A five-week trial involving members of the direct action group Palestine Action (PA) is due to start at Snaresbrook crown court on on 10 October.
The eight Palestine Action activists (including cofounders Huda Ammori and Richard Barnard) have been charged with burglary, criminal damage and ‘blackmail’ – for which the maximum sentence is 14 years.
The charges relate to the first six months of PA action against the British subsidiary of the Israeli arms company Elbit Systems, which produces drones for the Israeli military.
It is possible that charges against the #ElbitEight will be dropped before trial, as happened in another PA case in July, with five activists who had been charged with criminal damage and aggravated trespass.
As PN went to press, a PA peace camp was into its second month in front of an Elbit subsidiary in Shenstone, Shropshire: UAV Engines.
On 11 September, the camp (set up on 26 August) was raided by police. 14 people were arrested and charged with ‘conspiracy to commit criminal damage’.
One person was remanded in prison until their trial for breaching bail conditions. The other 13 were released on bail, on condition they did not go near Elbit sites or encourage others to cause damage to Elbit property.
PA also claimed another victory. They had carried out many actions attacking the Birmingham office of Elbit’s landlord, Fisher-German, which closed down on 16 August.