Public figures speak out: Free Palestine Action prisoners in British jails! Drop the charges!

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network joins over 75 public figures, including Palestinians, celebrities, legal professionals and politicians, who are calling for the release of Palestine Action prisoners and all charges to be dropped!

Palestine Action’s work and direct action to confront the Israeli arms industry — and British complicity — has led to two Elbit Systems sites being closed down already. Elbit Systems provides 85% of the drones used by the Zionist occupation military, including those used to assassinate Palestinians in Jenin and in the assaults on Gaza.

This statement stands in solidarity with the 6 actionists in prison, and over 100 more who face prison, for disrupting the production of Israeli weapons on British soil. Public figures who signed the letter include Roger Waters (co-founder of Pink Floyd), Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela (South African MP), Mick Wallace (MEP), Michael Malarkey (actor), Lowkey (rapper), Muhammed El Kurd (journalist), Rabab Abdulhadi (professor) and a number of journalists, activist, lawyers and academics.

The letter (published below) highlights the prosecution of Palestine Action activists as part and parcel of ongoing British complicity in and responsibility for the colonization of Palestine, from the Balfour Declaration to the present.

Stand in solidarity with Palestine Action and join the international day of action on 22nd July:

Here is the full statement issued calling for the release of Palestine Action activists detained in the UK:

We, the undersigned, call for the freedom of all Palestine Actionists. We demand the charges are dropped against those already incarcerated and at risk of prison over their work to disrupt the criminal production of Israeli weapons on British soil.

We stand with those who have sacrificed their liberty to challenge colonial violence and we call on others to do the same until they, and the Palestinian people, are free. The British government signed Palestine away in 1917 and today, it is openly hosting companies who arm the Israeli occupying regime to enable it to further entrench its system of domination and oppression.

Israel’s largest weapons manufacturer, Elbit Systems, which has several sites across England and Wales, are manufacturers of an array of weaponry, including drones equipped with payloads, surveillance technology and components for tanks and fighter jets. American weaponry firm Teledyne also export a wide assortment of munitions to the state of Israel and recently, Rafael, an Israeli state-owned company, purchased a factory in Newcastle-upon-Tyne as part of the regime’s planned expansion into Britain.

Both Elbit and Rafael, as well as their suppliers, profit from the captive population of Palestine — they have turned civilians into a human laboratory, where experimental weaponry can be tested, improved on, and then marketed as “field-proven” and branded as “battle-tested”.

Britain has been an accessory to the Israeli apartheid regime for many consecutive governments. Its current refusal to respond to calls from its own citizens to end its decades-long complicity, led to the creation of Palestine Action.

Since the network launched, hundreds of activists have taken heroic direct action to blockade, occupy and dismantle the Israeli war machine in Britain. These actions have resulted in the closing down of two of Elbit’s sites, and the loss of millions of pounds through the severance of
MoD contracts. Palestine Action has inspired local communities across the country to rise up against these immoral factories which profit from the business of war and destruction.

In response, the government has decided to prioritise its interests in protecting the military supply chain of a foreign apartheid state by incarcerating its own people. By choosing to side with the oppressor, the British state has made it a duty for those with influential platforms to speak out and take a stand for those risking their own liberty for the sake of justice.

The heroes who have taken courageous action to expose and dismantle Britain’s role in the colonisation of Palestine should be celebrated and rewarded, not imprisoned. We therefore call for the release of all Palestine Action political prisoners, and for the charges to be dropped against all those facing sentences for simply doing what is necessary.

(1) Mohammed El-Kurd (writer and journalist)
(2) Farah Nabulsi (Filmmaker)
(3) Ghada Karmi (Academic and Physician)
(4) Noura Erakat (Professor)
(5) Susan Abulhawa (novelist)
(6) Michael Malarkey (actor)
(7) Roger Waters (musician)
(8) Lowkey (rapper and activist)
(9) Alexei Sayle (comedian)
(10) Richard Sanders (TV Producer)
(11) Rabab Abdulhadi (Professor)
(12) Moazzam Begg (CAGE Director)
(13) Dr Shahd Abusalama
(14) Adhaf Soueif(Novelist)
(15) Paul Laverty (Screenwriter and lawyer)
(16) Nicolas Jaar (musician)
(17) Aki Kaurismaki (Film director and screenwriter)
(18) Tayo Aluko (Actor, singer, writer)
(19) James Kennedy (Musician and author)
(20) John King (Composer-Musician)
(21) Daniel Mejia
(22) Ashok Kumar (Associate Professor)
(23) Ahmed Eldin (Journalist)
(24) Matt Kennard (Journalist)
(25) Asa Winstanley (Journalist and author)
(26) Katie Halper (Journalist)
(27) Frank Barat
(28) Steven Salaita
(29) Andrew Feinstein (writer)
(30) Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela (South African MP)
(31) Busisiwe Tshwete (South African MP)
(32) Mick Wallace (MEP)
(33) Clare Daly (MEP)
(34) Chris Williamson (Former MP)
(35) Franck Magennis (Barrister)
(36) Robert Lizar (Solicitor)
(37) Robert Frank Atkins (Solicitor)
(38) Saskia O’Hara (Legal Caseworker)
(39) Melinda Janki (Lawyer)
(40) Tim Crosland (Plan B Director)
(41) David L. Mandel (Human Rights Attorney)
(42) Richard P Koch (Attorney-at-Law)
(43) Michael Deutsch (Human Rights Attorney)
(44) Michael Letwin (Former President, Assn. of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW 2325)
(45) Mark Stern (Lawyer)
(46)Suzanne Adely (National Lawyers Guild)
(47) Fahad Ansari (Solicitor)
(48) Vanessa Ramos (American Association of Jurists)
(49) Thomas Hofland (International Center for Palestine Studies)
(50) Mireille Fanon Mendes France (Co-chair of Frantz Fanon Foundation)
(51) Dr Gail Bradbrook (Co-founder of Extinction Rebellion)
(52) Jill Clark-Gollub (Black Alliance for Peace Solidarity Network)
(53) David Thomas (Academic)
(54) Seunghoon Paik (Researcher
(55) Michael Noble (Professor)
(56) Nadia Edmond (Academic)
(57) Kareem Rabie (Anthropologist)
(58) Bikrum Gill (Assistant Professor)
(59) Martin Smith (Retired doctor)
(60) Nick Thoburn (Professor)
(61) David Miller (Academic, writer, producer)
(62) Helyeh Doutaghi (Law Academic)
(63) Matteo Capasso (Academic)
(64) Charlotte Kates (Samidoun)
(65) Khaled Barakat (Palestinian writer)
(66) Frances Hasso (Professor)
(67) Andrew Ross (Professor)
(68) Corinna Mullin (Academic)
(69) Max Ajl (Researcher)
(70) Mohammed Dalbah (Journalist and author)
(71) Dr Issam Hijjawi
(72) Robin D.G. Kelley (Writer/Professor)
(73) Marjorie Cohn (Professor)
(74) Heike Schotten (Professor)
(75) Ken Montenegro
(76) Peter Desrochers (Academic Coordinator)