Palestine Action sets up camp outside Elbit’s Somerset HQ

  • Post last modified:March 21, 2024
  • Reading time:7 mins read

On Wednesday 20 March, activists from Palestine Action set up camp in front of Elbit’s Bristol headquarters at Aztec West 600. It comes after the group targeted Somerset Council over its complicity in Elbit and Israel‘s genocide – as it is the former’s landlord.

Palestine Action: a base of resistance

Establishing a base of resistance, activists have put up gazebos, banners, Palestine flags, and scaled up trees overlooking the Israeli weapons maker:

The camp is the latest in a series of actions to kick Elbit out of Aztec West 600. It’s a premises which is owned by Somerset Council. Since Palestine Action’s launch in July 2020, activists have broken inside the arms manufacturer, occupied the roof, blockaded the gates, and dismantled the premises.

Simultaneously, residents of Somerset have taken several actions to demand Somerset Council terminate Elbit’s lease before they sell the property. It’s sale which is motivated by financial pressure on the council. Residents have repeatedly disrupted council meetings in a bid to make their voices heard and reject their county’s complicity in genocide.

After requests to evict Elbit were dismissed by councillors, activists covered Somerset County Hall in red paint and spray painted messages such as ‘Elbit out’, ‘Evict Elbit’ and ‘Blood on your hands’:

The newly established camp will apply further pressure on the council and reduce the prospect of any future sale without first evicting Elbit.

Elbit: staggering complicity.

Elbit Systems is Israel’s biggest weapons manufacturer, whose UK division is headquartered at Aztec West 600, with both Elbit Systems UK and Elbit Systems Ltd (based in Haifa, Israel) listed as named parties on the lease. Providing 85% of Israel’s military drone fleet and land-based equipment, as well as bullets, bombs, munitions and other weaponry, the company is a key pillar of the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

By using Gaza as a laboratory for new weaponry, Elbit can market their products as “battle-tested” or “combat proven” before selling them on to global militaries. Both the export and purchase of Elbit’s weaponry maintains the illegal occupation and subjugation of the Palestinian people.

Palestine Action vow to continue to take action until Elbit is out of Aztec West 600, and ultimately out of Britain.

Featured image and additional images via Palestine Action

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