Activists Arrested, Leicester Community’s Direct Action Prevents Removal

May 25, 2021


– Two Palestine Action activists on roof of Elbit Systems factory arrested as police close in on site
– Local community continue to support and collective solidarity with the factory occupation, with police attempts to arrest and remove activists unsuccessful due to the spontaneous direct action by the community to block factory entrance. Barricades erected, gates chained closed and protesters arrive on mass to ensure that heroic activists are released and site remains closed
– Police move to close roads to prevent more supporters arriving, as riot police enter site to prepare to enforce violence on supporters. An unknown – but significant – number of arrests have been made against those barricading the site, with officers present estimated to be number at least 200.

On the 6th day of the Palestine Action occupation of the Elbit-Thales UAV Tactical Systems drone factory in Braunstone Town, Leicester, the police have made a number of arrests of protesters from the community, as well as detaining the two Palestine Action activists remaining on the factory roof. Throughout the occupation the local community has continued to show support and solidarity to the action, arriving in growing numbers outside the factory gates. The current attempt to remove the arrested activists from the site has so far been denied due to the direct-action efforts of the local community who have blocked and barricaded the entrance to the factory, denying the ability for the police to leave with the detainees. 

This act of collective community power and solidarity shows the increasing opposition to state and police violence, and the ability of communities to take a stand against police power. It shows the strength of the growing movement which refuses to permit Elbit Systems’ operations in local communities and which denounces the British states’ continuing complicity in Israeli war crimes. There are an estimated 600 protestors at the Leicester site, with numbers growing by the minute. Gates have been chained shut, barricades have been erected, while supporters fly Palestinian flags and Palestine Action banners and chants ring out of ‘Shut Elbit Down’. Please see attached video for evidence of numbers. Attached also are images of barricaded gates and police arrests – please credit VXP/Vedat Xhymshiti if publishing.

Prior to the arrests of activists, police arrested members of the local community who were showing support for those on the roof. This evening, an individual throwing food and water to protestors was arrested, as was an individual who was filming from his car. Police have made significant, but as of yet unknown, number of arrests against supporters outside the site, with at least 200 officers estimated to be present. This shows the desperation that the police have reached, detaining those who dare to show solidarity with the Palestinian people so that Elbit’s business of bloodshed may continue. Despite the police making their arrests, and despite attempts to stifle and despirit protestors, the Leicester site remains closed as the power of direct action wins again. Updates will continue to be sent as they come in.



If you would like any further information on this action or on Palestine action, please contact or our press line at 07840150925
Palestine Action

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

Coverage of the occupation of Elbit’s Leicester site:
Previous Palestine Action occupations and direct actions:

For rolling updates on the ongoing actions in Leicester and Bristol please check the Palestine Action Twitter account

Elbit Systems

Role of Elbit drone in killing of four children paying on Gaza beach in 2014:
More on the death and destruction inflicted by Elbit’s drones upon Gaza:
Elbit surveillance technology for Israel’s apartheid wall:
UK Ministry of Defence signs £102 million contract with Elbit Systems UK for “sensor-to-shoot” system:
200 Palestinians killed recently in Gaza by Israeli military: