On Monday 8 January, seven Palestine Action activists will be entering Bristol Crown Court for a four week trial, charged with burglary and criminal damage after allegedly entering, occupying, and dismantling Elbit’s Bristol headquarters in May 2022. The activists will plead not guilty to the charges against them, giving evidence to the court that Elbit are guilty – and not the activists standing against them.
Elbit: complicit in Israel’s current Nakba in Palestine
The action marked Elbit’s role in the ongoing Nakba and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, highlighting the 74th year of Zionist colonial occupation since its initial act of forced displacement of 800,000 Indigenous Palestinians from their land:
The genocidal actions of the Israeli state – armed to the teeth with Elbit weaponry and working hand in hand with Elbit personnel – continue this violent displacement of Palestinians from their native homeland. Since October 2023, these actions, using Elbit drones, munitions, and equipment, have taken over 25,000 lives, and displaced almost two million Palestinians.
To disrupt British complicity in this ethnic cleansing, the seven Palestine Action activists occupied the headquarters of Elbit Systems UK in Bristol. It is this Bristol HQ from which Elbit oversee the British production of drones, technologies, and other arms eventually shipped to Israel, while profiting from British government contracts and financing Israel’s weapons trade.
The site was forced closed as activists occupied office and meeting rooms, and dismantled the property inside. Walls were painted and marked with ‘Palestine Action’, ‘Free Palestine’, ‘Shut Elbit Down’, and ‘Elbit=Nakba’ written in Hebrew:
Committed to the collective fight
After the action, all of the activists were remanded to prison. Two of them, both anti-Zionist Jewish activists, were detained for one month, one of the reasons being Israeli embassy involvement in the case due to them having Israeli citizenship. The two were then kept under electronic monitoring for a year, while all seven faced strict bail conditions restricting their movement and communications.
Despite the state’s harassment, all seven remain committed to the collective fight for Palestinian liberation, and know that the only guilty party in that courtroom is Elbit. Despite the fact that the British criminal justice system has long worked to support these war profiteers, the seven have plead ‘not guilty’ – with their actions deemed urgent and necessary given the Palestinian suffering created by Elbit’s continued operations.
This trial was due to take place in April 2022, before being postponed to this year. Initially, two others were charged alongside the seven, but their cases have since been separated out.
Join the seven for their four-week trial at Bristol Crown Court (9 Small St, Bristol BS1 1DB), taking place 8-19 January, before breaking for one week and resuming from 29 January to 9 February.
Featured image and additional images via Palestine Action
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.