1 June 2024 PN staff

Group force closure of factory owned by Elbit Systems

It’s difficult to report on Palestine Action (PA), partly because they have carried out so many actions (at least 24 since our last issue), and partly because their website has suffered from sabotage.

The big victory the direct action group has claimed since our last issue is the closure of a Tamworth factory owned by Elbit Systems, the Israeli drone manufacturer.

On 28 March, PA said ‘the Israeli weapons maker was forced to sell due to increased security costs which cut their…

1 June 2024 PN staff

Groups condemn attempt 'to whip up everyday militarism and nationalist fervour'

The first major policy announcement of the British general election campaign came from the Conservative prime minister. Rishi Sunak announced his intention, if re-elected, to set up compulsory ‘National Service’ for 18-year-olds.

This would involve either 12 months’ full-time military service (for perhaps 30,000 young people, who would be selected) or 25 days’ voluntary work in the community over a year for the other 90 percent of 18-year-olds.

The plan, which seems aimed at…

1 June 2024 PN staff

GP suspended for five months over climate action

Most climate direct action recently seems to have been carried out by Just Stop Oil (JSO), and most of the court cases also involve them, including three acquittals and a professional suspension. Here is some of what’s been happening.

On 15 May, three JSO activists were convicted under the Section 7 of the new Public Order Act 2023, which bans interference with ‘key national infrastructure’, including roads.

Daniel Hall, Phoebe Plummer and Chiara Sarti had marched along a…

1 June 2024 PN staff

Group takes 'living pictures' of Palestinian pain to London

Hastings-based ‘Grieving for Gaza’ has been coming to Central London to perform tableaux vivants (‘living pictures’) to confront passers-by with the pain Palestinians are experiencing. New performers, leafleters and banner-holders welcome: grievingforgaza (at)


1 June 2024 PN staff

Ukrainian pacifist sets fire to draft card on international CO day

On 15 May, the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement’s executive secretary Yurii Sheliazhenko set fire to a draft card at the start of the group’s online gathering for International Conscientious Objectors’ Day. UPM said: ‘[D]espite some fair judgments in favor of conscientious objectors and pacifists... the majority of judicial practice in Ukraine illegally condones political repressions.’ Yurii himself is facing an unjust prosecution (see PN 2671). In the UK, there were events in Bury St…

1 June 2024 PN staff

Prisoners released, UK arms sales continue

Yemen continues to be one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, on the edge of famine, with something close to a frozen war and a feeble peace process which is not getting much international support – but which has just produced a helpful prisoner release.

Britain could be ending arms sales to both Saudi Arabia and Israel for their war crimes. Those would be the most useful ways of supporting the peace process in Yemen and pressing for an end to Israel’s war in Gaza, which is…

1 June 2024 PN staff

Memorial banner to be displayed in Venice

Scottish artist Jane Frere, with dozens of volunteers, many from Highlands Palestine, has created two banners with hundreds of hand-written name tags carrying the names of Palestinians who’ve died in Gaza since 7 October. The second SewTheirNames memorial banner (above), which has nearly 2,500 names on it, is on display in Venice as part of an exhibition dedicated to Palestinians.

1 June 2024 PN staff

Jewish-Arab peace group form 'humanitarian guard'

After right-wing Israeli activists stopped an aid convoy to Gaza, destroyed food supplies, set two trucks on fire and beat up a Palestinian driver, a Jewish-Arab peace group called ‘Standing Together’ mobilised hundreds of supporters on 19 May to protect the aid trucks, which all got through. Standing Together believe their ‘Humanitarian Guard’, which included a convoy of cars, forced the police to take stronger action.

1 June 2024 PN staff

Ships attempting to break siege

The Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition has two missions on. The main ‘Break the Siege’ effort involves one large cargo ship, the Anadolu (Anatolia), and a ferry, the Akdeniz (the Mediterranean).

The Anadolu is trying to break the illegal Israeli siege on Gaza by delivering 5,000 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The Akdeniz is said to be carrying hundreds of participants from over a dozen countries including Australia, Indonesia, Ireland,…

1 June 2024 PN staff

Christian peace activists found guility over Gaza protest

On 25 April, Chris Cole and Virginia Moffat went on trial at City of London magistrates court as a result of their action on 29 December at Downing Street protesting against the UK government for being ‘complicit with this slaughter’ in Gaza (PN 2670). They had poured red poster paint on the gates and made bloody handprints, and read the names of children killed by Israel and Hamas.

