Activists Occupying Arconic Factory Arrested as Police Assault Protestors

Jun 16, 2021


  • Two activists have been arrested after occupying the Birmingham factory of Arconic, manufacturers of unsafe cladding for Grenfell and of materials for Israeli-deployed fighter jets and helicopters.
  • Following the removal of these activists, three more climbed onto the roof at approximately 9:00pm, while local residents continued to protest against Arconic and their facilitation of the Israeli shelling of Gaza, which was resumed yesterday.
  • Protestors experience extreme violence at the hands of the police, who had refused access for legal observers before proceeding to beat protestors, as can be seen in these videos. Two further arrests were made as police closed in on protestors.
  • Community protests and police thuggery make clear that, while the local residents want justice for Grenfell and war criminals out of their area, police are willing to beat and assualt those they are paid to serve in order to protect the profits of multinational arms manufacturers.

The Palestine Action occupation of Arconic, Birmingham, has ended after two days – however with damage caused to premises, the site is likely to remain non-operational long beyond that. Palestine Action had held the site since 5:00am on Monday morning, preventing production or operations at the site of the firm responsible for producing unsafe Grenfell cladding as well as sheet metal for F-35 Jets and Apache Helicopters, both used by Israel to rain down death and destruction on Gaza. Activists occupying the site destroyed windows, cameras, roof structures and more, intent on shutting Arconic down until they are brought to justice for their crimes against humanity in Grenfell and Gaza.

The two activists who began the occupation were arrested and detained yesterday evening, however immediately after this – at 9:00pm – three more activists climbed and occupied the factory roof. This occured as protestors continued to amass outside factory premises, with chants of ‘Shut Arconic Down’ and ‘We are all Palestine Action’ rang out. Throughout the day protestors blocked roads with ‘sit ins’ to prevent police vehicles from arriving at the scene, and turned up en masse in solidarity with the victims of Grenfell and Gaza.

Police reacted with maximum force after harrassing and intimidating protestors throughout the day, arriving with riot gear and dogs as they attempted to shut the protests down. After refusing access to legal observers through the evening, police began to assault and severely beat protestors – mostly made up of young people and children – who had remained into the night.

The Israeli government yesterday broke an internationally observed ceasfire to resume their bombing campaign against Gaza, and Arconic and the other perpetrators of the Grenfell atrocity continue to avoid being held to account. The police – the self-declared servants of justice – somehow see protestors demanding accountability and justice as the real threat, and beat and harrass them while protecting the profits of those committing crimes against humanity
For rolling updates on ongoing actions please check the Palestine Action Twitter account

Palestine Action
Palestine Action is a direct-action network of groups and individuals formed with the mandate of taking direct action against firms complicit in the ongoing repression of Palestinians. Palestine Action use direct action shut down manufactuing hubs for these companies, halt their operations, and are calling for the British government to end its complicity in Israeli apartheid.
Coverage of the Arconic occupation:
Previous actions by Palestine Action: