Protesters call for action against Elbit Systems from the rooftop of their factory in Port Melbourne (image Angela Wylie)
(First published on Radical Sister December 3rd 2014)
Today, Rafeef Ziadah, Palestinian performance poet and activist tweeted to the world, “lets start the day with some good news: Major BDS win, Elbit Systems loses key Brazil deal over Palestine protests.”
Earlier this year (August 5th 2014) I reported that London Palestine Action, a network of people in London taking creative action against Israeli apartheid through Boycott,Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) began a roof-top demonstration at Shenstone, Staffordshire where parts are produced for military drones.
Activists shut down a factory, calling on the British government to “Stop Arming Israel” from UAV Engines Ltd and for bosses to be arrested. They claimed that drone engines manufactured at the factory have been exported to Israel in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Protesters tweeted the following message to Prime Minister David Cameron from their rooftop perch,
“by allowing this factory to export drone components to Israel, UK government is providing direct support and approval to Israel’s massacres.”
Full article can be read on the following link,
Similar protests against the company took place elsewhere including a rooftop demonstration at an Elbit Port Melbourne factory in Australia. The Age (Victoria) reported the words of Sam Castro, a spokeswoman for the Melbourne Palestine Activist Group, who claimed drones built by Elbit had been used in the Gaza conflict. She stated,
“[Israel is] creating an incremental genocide on the Palestinian people. This is not about the Jewish people, this is about a rogue state”
WARNING GRAPHIC… to see some of the injuries caused by drones and Israeli military, click on the following link,
BDS has today reported that, “the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul has cancelled a major collaboration deal with Israeli military company Elbit Systems in the wake of protests over the firm’s role in oppression of Palestinians.”
Brazilian activists protested to prevent the deal over Elbit’s role in the construction of Israel’s illegal apartheid Wall in the occupied West Bank going ahead. Campaigners also pointed out what they alleged was a close relationship with the Israeli military.
Jamal Juma’, coordinator of the Palestinian Stop the Wall campaign and part of the BDS movement was quoted as saying,
“Elbit Systems has become a symbol of Israel’s construction of an apartheid wall in occupied Palestine and its military aggression against our people. Israel is only able to sustain its human rights violations because of international collaboration including through deals such as the one that the Rio Grande do Sul government has now cancelled.”
Full story here,
Campaigners welcomed the decision of the Rio Grande do Sul government which was keen to point out that they had taken notice of the social movements involved in action against Elbit and the importance of upholding human rights and the promotion of peace.
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.