Pro-Palestine campaigners target Elbit arms firms’ accountants
On 31 March, campaigners in Walsall took action against the Edwards Aldrige accounting firm. Edwards Aldridge provides accounting services to Elbit, Israel’s largest privately owned arms company.
Anonymous campaigners threw red paint at Edwards Aldridge’s offices and stencilled slogans on the walls saying “Accounting for apartheid” and “Shut Elbit down”.
BREAKING: Palestine Action smash and spray the auditors of Israel’s British weapons factories. Paid to count Elbit’s blood money, the company won’t get away with accounting on apartheid #ShutElbitDown pic.twitter.com/aX4zQjOFHb
— Palestine Action (@Pal_action) March 31, 2023
Company accounts show that Edwards Aldridge provides services to Elbit’s subsidiaries in Leicester, Shenstone, Kent, and Tamworth. All of these factories exported military equipment to the Israeli state, according to export data from Campaign Against the Arms Trade.
People have been taking action to force Elbit out of the UK for over a decade. However, direct action against the company started to snowball after the formation of Palestine Action in 2020. Pressure from Palestine Action, coupled with years of local campaigning by people in Oldham, led to the closure of Elbit’s Ferranti factory in January 2022. Its London HQ closed down permanently in June 2022, bowing to intense pressure.
Elbit, a key part of Israel’s war machine
Israel uses drones to attack Palestinians in Gaza, and increasingly in the West Bank too. For example, Dr Ghassan Hamdan is the Palestinian Medical Relief Society general manager in the Nablus area. Ghassan told the Canary that Israeli forces used an armed drone when they attacked Nablus in February.
The Canary wrote last year:
Elbit manufactures around 85% of Israel’s drones which have been used to massacre Palestinians in Gaza.
For example – during Israel’s 51 day attack on Gaza in 2014 – Israeli drones killed 840 Palestinians. Drones were also used extensively in Israel’s 11 day attack on Gaza in 2021.
‘Complicit in the crimes of Israel’
In a statement on its website, Palestine Action argued that:
Companies working with Elbit are automatically complicit in the crimes of Israel. You are [complicit] in the murder of Palestinians if you are counting the cheques, leasing the factories, providing the deliveries or anything else in exchange for Elbit’s blood money. Edwards and any other firm working with Elbit should expect Palestine Action
Campaigners are gearing up for a mass action at Elbit’s Leicester factory. Palestine Action has dubbed the planned action on 1 May a “siege”. It is part of a renewed move to push Elbit out of Leicester, just as the company was forced to leave Oldham and London.
Last week, Elbit was served a ‘community eviction notice’, ahead of the planned action:
BREAKING: Leicester’s Israeli weapons factory have been served an eviction notice. If they don’t leave by May 1st, the siege will commence #ShutElbitDown pic.twitter.com/TcW9L22XGq
— Palestine Action (@Pal_action) April 1, 2023
Campaigners symbolically blocked the gate of the Elbit factory in Shenstone, holding a banner displaying photos of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces. They pointed out that 91 people have been killed so far this year:
Activists block access to Elbit’s drone factory in Shenstone, building up to the siege on their partner Israeli weapons factory in Leicester. From May 1st, we’re not leaving until Elbit does: https://t.co/XjqWEIiqzH #ShutElbitDown pic.twitter.com/BDGV529gjB
— Palestine Action (@Pal_action) March 30, 2023
Finally, on 28 March, Palestine solidarity campaigners took action at the premises of military trade association the ADS Group (aerospace, defense, security and space), protesting the group’s promotion of Elbit. Palestine Action wrote at the time:
ADS Group have been locked-off, with activists positioned on scaffolding to increase the disruption of the weapons trade. Premises have been sprayed red by paint from a repurposed fire extinguisher, to represent the business-of-bloodshed that ADS Group conducts. A banner is displayed making the aim of the action clear: Shut Elbit Down.
Palestine Action shut down ADS Group: agents for the global murder industry https://t.co/Pp7dfmOnIY
— Samidoun Network (@SamidounPP) March 28, 2023
Palestine Action is urging people to sign up and pledge to join their 1 May siege of Elbit’s Leicester factory. Click here to find out more.
Featured image is of the action at ADS Group, via Palestine Action
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