Solidarity with Gaza

IssueApril - May 2024
News by PN staff

Israel’s brutal war and starvation campaign in Gaza has continued to spark protest across the UK, with large marches and blockades and property damage at arms companies.

In the last two months, the major Gaza-related protests in the UK have been the national ‘Stop the Genocide – Ceasefire Now’ demonstrations in London, involving tens of thousands. The march went to Downing Street on 3 February, to the Israeli embassy in West London on 17 February, and to the US embassy in South London on 9 March.

The demos, which now seem to be taking place every three weeks, have been organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, the Stop the War Coalition, the Muslim Association of Britain, the Palestinian Forum in Britain and CND (the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament).

The coalition have also called national days of action in between the national marches, including on 23 March, when protests took place across Britain, from Kirkwall in Orkney to Plymouth in Devon.


On 20 March, hundreds of activists from Workers for a Free Palestine (WFFP) blockaded arms factories in Scotland and England: Leonardo in Edinburgh and GE Aviation Systems in Cheltenham. They said that both companies manufacture components for Israeli F-35 fighter jets being used in Gaza.

On 15 February, WFFP blockaded BAE Systems in Glasgow, calling for a halt in arms exports to Israel, an end to the bombing of Yemen, and an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

On 1 March, the group launched ‘Charity Workers For a Free Palestine’, involving workers from across the charity and third sector in Britain. Dozens protested outside the Charity Commission, London, with a banner saying: ‘Silence = complicity’.

Direct action

Since our last issue, activists connected to Palestine Action (PA) have carried out at least eight actions, mostly aimed at the British branch of Elbit Systems (Israel’s biggest military manufacturer).

In court, PA won seven more acquittals on 16 February after a four-day trial at Nottingham magistrates court. The charges came from a PA protest at a factory (majority owned by Elbit) in Leicester in May 2021. 

PA have also forced another supplier, specialist transport company Kuehne+Nagel, to cut links, following property damage actions at their Leicester, London and Milton Keynes offices. 

The PA actions (mostly involving spraying red paint) were at: the Peterborough offices of Elbit’s IT supplier, CDW (on 5 February); the Manchester offices of a financial backer, the Bank of New York Mellon (14 and 29 February); Smith Metals in Bedfordshire (4 March); the home office’s ‘Security and Policing’ arms fair in London (12 March); and another Elbit landlord, Somerset council (18 March).

On 14 February, PA blockaded Elbit’s Bristol headquarters, and on 8 March a PA activist slashed a painting of lord Balfour (who signed the Balfour Declaration giving Jews a ‘national home’ in Palestine in 1917) at Cambridge university.

  • Among many other actions taking place around the country was a local Palestine Solidarity Campaign die-in outside Cornwall council on 20 February. Protesters demanded that the council back an Israeli ceasefire and withdraw from arms company ‘pension investments that support Israel’s genocide’ in Gaza.
  • The trial of Chris Cole and Virginia Moffat for their 29 December action at the gates of Downing Street (PN 2670) is due to start 10am, 25 April at City of London magistrates court, 1 Queen Victoria St, London EC4N 4XY. There is a public event the evening before, at 7.30pm, at the London Catholic Worker, 41 Mattison Rd, London N4 1BG.