The two Christian peace activists were found guilty of criminal damage despite making legal as…

1 June 2024 PN staff

Encampments at over 130 US universities and beyond

Student activism on Gaza has transformed the debate in the US and has grown enormously in the UK.

The first ‘Gaza Solidarity Encampment’, or tent occupation, was at Columbia university in New York City on 17 April.

It lasted until 4 May, when police cleared tents off the campus lawn for the second time, arresting dozens of people.

The protest was organised by a coalition of 116 student groups: ‘Columbia University Apartheid Divest’. Their main demand was that the…

1 June 2024 PN staff

'The most moving speech I have ever heard in this courtroom'

Owain Parry, Thomas Bell and Mark Redfern carried out a 14-hour rooftop occupation of the Solvay factory in Wrexham, Wales, in November 2021 (the action was co-ordinated by Palestine Action). They accused Solvay of manufacturing components for the Israeli military.

This was admitted by the company at the recent five-day trial of the Solvay Three at Caernarfon crown court. The firm said that it supplied components for Israeli F-35 fighter jets.

The three members of the Welsh…

1 June 2024 PN staff

Anti-war badges prove popular at demos

PN has raised £13,400 for Medical Aid for Palestinians, by giving away badges for a donation, mostly at the national Gaza marches in London – including on 30 March, 27 April and 18 May.

We’ve added two more designs, ‘Stop Arming Israel’ and ‘Stop Starving Gaza’, available along with the original ‘Ceasefire Now’ badge on the PN website.


1 June 2024 PN staff

Peace group pays for bus stop ads

International peace group World Beyond War rented eight bus stop advert slots around the White House in Washington DC (6 May – 5 June), to present this message. It took a lot of fundraising and a lot of pressure on companies to allow ‘political’ advertising.

1 June 2024 PN staff

Anti-nuke protest, 13 - 25 July

From 13 – 25 July, there will be an international peace camp at USAF Lakenheath to protest against the plan to bring US nuclear weapons there. The camp is being organised by over a dozen groups in the Lakenheath Alliance for Peace (LAP).

LAP was launched on 26 March when eight women including Angie Zelter ‘crossed the line’ onto base territory at USAF Lakenheath, insisting on delivering a letter to the base commanders.

After almost an hour, the RAF commander of the base,…

1 June 2024 Ian Sinclair

New report on getting 'the world back on a path to nuclear disarmament'

On 21 May, the Nuclear Education Trust, an independent charity that aims to inform and educate decision-makers, the public and media about nuclear weapons, launched its new report The Future for UK Defence, Diplomacy and Disarmament in the House of Lords.

Written by Dr Tim Street and based on a survey of UK parliamentarians, think tank experts, academics and representatives of civil society organisations (including PN editor Milan Rai), the report considers ‘how the…

1 June 2024 PN staff

Court grants whistleblower further appeal

Julian Assange has won another chance to appeal against extradition to the US on espionage charges, but he is not out of danger.

The high court in London gave Assange his legal victory on 20 May, after finding that the US government had not given strong enough guarantees or ‘assurances’ that Assange would not be mistreated.

Assange’s lawyers accepted one assurance, that he will not be subjected to the death penalty if convicted in the US.

However, the US government did…

1 June 2024 Milan Rai

How the Gaza ceasefire negotiations broke down

Hamas stunned the world by agreeing to an Israeli-US-Qatari-Egyptian ceasefire proposal on 6 May. Israel then refused to accept the ceasefire deal it had previously agreed – and immediately launched military attacks on Rafah in the south of Gaza, where over a million Palestinians had fled for safety from other, more devastated parts of the territory.

Earlier, on 30 April, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ‘said he would invade Rafah “with or without a deal,” a vow that…

1 June 2024 Milan Rai

Doesn’t support an immediate permanent ceasefire? Don’t vote for them

In the general election campaign, every candidate for the Westminster parliament must be told that if they do not call for an immediate, permanent, ceasefire in Gaza, they will not receive your vote.

Out of all the crises and pressing issues in the world, the slaughter in Gaza must be the most urgent question of the British general election.

Both the Conservatives and Labour pretend to be calling for a ceasefire, but all they mean by that is a few weeks’ pause to get…

1 April 2024 PN staff

No evidence group used rape as a weapon of war

Despite claims to the contrary, there is no evidence that Hamas used rape as a weapon of war on 7 October. 

That is the conclusion of months of investigation by Electronic Intifada, the Grayzone, Mondoweiss, YES! and other independent investigators, who have carefully assembled evidence undermining the credibility of key witnesses. They’ve also shown the ‘evidence’ supplied to be very weak. 

An article that persuaded many people that there…