‘Workers for Palestine’ blockade UK arms factories

IssueFebruary - March 2024
7 December outside BAE Systems, Glasgow. Photo: Workers for Palestine
News by PN staff

On 7 December, a new Palestine solidarity group, Workers for a Free Palestine, organised 1,000 trade unionists and other protesters to blockade four sites connected to the Israeli war machine: Eaton Mission Systems in Bournemouth, Dorset; the L3Harris factory in Brighton, East Sussex; BAE Systems’s Samlesbury Aerodrome just outside Blackburn in Lancashire; and the BAE Systems Govan site in Glasgow.

All four arms company sites are linked to the manufacture of the F-35 warplane currently being used in the Israeli war of destruction in Gaza.

Workers for Palestine has been carrying out mass pickets since 26 October, when 150 trade unionists and supporters blocked entrances to a Kent site belonging to Instro Precision Ltd, a subsidiary of Israeli weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems.

On 7 November, 400 activists blockaded a BAE Systems site in Rochester, Kent.

On 21 December, hundreds of health workers blockaded the central London headquarters of US tech giant Palantir after it was awarded a £330m contract by NHS England. Palantir has contracts with the Israeli armed forces.

On 3 January, over 60 activists from the Cymru Peace Coalition shut down one of the UK’s largest munitions factories, a BAE Systems factory in Glascoed in Wales, which is believed to be involved in supplying 155mm artillery shells to the Israeli defence force.

On 19 January, 40 members of Brighton and Hove Action for Palestine blocked the L3Harris arms factory again.