Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network joins with Palestine Action and people of conscience around the world in demanding the immediate freedom of “Yogi Bear,” Palestine Action activist entering their 20th day of hunger strike. Palestine Action has launched a series of direct actions and occupations aimed at shutting down the “business of bloodshed” – targeting Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest private arms manufacturer and other corporations profiting directly from Israeli military occupation and colonization of Palestine.
Palestine Action’s direct actions have shut down Elbit arms factories across Britain, costing the company and drawn worldwide attention for their effectiveness in disrupting profiteering from colonialism, apartheid and occupation. Just today, 5 July, three Palestine Action activists occupied the offices of Vine Property Management, the property manager of Israel’s drone engine factory, Elbit subsidiary UAV Engines in Shenstone, Staffordshire. They chained the gates of the site shut and sprayed the building with blood-red paint.
On the fourth anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, Palestine Action occupied the offices of Arconic, the company that manufactured the cladding and insulation system found to be substantially responsible for the fire. Arconic knew of the dangers of the cladding but continued to sell it to protect their profits; the company also manufactures components and materials for the Boeing helicopters and Lockheed-Martin F-35 fighter jets deployed by the Israeli military against Gaza, Palestine.
Yogi and the people are on the right side of history — Now it’s time for the British state to concede and stop locking up activists in order to protect murderous companies. #FreeYogi #ShutArconicDown pic.twitter.com/SFuHPJuFvP
— Palestine Action (@Pal_action) July 4, 2021
After shutting down Arconic for two days, police attacked demonstrators – who had received widespread support from the surrounding Birmingham community. Since that time, Yogi Bear has remained imprisoned and denied bail.
Yogi Bear has issued four demands for their hunger strike, noting that it will continue until at least one is met:
1. Immediate release of Palestine Action prisoners. (This condition must be met)
2. Lasalle Investment Management evict Elbit Systems from 77 Kingsway London
3. The British Government to release all correspondence and/ or documents between the government or any arm of the state (Police Force, MOD, Border Force, or any other government department) and Elbit Systems or any of their subsidaries
4. Elbit Systems, Arconic, and all arms manufacturers supplying Israel to shut down UK operation.
Palestine Action noted: “The production of arms, drones, and military technology relies on an interconnected and massive network of complicit firms – Palestine Action are dismantling this network, demanding that firms cease their partnership with Elbit unless they want to be shut down along with them. The message to all other firms with Palestinian blood on their hands is simple: until you end your facilitation of Israel’s brutal repression of Palestinians and sever ties with Elbit, Palestine Action will shut you down and cease your contribution to genocide for you.”
Samidoun stands in full solidarity with “Yogi Bear” and Palestine Action and demands their immediate release. Yogi Bear is a prisoner of the Palestinian cause who needs international support and solidarity as they put their body and life on the line for justice and liberation for Palestine!
1) Donate to support Yogi Bear’s court costs: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-the-activist-yogi-bear-pay-there-court-costs
2) Yogi Bear is currently remanded at Foston Hall. Call the prison and demand that Yogi receives proper medical care and treatment.
Yogi’s prison number is A9717EP
Governor: Andrea Black
Telephone: 01283 584 300
Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
3) Send Yogi messages of support – email FreeYogiNow@protonmail.com
4) Support Palestine Action’s work to shut down the profiteers of genocide and colonialism. Learn more at https://palestineaction.org/
5) Contact, call and protest at British embassies in your country. Find the British embassy near you: https://www.gov.uk/world/embassies Use the slogan “Free Yogi” and relay Yogi Bear’s four demands, above. Demand an end to British complicity and active participation in the colonization of Palestine.