The direct action group Palestine Action (PA) has again been generating more news than we can cover. They bumped up their acquittals total, won victories targeting suppliers of the Israeli-owned arms company Elbit Systems UK, and carried out a string of property damage actions.
Also, PA had their first known infiltrator, a journalist named Max Parry from the Daily Express, who gave information to the police that led to five arrests for ‘conspiracy to commit public nuisance’ at the London stock exchange.
First, the acquittals. On 22 December at Snaresbrook crown court, eight PA activists were acquitted of 12 charges including criminal damage, burglary and encouraging criminal damage. Co-founder Richard Barnard was convicted of one charge of criminal damage.
Two of the Elbit Eight were acquitted by the jury of all charges: the remaining six will be retried in mid-2025 on 23 charges which this jury could not decide on.
At the beginning of the trial, according to PA, the Elbit Eight were offered – and refused – a plea deal, if co-founders Huda Ammori and Richard Barnard pleaded guilty, the others would be acquitted.
PA have put pressure on Elbit’s suppliers as well as on Elbit itself.
On 1 December, PA announced that they had received email confirmation from iO Associates that the recruitment company would no longer carry out any work for Elbit Systems UK. This followed two months of disruption and property damage at iO Associates offices in Edinburgh, London, Manchester and Reading.
PA then received confirmation on 13 December that the property managers for Elbit Systems’ Shenstone drone factory, Fisher German, had cut ties with Elbit or their subsidiary, UAV Engines.