Activists Storm Manchester Office of Sole Recruiters for Israel’s Largest Weapons Firm

Sep 1, 2023

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Activists stormed iO Associates’ new offices in Manchester City Centre, to demand the company stop recruiting for Elbit Systems UK. The group carried flags and a banner, which read ‘IO Associates recruiting for Elbit Murderers’. This action happened the day after iO Associates announced their expansion of ‘defence recruitment’ into Manchester [1]. During the action, the iO Associates director, Ross Markall [2], assaulted several members of the group, including a 14 year old daughter of a journalist and smashed her phone [3]. 

iO Associates have offices in Bristol, Reading, Newcastle, London and now Manchester. They are the sole recruiters for Elbit Systems UK, the UK arm of Israel’s largest weapons manufacturer. Shortly after the action, iO Associates removed the majority of Elbit’s job offers from their website [4][5] . Elbit Systems manufacture 85% of Israel’s military drone fleet [6], 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 [7]. 

After a 5 year local campaign, and an intense period of direct action, Elbit Systems were forced to shut down their Oldham weapons factory [8]. Now, activists in the region have set their target on iO Associates. This follows numerous actions taken by Palestine Action against companies who work alongside the Israeli weapons manufacturer. Actions will continue against iO Associates until they publicly announce they’ve cut all ties will Elbit Systems UK. 

Commenting on the action, Manchester Palestine Action said: 

“Manchester won’t accept a recruitment agency for Israel’s criminal weapons firm Elbit Systems. People here are disgusted iO associates have expanded into the city. How dare they when Israel has been exposes as an apartheid state again and again. Israel continues to massacre Palestinians, steal more land and imprison people for defending their homes from ethnic cleansing. We won’t stop until all Elbit’s recruiters are kicked out of the city and Elbit is forced out of Britain for good.”


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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.