The Buncombe County commissioners are set to give Raytheon a massive rezoning, over 760 acres owned by Biltmore Farms will be converted from commercial and residential zoning into offices, warehouses and other infrastructure for the giant plant the weapons company is building. The area is huge, over seven times the size of downtown Asheville. It’s the largest rezoning in Buncombe County’s history. Importantly it takes away land designated for things like housing, which this area is of course famous for having no shortage of whatsoever, and instead gives a massive company’s massive factory even more.
U.K. arms sales are in the spotlight again because of the ferocity and genocidal intent of the Israeli assault on Palestinians and the reliance of Israeli forces on British military hardware. While the U.S. is far and away Israel’s biggest and most important arms supplier and military-diplomatic advocate, the U.K. is also a leading military and political ally of Israel. From the Balfour Declaration of 1917 [expressing British support for the establishment of a national home in Palestine for the Jewish people] to the recent failure of the British Parliament to back a ceasefire, Westminster policy has had detrimental consequences for Palestinians across generations.
Hidden in plain sight along a particularly drab stretch of Route 94, just west of the Missouri River in St. Charles, MO, lies a large, plain white building. Almost completely nondescript apart from its size, it is distinguishable from the road only by a pair of small signs identifying it as Boeing Building 598. It is, at present, perhaps the deadliest building in the state. Amidst an ever-growing civilian death toll exacted by Israel’s relentless bombing campaign against Gaza, the displacement of the vast majority of the city’s 2 million residents, and numerous other human rights atrocities of various descriptions, the increasingly urgent calls for a ceasefire finally appear to have gained significant political momentum.
In early January 2009, a thirteen-year-old girl named Almaza Samouni watched in horror as 30 members of her family were killed while her home in Gaza was shelled by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) during Operation Cast Lead. Among the victims was her brother, who was struck by a missile while exiting the house to look for wood. The lethal missile that killed her brother was fired from an Apache AH-64 attack helicopter, which had been supplied to the IDF by Boeing, a top American defense contractor with headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. On November 12, 2023 a group of peace activists associated with World Beyond War convened a war crimes tribunal designed to hold Boeing and three other top defense contractors—Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and General Atomics—accountable for the kind of war crimes that led to the death of Almaza Samouni’s brother and most of the rest of her family.
With each passing day, more Israeli bombs are falling on Gaza. Over a million Palestinians have been displaced from their homes. The world is bearing witness to a genocidal military campaign to clear out Gaza once and for all. As leaders in the West continue to stand by Israel’s outrageous crimes, activists and people of conscience around the world are using direct action to take matters into their own hands and disrupt the war machine themselves. Palestine Action is one such group that is strategically targeting direct disruptive actions at production sites of Elbit Systems Ltd. and its subsidiaries. Elbit Systems is an Israel-based weapons technology and defense company supplying the Israeli military with the instruments of sophisticated carnage whose deadly force is being unleashed upon Palestinians as we speak. TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Fergie Chambers, Max Geller, and Calla Walsh of Palestine Action.
Cambridge, MA — On October 30, nine activists were violently arrested and assaulted by the Cambridge Police Department during a Palestine Action US rally at the Cambridge office of Elbit Systems, Israel’s biggest genocide profiteer. All 9 plead NOT GUILTY to all charges. Truth be told, Elbit Systems is guilty, the US-Israeli war machine is guilty, and the CPD is guilty. We affirm our right to take action against Elbit and all weapons companies, and we will not let police intimidation deter us. The CPD immediately fabricated lies, reprinted by the mainstream media, to construct their case to criminalize us for protesting against genocide.
On Thursday, October 12th, organizers with Palestine Action US took direct action against Israel’s largest weapons manufacturer, Elbit Systems, at its “Innovation Center” in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Activists blockaded Elbit’s main entrance so their employees could not enter, and drenched the building with red paint and graffiti, exposing Elbit for profiteering from Israeli war crimes against Palestinians. “Elbit Systems will not conduct business as usual in our city, while their weapons are mass murdering the Palestinian people right now,” activists cried as they were locked down to Elbit’s front doors. “War criminals work at 130 Bishop Allen Drive!”
While senior representatives of the world’s largest arms firms convened at the ‘International Composites Summit 2023’ to discuss “cost-effective” weaponry components , Palestine Action snuck their way in and crashed the event. Once inside the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, four activists took over the stage to disrupt the marketing of ‘genocide’ as a tool to be bought-and-sold to annihilate the Palestinian people. Activists over-spoke the corporate speeches and raised the Palestinian flag, stating: “You are all war criminals. We’re making a stand against you and your weapons of death.
