Looking back: Palestine Action’s strongest moments from 2021

Jan 1, 2022

2021 was a year full of action, not just for us, but across the globe, as we witnessed an unprecedented surge in support and mobilisation for Palestine. Liberation isn’t light work and none of us can do it alone; thanks to many of you, we played an active part in calling for an end to violence against Palestinians. Here are some of our strongest moments from the year, and a hint of what’s in store for 2022…

2021 has been an epic year for us, our first full calendar year of action against Elbit Systems, since we launched in August 2020. Our mission to shut Elbit down has been embraced globally, with communities from all corners of the world supporting and sharing our actions, as we seek to end British complicity and support for Israel’s violence against Palestinians.

This year, we expanded our scope to target businesses in Elbit’s supply chain, as well as building on our campaign against landlords like Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) who willingly house Elbit so they can manufacture weapons used in Israeli war crimes. Looking back, we are particularly proud of our action against Arconic, in Birmingham. Arconic not only supplies materials for Boeing and Lockheed Martin’s military aircraft, which is used by the Israeli military, they also manufactured the highly-flammable cladding used in the construction of the Grenfell Tower, which tragically caught fire and caused unnecessary deaths in 2017. This action was organised to coincide with the fourth-year anniverary of the Grenfell disaster, to demonstrate our anger at four years of zero accountability for those involved in the knowingy-shoddy construction, which resulted in the loss of 72 innocent lives.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the support of local communities, this year, too. With hundreds of civilians joining our call to oust Elbit from neighbourhoods up and down the country, coming out to support our actionists at all hours with undeniable passion. In Birmingham, after the police arrested and escorted activists off the Arconic premises, local supporters continued the action by occupying the building and causing a further spectacle; yet another reason we’re super proud of the event. In Leicester, supporters prevented the police leaving with detainees after a 6 day occupation, and the Fire Brigades Union refused to collaborate with police actions.

2021 also saw collaborative ventures with groups like Extinction Rebellion, and the Welsh Underground Network, in our first ever action in Wales. Solidarity is a powerful tool, and one we couldn’t operate without, since we rely exclusively on people like you to step up and take action in the name of Palestinian freedom. You can apply to join us take down war criminals anytime; the more the merrier! We’ve built collaborations with groups including the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Samidoun, and will continue to work with and support those who are also bravely standing against oppression of Palestinians and all others repressed with Elbit Systems’ technologies.

Our hearts broke in May, while we watched the rotten fruit of Elbit’s labour explode across Gaza, as Israel launched an 11-day assault on the beisieged enclave. The murder and devastation we witnessed added fuel to the fire in our bellies, and we saw more activists and donors join and support our fight, here on British soil. We can’t continue here without bigging up the people of Leicester, who came out in their hundreds to support our action against UAV Tactival Systems on May 19th, during Israeli’s attack on Gaza. Our allies used their cars to block the police, preventing them from successfully detaining our activists for seven hours. But, since we’re fighting to free Palestine, and it’s still not free, our work is far from finished. So, we’re stepping into 2022 with more determination than ever…

For us, the New Year will commence with a slew of trials, as our warped justice system hosts activists in the stands for actions taken against Elbit. But we’re far from scared of the hypocrites claiming to be innocent. You may also remember the ‘not guilty’ verdict we received, from our first case that went to trial in December, so our hope is in the People, to do the right thing, either.

As ever, we stand strong in our conviction that Elbit and the UK government are the real criminals, colluding with each other to keep arms deals and blood money flowing. Did you know our disgraceful government signed new weapons contracts with Elbit this year to supply the British Military? Since they aren’t planning to slow down anytime soon, neither are we!

In the spirit of the holiday season, we couldn’t sign-off without asking for your help! As a not-for-profit, grassroots organisation, we can’t work without the generosity of those who believe in us. We encourage everyone to join us in taking action, but if you’d rather redirect your tax money to those standing for justice, freedom, and an end to violence, you can donate to Palestine Action here. Alternatively, keep up with all our movements and actions, by signing up to receive our newsletter. That’s all from us: stay radical, comrades!