Palestine Action and Animal Rebellion Shut Tamworth’s Lethal Israeli Arms Factory

Mar 16, 2021

Date: 16th March 2021
For immediate release   

  • Palestine Action and Animal Rebellion shut down another Elbit weapons factory as the government introduces a new bill to prohibit the rights to protest
  • The newly-allied direct action groups stormed Elite KL in Tamworth — a military factory owned by Elbit Systems on Tuesday morning
  • Activists have scaled the roof of the building and soaked the arms factory in blood-red paint

Activists from Palestine Action have joined forces with Animal Rebellion to occupy an Israeli-owned munitions factory in Tamworth, forcing the site to halt its production of components used in the making of tanks and other military hardware. The action was also launched in solidarity with the six Palestine Action members recently arrested, two of whom were remanded, as the British government attempt to push through draconian laws on protests which will allow police to aggressively disperse crowds and arrest-at-will. 

“The state can lock us up, imprison our activists and do everything in their power to clamp down on our movement which aims to prevent evil arms companies from operating in this country,” says Palestine Action, “but they will never stop us. We know the difference between right and wrong and without doubt, it’s fundamentally wrong to allow illegal Israeli weapons factories to operate freely in our country and profit from the business of killing.”

In the early hours of the morning, several activists took over Tamworth’s subsidiary of Elbit — Elite KL, blocking access to the factory, chaining the gates shut and climbing onto the roof, pouring blood-red paint down its frontage, spray-painting the now notoriously familiar slogan: Shut Elbit Down. Activists intend to keep the site closed-for-business for as long as possible, preventing staff from gaining access to their workstations.

“As the police harass and intimidate those fighting for the end of this murderous trade, innocent people continue to be slaughtered in Palestine using munitions made in this very building. It’s vital for everyone to know why we are here today, and why we will continue to target Israel’s chain of factories until they leave the UK. The more the state persecute our activists, the harder we will fight until our demands are acknowledged,” says Palestine Action.

“The freedoms many of us enjoy today are built on a history of ordinary people standing up and saying ‘no more’ when they see injustice happening,” says a spokesperson for Animal Rebellion. “The new laws that are currently being pushed through Parliament are a threat to us all. We are proud to stand with other groups and show that we will not stop until we build a better world for everyone.”

Today’s shut-down of Elite-KL comes three weeks after six members of Palestine Action allegedly caused Elbit Systems £1000s in damages after a rooftop occupation in Shenstone — the 4th time it has been successfully shut down, and another in Oldham at Elbit’s Ferranti site. Collectively, in just five months, their factory closures have cost Elbit an estimated total of £1,335,000

“Our new alliances of direct action groups sends a strong message to Israel’s largest private arms company that public resistance to its crimes against the Palestinian people is fast-growing in the UK,” say activists.

Elbit Systems produces surveillance technology for Israel’s illegal apartheid wall and the engines for its fleet of military drones, among other munitions and components required for the business of war. Its drones were deployed during the attack on Gaza in 2014, which killed over 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 children. Elite-KL specifically supplies and manufactures components for Israel’s tanks and other armoured military vehicles, which are equally helping to entrench the regime’s illegal occupation of Palestine and have been supplied to other countries notoriously criticised for their grave human rights abuse

Palestine Action’s new ally, Animal Rebellion, is a mass movement using nonviolent civil disobedience to save the impending breakdown of the world’s climate. Elbit’s military activity uses solvents, fuels and a host of other poisonous chemicals which leach toxins into the environment that remain there for decades and possibly, even centuries, causing a massive impact to the wellbeing of our planet. Shutting Elbit down is completely in line with both the movement’s missions to end the UK’s complicity in a damaging, murderous and lethal industry.


Notes to editors 

For more information or to arrange interview contact: 07840150925

Elbit Systems

Activists remanded in prison

UAV Engines Shenstone factory shutdowns

Oldham factory shutdown with XR North

Proposal of new laws granting more powers to officers and the home secretary