At Mold Crown Court, Judge Rowlands sentenced three activists to 23 months, and one other to 27 months, after the four were convicted of “conspiracy to commit criminal damage” against a Welsh based American weapons factory, Teledyne Labtech. The action which took place on the 9th December 2022, saw two of the four dismantle military equipment from the inside of the factory, whilst the others occupied the roof . In total, it’s alleged the four damaged over £1.2million worth of equipment belonging to the firm, severely disrupting the production of weaponry. Half of their sentences are expected to be served in prison, of which they have served nearly 7 months to date, as they’ve been remanded since the action took place.
Palestine Action Scotland have shut down the Edinburgh factory of Leonardo UK, occupying the roof of the site forcing its closure and preventing the operations of a company deeply complicit in the brutalisation and murder of Palestinians. At 5:00am this morning, four activists entered the site, despite the high security and double fence, and have begun dismantling the site – taking apart electronic equipment, air conditioning systems, windows, while covering premises in trademark red paint, symbolising the blood spilt with Leonardo weapons. The activists intend to maintain the occupation for as long as possible at the factory of Leonardo UK, 2 Crewe Road North, Edinburgh EH5 2XS, to cause maximum disruption against the company which supplies a range of military equipment and targeting systems for Israel’s occupation forces.
A UN report recently revealed that at least 11,000 children have been killed or maimed in the US-backed War in Yemen. At the same time, the weapons contractors that helped create this massacre are reading fairy tales to British children! You probably already know that, as reported by Alex Kane for In These Times in 2019, “Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s richest countries, has been bombing Yemen, the fifth-poorest nation in the world, since 2015—with support from the United States.” Does Saudi Arabia even need the U.S. to destroy the 5th poorest country in the world? It’s equivalent to Barry Bonds in his steroidal prime playing baseball against your asthmatic, cross-eyed five-year-old cousin. But then he stops to call in Mark Maguire, at his juiciest, to hold the kid down. Can you tell I haven’t watched baseball since 1999?
Activists from Palestine Action have broken in to Teledyne Technologies’ weapons plant in Presteigne, Wales. Climbing in through smashed windows, activists began to thoroughly dismantle the factory of the American-owned firm, forcing closure of a site used to supply military hardware to Israel. Activists have taken apart offices, broken computers, and have begun occupation of the roof to ensure that the factory remains inoperable. The group took over the Teledyne factory at 7.30am on Thursday morning, and vow to continue this action for as long as possible to stop the manufacture or shipment of Israel’s drone technologies and military gear. Teledyne Technologies, and its subsidiary E2V Technologies, hold weapons export licences for both Israel and India, where their surveillance and targeting systems are used in the repression and killing of Palestinian and Kashmiri civilians.
Over a dozen anti-war activists staged a protest against Harvard Kennedy School professor Meghan L. O’Sullivan Tuesday morning, disrupting a class she was teaching to first-year master’s of public policy students. The protesters denounced O’Sullivan’s affiliation with Raytheon Technologies, a weapons manufacturing firm, and her role in the Bush administration during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. O’Sullivan served as deputy national security advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan in the Bush administration prior to joining the Harvard Kennedy School. She currently sits on Raytheon’s board of directors. The protestors, most of whom were not affiliated with Harvard, burst into the classroom chanting “Meghan O’Sullivan, you can’t hide, we can see your war crimes” and “When missiles fly, people die, and O’Sullivan’s profits multiply,” while holding up a banner critical of O’Sullivan in front of the class.
This morning, two vans made a morning delivery from Palestine Action to the the gates of the UAV Engines drones factory in Shenstone. One van has crashed into the gate, while the second is blocking it and obstructing entry to the Israeli drone engine factory. Two activists were arrested in the process, while the remaining activists swiftly locked-on to the vans, preventing the vans’ removal and bringing the site to a standstill. The UAV Engines factory is operated by Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest arms company, as one of the firm’s eight remaining British locations. Police and Elbit Systems’ hired security have acted swiftly, erecting checkpoints around the town of Shenstone and temporarily closing the road leading to the factory.
Yesterday, 14 activists were unlawfully arrested after manning the Palestine Action Camp for the past two weeks. The activists were arrested under the pretext of “conspiracy to commit criminal damage”, despite no evidence given for these claims. It would appear the arrests were part of an attempt to remove activists, ahead of an event outside the factory that called for mass mobilisation. During the raid, devices were seized, equipment damaged deliberately and packed up by police, who then cordoned the whole camp off, marking it a “crime scene”. Those arrested were released in the early hours of today. Although no crime was committed, bail conditions were given that have left activists unable to attend Elbit sites, unable to be in Shenstone, and told they cannot “directly or indirectly encourage any individuals, groups or organisations to cause any damage to property owned, leased, rented and/or occupied by Elbit Systems, its subsidiaries and/or venture partners”.