Two Palestine Action activists remain imprisoned, after being arrested by police for taking action on May 15th, Nakba Day, the commemoration of the 1948 Nakba which saw 800,000 Palestinians ethnically cleansed from Palestine, at Elbit Systems Bristol HQ Offices. Elbit Systems is Israel’s largest private arms company and markets its weapons as “combat proven” on Palestinians. Alongside seven other activists, they made their way onto the premises of the site, covering the outside of the building in red paint before breaking through an office window and making their way inside while other activists blocked road access to the site. Once the activists gained access to one of the office rooms inside, they proceeded to graffiti the walls and damage equipment belonging to Elbit. The Bristol location, which is leased from Sedgemore District Council, is Elbit’s main operational facility in Britain. These activists took direct action against Elbit Systems to demand an end to British complicity with Israeli Apartheid.
A total of nine activists were arrested for the action. At this point an unprecedent CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) appeal denied bail to the six activists who had been granted bail by a Magistrates Court Judge. Three of the activists were not given bail. During further appeal hearings, seven activists have been released on strict bail conditions while the last two continue to be denied bail. In order to keep them imprisoned, the CPS attempted to argue that they would be a flight risk, however, after this was unsuccessful, they brought up previously unknown charges relating to protests around the time of the May 2021 bombings of Gaza arguing that they may be likely to reoffend. The next opportunity for an appeal of these conditions is in 10 days time at a plea hearing at Bristol Crown Court. Palestine Action considers these two activists to now be held as political prisoners by the British state.
This represents a concerted and intensified attempt by the British State and police to repress Palestine Action admist increased actions against Elbit Systems operations throughout the country. Palestine Actions success to date has been used by the CPS as a means in which to target activists in order to protect Israel’s arms trade in Britain. Palestine Action refuses to backdown to the crackdown and is calling on our supporters to show their solidarity with these political prisoners by joining our direct action campaign, donating to us and attending our solidarity protest outside Bristol Crown Court at the plea hearing on 15th June from 10AM.
You can also write letters of support to the activists at: firstname.lastname@example.org