Palestine Action

IssueJune - July 2023
News by David Polden

There have been dozens of arrests of Palestine Action (PA) activists since our last report.

At least 41 people have been arrested as part of the group’s main action in May, a mass ‘siege’ of UAV Tactical Systems in Leicester. The company is owned by the Israeli arms company, Elbit Systems. The siege started on 1 May and was continuing as PN went to press.

In another case, four PA activists are waiting to be sentenced after a seven-week trial at Wolverhampton crown court which ended on 17 May

Tony Greenstein, Jeremy Parker, Ibrahim Samadi and Alex Waters were convicted of ‘possession of articles with intent to cause criminal damage’. A fifth activist, Bethany Clowackin, pleaded guilty before the trial began; and the jury could not agree a verdict on the sixth defendant, Helen Caney.

The Walsall Six had been stopped by police on their way to UAV Engines, another Elbit-owned factory, in Staffordshire. On 18 May, two PA activists, Ishaq Aslam, 51, and Sean Middlebrough, 30, were remanded to prison after supporting a 15 May rooftop occupation at Pearson Engineering in Newcastle. Pearson was bought by Israeli arms company, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, last September.

The two men who actually climbed the roof, Craig Smith, 29, and Jay Foster, 23, were given bail – but one was held in prison while his bail was being challenged by the prosecution. It is alleged that Pearson lost £500,000 because it had to close its factory during the rooftop occupation.

Also on 15 May, Nakba Day, PA activists sprayed the foreign office in London with red paint.

On 12 May, PA carried out a property damage action at the premises of Kuehne + Nagel, a global transport and logistics company near to the UAV Tactical Systems factory and known to partner with Elbit System.