Palestine Action Drive Israeli Weapons Firm Recruiters Out of Manchester Office

Oct 11, 2023

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Palestine Action forced out iO Associates, the sole recruiters for Elbit Systems UK, from their new Manchester offices in the Express building. The news came after Palestine Action activists targeted the site over 45 days, culminating in an action on Monday 9th October when the Express building was covered in blood red paint [1]. It also coincides with the ongoing bombardment and full blockade of Gaza, where 2.3million captive Palestinians live [2]. 

Elbit Systems manufacture 85% of Israel’s military drone fleet [3], not only arming the Israeli military with these drones and developing the technology, but also operating the drones alongside the military, directly assisting them in their attacks. They also supply the Israeli military with land-based equipment, bullets, components for tanks, rocket launchers and more. The majority of their weaponry is marketed as “battle-tested” after they’ve been developed on the captive population of Gaza [4]. 

The day after iO Associates announced their expansion of ‘defence recrutment’ into Manchester, activists from Manchester Palestine Action stormed the office to demand the company stop recruiting for Elbit [5][6]. Shortly after, iO Associates removed the majority of Elbit’s job offers from their website [7]. A few weeks later, after iO associates reposted the Elbit job openings, activists from both Palestine Action and the Youth Front for Palestine (YFFP) stormed the offices once again, reiterating the message that Elbit recruiters are not welcome in the city [8].  

On Monday 9th October, an escalation in the campaign saw four of iO associates offices, including the Express building, sprayed in blood-red paint, symbolising the bloodshed of the Palestinian people spilt by Elbit’s weaponry. The day after, Palestine Action saw an internal email sent from Huckletree, the workspace managers, on Tuesday 10th October to all workers in the building, which states that the latest action was the final straw who quickly kicked iO associates out of the office block. In the email it reads that in response to the action on the 9th October and the changing situation in Gaza, ‘IO Associates will no longer be using the Huckletree office.’ [9]

The swift move to eject Elbit’s recruiters reaffirms the direct action strategy against companies complicit with Israel’s weapons trade which Palestine Action employs. To expand the campaign against complicit firms in light of the massacres being carried out in Gaza, Palestine Action released over 50 targets [10] alongside a guide on taking covert action yesterday [11]. iO associates remain listed as a target as they continue to recruit for Israel’s largest weapons manufacturer.

A spokesperson for Palestine Action said: ‘Driving Elbit’s recruiters out of their Manchester office is an example to all people who stand against military occupation and apartheid, of tangible steps that can be taken in solidarity with the Palestinian people. It has never been more clear that companies working with Israeli weapons firms such as Elbit Systems are deeply complicit in the spilling of Palestinian blood. All complicit firms must immediately declare they’ve ended all links with Elbit or they will continue to be a target of Palestine Action’s campaign.’


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Palestine Action is a direct-action network of groups and individuals formed with the mandate of taking action against the sites of Elbit Systems and other companies complicit in Israeli apartheid, calling for all such sites to be shut down.