Stand with the #ElbitEight

Who are the #ElbitEight?

They are eight activists, including the co-founders of Palestine Action, who took direct action against Israel’s weapons trade in the early months of Palestine Action.

What did they do?

The #ElbitEight face conspiracy changes spanning the first six months of Palestine Action’s campaign against Israel’s largest weapons firm, Elbit Systems. During these six months, the activists took action against Elbit’s London headquarters and their landlords, occupied the roof and dismantled Elbit’s weapons factory in Staffordshire and threw blood-red paint over Elbit’s other weapons factories in Kent and Oldham.

By putting their liberty on the line, they halted the production of Israeli weapons including Elbit’s Hermes 450. Elbit’s drones are described as “the backbone of the Israeli military drone fleet”, and are used to surveil, harass and murder the captive population of Gaza. The majority of Elbit’s weaponry is marketed as “battle-tested” or “combat-proven” on the Palestinian people, highlighting how Israel’s weapons trade uses Gaza as a testing ground for their weaponry.

Why did they take direct action?

After decades of lobbying, petitions and protests failed to end British complicity with the ongoing destruction of Palestine and genocide against the Palestinian people, Palestine Action decided to take direct action to directly intervene in Israel’s military supply chain.

How did the state respond to their actions?

The British government responded by meeting with the Israeli ministry of strategic affairs and Israel’s then defence minister, Benny Gantz. After apartheid Israel requested Britain crush Palestine Action, three of the #ElbitEight were charged with conspiracy to commit blackmail against the landlords of Elbit Systems. If convicted on such charges, they will face serious prison time and may be banned from all forms of campaigning on Palestine for the rest of their lives. 

Following the meeting, the co-founders Huda Ammori and Richard Barnard, were stopped under Schedule 7 Counter-Terrorism legislation, which lead to four hours of interrogation and a further arrest after Huda refused to give the password to her laptop. A stop under Schedule 7 means you are unable to give no comment or have a lawyer present, must give passwords over for all of your devices and comply with all repressive measures or potentially face terrorism charges. The stop was clearly a ploy to intimidate activists involved in Palestine Action to stop the movement from growing and to gain further intelligence which is now being used in this trial. However, the attempt to deter people from taking direct action against Israel’s weapons trade failed and the movement only continued to grow.


What did palestine action achieve?

The establishment of Palestine Action led to Elbit shutting down their Israeli weapons factory in Oldham, abandoning their London headquarters and losing contracts worth £280million. 

how can you support the trial?

As the British state desperately tries to intimidate the Palestine Action movement, this is an opportunity to display support for the campaign to end Israel’s weapons trade, stand by the activists facing prison and put the Israeli weapons industry on trial. 

To support the #ElbitEight, Mobilise from 9.30AM – 4PM from November 13th (and every working day for six weeks) at Snaresbrook Crown Court, 75 Hollybush Hill, London, E11 1QW. Bring flags, banners, kuffiyehs and placards to show #ElbitIsGuilty, not Palestine Action!