Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges all friends and supporters of Palestine to join in the urgent campaign to support Palestine Action, the organization taking direct action to shut down Israeli arms factories throughout Britain and bring an end to this industry of death and destruction for the Palestinian people.
Palestine Action activists regularly put their bodies on the line to shut down these industries of war crimes. Their actions have taken a meaningful financial and operational toll on Elbit Systems, leading to the closure of one of the factories and their central London offices. At the same time, Palestine Action activists have established an incredible track record of court victories against attempts to prosecute them for their direct actions. Now, Palestine Action — including its co-founders — is facing a major trial on 10 October 2022, when eight activists, the #ElbitEight, will face felony charges of burglary, criminal damage and blackmail.
This trial is an attempt not only to imprison the Palestine Action activists for their action defending Palestine and the Palestinian people against the occupation’s war industry but to put an end to these kinds of direct actions with a real, costly impact on the arms dealers. Despite all this, Palestine Action has not slowed down one bit — in fact, they are maintaining a camp across the street from an Elbit factory and locked it down just this morning, 7 September, with activists locking down in/on cars stationed at the entry and exit gates of the arms factory.
Palestine Action is carrying forward the international resistance for the liberation of Palestine, strategically targeting the arms companies and their landlords and property managers, which specifically and directly profiting from manufacturing and marketing the weapons of war used to besiege, target, imprison and kill Palestinians and prevent Palestinians in exile from returning home. Instead, Palestine Action is besieging the occupier and its war machine. We stand with Palestine Action and the #ElbitEight at this trial and beyond, to build the global campaign to #ShutElbitDown, on the road to the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea!
Now is the time for everyone who understands the importance of direct action to fight capitalist, imperialist and Zionist crimes to come together to protect Palestine Action and support their campaign: #ElbitIsGuilty!
We are republishing the following guide to action from Palestine Action. Please follow the Palestine Action site for the latest updates: https://www.palestineaction.org/elbitisguilty/
Samidoun chapters and affiliates will be organizing protests, actions, campaigns to British embassies and other events in support of Palestine Action that make it clear that #ElbitIsGuilty. Please contact us at email@example.com to let us know about your own actions!
Make sure to join the Palestine Action legal briefing on 13 September at 7 pm London time (11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern, 8 pm central Europe, 9 pm Palestine). Register to join on Zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIvc-usrjMsG9TK3pE-A2qSLslpCUB1I0gd
On October 10th, eight Palestine Action activists known as the #ElbitEight will be facing down Israel’s largest arms company in the courts – a chance to expose their war crimes in the courts and prove that #ElbitIsGuilty.
On October 10th, eight Palestine Action activists known as the #ElbitEight will be facing trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court. This is set to be the biggest court battle to #ShutElbitDown to date, providing a chance to expose Elbit in the courts and prove that #ElbitIsGuilty.
The trial is expected to last five weeks and includes charges of burglary, criminal damage and blackmail, pertaining to actions spanning the first six months of Palestine Action. In this time the accused activists helped spark the people-backed direct action network that has successfully shut down a factory and headquarters belonging to Israel’s largest arms company, Elbit Systems.
Every instance of state repression we’ve faced to date has been for one simple reason. Palestine Action has disrupted the smooth functioning of a business built on bloodshed. Drones raining fire on the ground below, or bullets cutting through bodies indiscriminately, it’s all money in the bank for the international arms industry.
WE FIND ELBIT GUILTY!
Elbit Systems holds an impressive international clientele, boasting some of the most flagrantly violent regimes involved in frequent human rights abuses; Brazil, India, and the Philippines, to name a few. However, a majority of its sales are to Israel, being Israel’s largest arms company.
Most notably, in Britain, Elbit produces the Hermes 450/900 and Watchkeeper UAVs – which go on to make up the 85% of Israel’s drone fleet. It was the Hermes 450 that was used in Gaza this month – ‘mowing the grass’, as Israeli military officials call it, and was used in 2021, 2014, and further back.
