Palestine Action Occupy Arconic in Solidarity With Grenfell and Palestine

Jun 13, 2022


  • Palestine Action have returned to Arconic’s factory in Birmingham, with activists storming and occupying the site facilities
  • The firm is responsible for having produced the highly flammable cladding used in the tower that enabled the fire’s rapid spread. Arconic were aware of the unsafe nature of the cladding and sold it to customers regardless.
  • In addition to this, Arconic produce materials such as sheet metal, used in the manufacture of military aircraft sold to Israel, and used on Gaza’s captive population of almost one million
  • A former employee of Arconic, in response to last year’s action, went on record deeming the site “extremely strategically important” in the supply chain of so called ‘defense’ companies
  • On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, direct action has been taken by activists who are saying to Arconic and all companies whose crimes can be seen across the world, that their war crimes will not go unchecked.

This morning, five Palestine Action activists returned to the Arconic factory in Birmingham. The team have sparked a rooftop occupation of the site, and blocked the front gates, halting business for guilty Arconic and demanding Justice for Grenfell, five years on. 

Today’s action was taken in solidarity wih the 72 who lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower fire, and all other victims of the fire, which was facilitated by Arconic. The company built and distributed the cladding and insulation systems used in Grenfell Tower and still in use in housing across Britain. Fire Expert Witnesses found the materials “substantially to blame for the tragedy” and found them to be “the primary cause of upward vertical fire spread, downward vertical fire spread, and lateral fire spread.”

As well as manufacturing the cladding, Arconic allowed its use in towers across the country, facilitating the fire. The Grenfell public enquiry revealed that Arconic was aware that the cladding was and is highly flammable, yet it sold it anyway – the risks kept secret from customers, for fear of fewer sales. Claude Wehrle, Arconic’s technical manager at the time made sure that the cladding’s flammability was to be kept secret.

In addition to the manufacture and sale of unsafe cladding, Arconic produce vital goods used in military aircrafts – specifically, Boeing Apache Helicopters and Lockheed Martin F-35 Fighter Jets. Both are supplied to the Israeli military occupation, who routinely put them to use in aerial assailts on Gaza, leaving scenes of terror on the ground.

Last year, the activists who occupied the site on the fourth anniversary of the trial were given disproportionate and drastic bail conditions. After the action elicited a strong community response, as night fell, police took to brutalise the crowd of peaceful protestors. One of the two activists was placed on remand, enduring a hunger strike in protest of their treatment and the ongoing repression dealt to Palestine Action. The group is no stranger to repression and in light of activists’ recent imprisonment, has urged supporters to turn “repression into resistance” and take direct action. 

Palestine Action find Arconic guilty on both charges – Arconic is one part of a supply chain structured to diffuse responsibility and mystify the vital role of companies like Arconic in enabling and fostering dispossession and death, here in Britain and in Palestine. The government’s inaction has spurred activists to use direct action and enforce justice through the closure of Arconic’s Birmingham factory.

A Palestine Action Spokesperson said the following:

“In 2017, 72 lifes were cut short in the Grenfell Tower Fire. Half a decade on from the fire, no Arconic members have faced any accountability, over a million remain housed in firetrap towers across Britain and justice is nowhere to be found. The deaths were sanctioned by the state and firms like Arconic, who march to the drumbeat of industry. Today, we take action seeking to oppose and expose the crimes of Arconic, to enact unity and solidarity between interwoven struggles and we hope, to enforce some degree of justice for the victims of the Grenfell Tower Fire, who have as yet received none.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​



Please Credit Attached Photos to Guy Smallman

If you would like any further information on Palestine action, please contact 

Palestine Action is a direct-action network of groups and individuals formed with the mandate of taking direct action against Elbit Systems’ UK locations at grassroots level, calling for them all to be shut down and for the British government to end its complicity in Israeli apartheid.

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