms company Thales’ Glasgow factory.
Activists scaled the roof in the early hours of the morning, halting site operations as workers were forced to evacuate. Factory equipment has also been destroyed by the activists.
This morning, Palestine Action Scotland made its debut – as activists took to the roof of weapons company Thales’ Glasgow factory. A team of six activists scaled the site in the early hours of the morning and are currently occupying the building, rendering it unusable and forcing workers to evacuate. Inside the factory they have dismantled and destroyed factory equipment and facilities.
Thales is one of the world’s largest arms companies – producing armored vehicles, missile systems and military UAVs (drones) – in particular, the Watchkeeper drone, used for surveillance and combat on captive populations. Today’s action has begun the campaign to end Scottish complicity in the apartheid, dispossession and ethnic cleansing enacted on Palestinians by the Israeli occupation.
Thales operates under the same banner as Elbit – Israel’s largest weapons company, with the two cooperating on the Watchkeeper UAV project, which Elbit’s UAV Tactical Systems site in Leicester is directly involved in. Elbit’s Hermes 450 drone, which has been used extensively in attacks on Gaza’s captive population, laid the foundations for the Watchkeeper project. The Watchkeeper drone has clocked thousands of hours of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and has a persistent presence over the skies of Gaza.
Closer to home, in 2020, Thales were contracted by the Royal Navy to aid in the new ‘Dreadnought’ class nuclear submarine program. Furthermore, the UK Border Force began use of the Watchkeeper drone in 2020, monitoring British waters.
Using the tried and tested tactics in of direct action – disruptions, occupations and blockades – the group hopes to build on the success of parent group Palestine Action, and its ongoing campaign across England and Wales to ‘Shut Elbit Down’. Palestine Action Scotland have joined the evergrowing mass movement to stop all those complicit in the apartheid and occupation in Palestine.