Thousands of hours of ‘testing’ (in Elbit’s own words) the Hermes 450 on Palestinians, as well as Iraqis and Afghans, made possible the Watchkeeper drone – utilised by the UK Border Force and British Police for the surveillance and monitoring of migrants and citizens respectively.
As well as drones, the company manufactures border control equipment, chemical weapons, ammunition – the list goes on. The crimes of Elbit Systems are manifold, and on October 10, a long-awaited process of justice concerning these war crimes will begin, helmed by Palestine Action and the Elbit Eight.
THE LAUNCH OF PALESTINE ACTION
The actions featured in the case took place at Elbit Ferranti (Oldham factory), the Elbit London headquarters (77 Kingsway) – both of which are now permanently closed, as well as JLL, Instro Precision (Kent) and UAV Engines LTD (Shenstone). These actions were in essence what launched Palestine Action, the direct action network which has pushed hundreds in Britain to face arrest for Palestine, has successfully shut down an Israeli arms factory and headquarters – this is why they are being met with repression.
SUPPORT THE #ELBITEIGHT
“In two years of direct action, Palestine Action have severely disrupted the smooth functioning of a business built on bloodshed. For this, we are facing intense political repression. Let it be known that we stand as the accusers, not the accused, and we fully intend to expose Elbit’s many war crimes, in particular, the Israeli arms company’s role in 74 years of occupation and dispossession lived by the Palestinian people. #ElbitIsGuilty, we are not.”
Everyone who is indignant to the march of warfare and disposession, who opposes the act of protest being met with lawfare, and most importantly, those who stand alongside the Palestinian struggle for life, we are requesting your support throughout the trial.
Sign up to the Palestine Action Defence Committee Legal Briefing on Tuesday September 13th.
FIVE ACTIONS TO TAKE
- PACK THE COURTS
Mobilise to support the #ElbitEight throughout the trial. The trial begins Monday October 10th, at London’s Snaresbrook Crown Court and is expected to last 5 weeks. We are going to have a constant presence both inside and out. Sit in as a trial observer or join other supporters outside the court.
- SEND PHOTOS IN SUPPORT
Share a picture of yourself holding up the following message:‘I am _____ and I stand with Palestine Action. #ElbitIsGuilty’ You can fill in the blank with any self-identifier: your name, your occupation, or any other description. Some examples may be: “I am a teacher and I stand with Palestine Action. #ElbitIsGuilty” or “I am a youth organiser and I stand with Palestine Action. #ElbitIsGuilty”Post your photos on social media with the hashtags #ElbitEight, #ElbitIsGuilty, #ShutElbitDown. Just remember we may use your image online or in print.
- SIGN THE OPEN LETTER
Organisations of all kinds, as well as notable individuals can declare their support for the #ElbitEight by signing on to Palestine Action’s open letter here. Circulate the open letter amongst relevant contacts.
- SOLIDARITY STATEMENTS
Have your organisation make a solidarity statement in support of the #ElbitEight, it could look something like this:‘_____ stand in solidarity with Palestine Action’s #ElbitEight, who are going on trial October 10th against Israel’s largest arms manufacturer, Elbit Systems. We stand with you in the Palestinian struggle for life – #ElbitIsGuilty, #ShutElbitDown everywhere!
Send them into firstname.lastname@example.org and publish in social media, newsletters etc.
- TAKE ACTION!
Whoever and wherever you are, we call on you to take creative and inspired direct action against Elbit Systems and in solidarity with the #ElbitEight. Whether this is a sit in, a banner drop or a rooftop occupation, show your solidarity, rage and fighting spirit through the language of direct action.For anyone outside of Britain who is interested in taking high profile action (e.g. destructive action) contact email@example.com and we’ll get in touch securely.If you take action, remember to grab a pic and send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org