‘Bristol 3’ trial begins today: three activists in court after Israeli arms firm’s Bristol HQ shut down

Oct 17, 2022


  • Three activists are today due to appear at Bristol Magistrates Court, having been charged with aggravated trespass after Elbit’s Bristol Headquarters were occupied and shut down last year. The trial is expected to last for three days.
  • In November 2021, the Bristol HQ was targeted on the 104th anniversary of the signing of the Balfour declaration, as Palestine Action took a stand against over 100 years of British complicity in Israeli apartheid.
  • Shutting down Elbit’s Bristol HQ prevented the company from operating at the site, disrupting Israel’s largest arms manufacturer and preventing their production of drones and military equipment.

This morning, three activists will be appearing at Bristol Magistrates Court, Marlborough St, having been charged with aggravated trespass. The British state are attempting to prosecute the trio in response to the successful occupation of Elbit System’s Headquarters at the Aztec West (Almondsbury) site in Bristol in November 2021. The trial is expected to last for three days.

The Bristol site was occupied on the anniversary of the signing of the Balfour declaration, through which Britain established the grounds for the violent occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian land. Palestine Action work to undermine this British complicity in Israeli apartheid, by preventing Israel’s largest arms company, Elbit Systems, from operating and manufacturing in this country.

Despite a round-the-clock rapid response to the site by police, who also deployed police dogs, the roof of the site was occupied for a day, halting operations and meaning Elbit could not resume its ‘business of bloodshed’. Meanwhile the offices were covered in blood-red paint, symbolically marking the site as responsible for spilling the blood of Palestinians through the brutal products Elbit manufactures.



Pictures from the April action are available via this link https://bit.ly/PhotosTrial, free to print or reproduce with credit to be given to Calum Ford.

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

If you would like any further information on Palestine action, please contact info@palestineaction.org. For updates on upcoming trials, visit our website.

Press Release of the November 2021 Bristol action: https://www.palestineaction.org/bristol-balfour/

Elbit forced to close its London HQ: https://mondoweiss.net/2022/06/israeli-weapons-maker-shuts-london-hq-following-sustained-protest/

Elbit closes Oldham factory in January: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/uk-admits-activists-forced-elbit-sell-factory


Elbit Systems is Israel’s largest arms firm, with 8 remaining sites in Britain. They build weapons include drones, artillery and target acquisition software in Britain. All of which are marketed as “battle-tested” or “combat-proven”, as they’ve been tested on the captive population of Gaza.

Company profile on Elbit Systems: https://whoprofits.org/company/elbit-systems/

Role of Elbit drone in killing of four children playing on Gaza beach in 2014: https://theintercept.com/2018/08/11/israel-palestine-drone-strike-operation-protective-edge/

More on the death and destruction inflicted by Elbit’s drones upon Gaza: https://corporatewatch.org/elbit-systems-company-profile-2/

Elbit surveillance technology for Israel’s apartheid wall: https://www.facing-finance.org/en/database/cases/elbit-systems-surveillance-system-torch-for-the-separation-barrier-in-israelpalestine/