Palestine Action faces proscription if John Woodcock gets his way

  • Post last modified:May 13, 2024
  • Reading time:6 mins read

The following article is a comment piece from Palestine Action

Former chair of Labour Friends of Israel, John Woodcock AKA ‘Lord’ Walney, plans to issue a report recommending the government implement new measures to deter Palestine Action’s direct action campaign against Israel’s largest weapons firm, Elbit Systems.

Whilst acknowledging the “enormous damage” our campaign has had on the arms industry, he suggests a “proscription-light” label for us which aims to restrict our ability to meet and fundraise. He also wants “buffer zones” around weapons manufacturers like Elbit to protect the company from protests against them.

John Woodcock: independent our arse

Despite posing as an ‘independent’ government advisor, John Woodcock is deeply affiliated with the Israel lobby and the arms industry. He is the chairman of the Defence Purpose Coalition, which brings together senior figures within the arms industry to promote the deadly industry.

Since 2011, he’s travelled to Israel numerous times on all paid for trips by the Israeli government and other pro-Israel lobby groups.

During our nearly four year direct action campaign, we’ve faced arrests, raids, imprisonment, beatings, convictions, and more by a state desperate to protect the Zionist war machine, over the freedom of their own citizens.

Despite this, our movement’s determination and resilience has resulted in Elbit permanently closing two weapons factories, being dropped by several partners and losing 100’s of £millions in contracts with the Ministry of Defence.

We are seven months into the Gaza genocide, and Woodcock thinks this scare tactic is going to make us surrender? He couldn’t be more wrong.

Palestine Action: no surrender

When Palestine Action began we were under no illusion that the route to victory would be an easy ride.

As a movement, we understand that every obstacle we face and overcome is a step closer to ending Israel’s weapons trade in Britain. For years the political class repressed us behind closed doors but refused to show their frustration at our growing campaign publicly. Now, they’re showing their hand which means we are winning.

Rather than deter us, John Woodcock’s rampage to the press three days after we dissed him on Twitter exposes his own motivations: to save face:

He’s more concerned with protecting the military interests of a foreign genocidal entity over the will of the British people, who overwhelmingly support imposing an arms embargo on Israel.

His alliance is with Elbit Systems, who use Gaza as a laboratory to develop their “battle-tested” weaponry and are crucial to arming the ongoing genocide. Our alliance will always be with the Palestinian people.

Collectively we must refuse to surrender. No matter what, we will #ShutElbitDown!

Featured image via Palestine Action and the Canary

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