Palestine Action shut down Arconic in solidarity with Grenfell victims and Palestinian people

Jun 14, 2021


  • Palestine Action have stormed and began occupation of the Birmingham site of Arconic – the firm responsible for production of the unsafe, highly flammable cladding which enabled the spread of fire through Grenfell Tower.
  • Arconic also produce a range of materials, including sheet metal, for the manufacture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin military aircraft, used by the Israeli military in assaults on Gaza
  • This action is being undertaken on the 4th anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, taking direct action to ensure the facilitators and profiteers of the atrocity are held accountable and brought to justice
  • The occupation continues the Palestine Action escalation of direct action, as activists continue to halt the operations of firms manufacturing weapons used to repress Palestinians

Palestine Action have today stormed and begun occupation of the Arconic factory in Birmingham. Today’s action has so far involved barricading factory entrances, smashing windows and spraying blood-red paint over the building, while activists are now occupying the factory roof to prevent business resuming.

Activists are taking direct action in solidarity with victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, on the 4th anniversary of the preventable tragedy. Arconic manufactured and supplied the cladding and insulation system in the Grenfell Tower, which Fire Expert Witnesses have found “substantially to blame for the tragedy and that the panels were “the primary cause of upward vertical fire spread, downward vertical fire spread, and lateral fire spread.”(1) 72 people were killed in the fire, and today’s direct action follows the abject failure of the government to bring justice and accountability to the complicit parties – meaning Palestine Action have had to take this into their own hands.

Recently, the public enquiry found that Arconic not only knew that the cladding panels were unsafe for buildings higher than 12m(2), but that the executive of Arconic did not tell customers about the fact the cladding could burn as this may have affected their ability to sell the product(3). Despite this, no members of Arconic have been held to account for their criminal negligence.

Companies such as Arconic have been able to avoid accountability for their crimes, operating within a global supply chain with diffuse responsibility. Palestine Action intend to break this chain – holding companies to account for the deaths that they enable in the pursuit of profit. A system which encourages profit seeking at the expense of human life and wellbeing will inevitably permit massive injustices. It is the duty of activists to demand accountability in the face of this government inaction, and to deliver justice ourselves.

On top of this unsafe cladding, Arconic manufacture components and materials for Boeing Apache Helicopters and Lockheed Martin F-35 Fighter Jets. Both of these are routinely deployed by the Israeli military in aerial assaults on Gaza, including in the May 2021 bombardments which killed 230 Palestinians including 65 children. One of Arconic’s major shareholders – Elliot Investment Management – was founded by Paul Singer, who has funnelled money into Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the ‘friends of the IDF’, and anti-BDS organisations.

Palestine Action has stated the following:

The same companies which fuel repression and war crimes committed against the Palestinian people are producing, operating and selling in the UK – and doing so with a consistent disregard for the deaths and suffering inflicted by their products. These companies have no place in civilised society. While the government refuses to seek justice for the victims of their crimes, Palestine Action will continue to escalate direct action which shuts down the operational bases of these criminal firms. 
Please find attached images of today’s action, free to print or reproduce with credit given to ‘VX Pictures’.

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.

Previous actions by Palestine Action: