Palestine Action once again target Lib Dem Somerset Council

  • Post last modified:April 4, 2024
  • Reading time:11 mins read

Four Somerset residents from Palestine Action took direct action at Somerset Council’s County Hall building on Thursday 4 April. It was over the Lib Dems-led council’s support for Elbit Systems – the company that helped manufacture the drone that Israel’s IDF used to kill the World Central Kitchen aid workers. The Lib Dems propped this up – because the council is the landlord of Elbit.

Lib Dem Somerset Council: complicit in genocide

Residents took action in support of Palestine Action. Using ladders they fixed banners to the building before spraying the premises in red paint and attaching themselves to each other using lock on devices to obstruct the main entrance:

The banners read ‘Somerset Council are profiting off genocide. Evict Elbit Now!’ and ‘Somerset Council can evict Elbit but choose profits. Blood is on your hands!’:

Predictably, cops chose to protect the state and corporations – arresting four activists:

Elbit System: killing machines

Somerset Council are the landlords of Aztec West 600, the Bristol Headquarters of Elbit Systems UK. Due to financial concerns, the council have made plans to sell the property as part of a wholesale move to dispose of their commercial investments.

However, residents have repeatedly disrupted council meetings and buildings to make it clear that simply disposing of the property does not absolve the council of their responsibility and demanded the public body terminate the lease before selling the freehold of the property.

Despite raising these concerns and lawyers highlighting a legal route for the council to evict Elbit from the premises, the council have failed to do so to date.

Elbit Systems is Israel’s largest weapons manufacturer, who supply the majority of Israel’s military drone fleet, land based equipment, bullets, munitions and missiles – which are used to commit genocide in Gaza.

In what’s described as a calculated targeting of aid workers, Israel killed three British citizens using Elbit’s Hermes 450 drone – the engine of which is produced by an Elbit Systems UK subsidiary, UAV Engines Ltd.

Palestine Action: Lib Dems ‘directly responsible for Israel’s genocide’

Since 7 October, the Israeli military has killed almost 33,000 Palestinians, injured 75,500 and destroyed 62% of all homes in Gaza, equivalent to 290,920 housing units. Elbit’s CEO openly boasts to arming the genocide and has confirmed that the company has “ramped up production” of weaponry for the Israeli military.

Palestine Action have consistently targeted Elbit’s Bristol HQ and other landlords of Elbit’s sites. The direct action network promise to continue to do so with any current or future landlord of Aztec West 600, unless Elbit is immediately evicted from the property.

One of the activists taking part said ahead of the action:

I am doing this action with Palestine Action because I’m a resident of Somerset and I pay council taxes to Somerset Council, which is the landlord of Elbit Systems, the Israeli arms company. So they are directly responsibly for the genocide that is going on in Gaza and it has to stop. The council has to evict Elbit immediately.

Featured image and additional images via Palestine Action

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