Trade Unionists Shut Down UK Arms Factories Demanding Halt Of Arms Exports To Israel

Over 600 workers undeterred by UK Government’s ‘threats’ to pro-Palestine protest

Hundreds of trade unionists have blockaded major arms factories in England and Scotland today demanding the UK Government halt arms supplies to Israel.

Access to UK arms factories which produce components for Israeli fighter jets have been shut down this morning, according to the group Workers for a Free Palestine, in order to disrupt the flow of arms to the Israeli military.

It follows the Canadian Government’s announcement last night that it will stop arms sales to Israel after a parliamentary motion was passed in the house of commons. Many are demanding the UK government do the same as well as supporting an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

Over 600 workers are involved in the blockade, including teachers, hospitality workers, academics and artists from trade unions including Unite, Unison, GMB, the NEU, the BMA, UCU, Bectu and BFAWU.

GE Aviation Systems in Cheltenham and Leonardo UK in Edinburgh have been targeted as the factories produce components for F-35 fighter jets which are currently being used by Israeli forces in its brutal attacks on Gaza.

As Israel prepares for a ground invasion of Rafah, a supposed ‘safe’ place according to Israel holding 1.5m people, workers are defying the UK Government’s threats to curb protest to shine a light on Britain’s continued provision of military support to Israel despite damning evidence of war crimes being committed.

Cam, a local resident taking part in the action said they don’t blame the workers at the sites, but the bosses who sell the components.

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“We can’t allow arms being used to massacre Palestinians to be supplied in our name and funded by our taxes, and as local residents we don’t want murder being manufactured on our doorstep,” said Cam. “It makes us feel complicit.”

Trade unionist and Workers for a Free Palestine organiser Laura said government ‘threats’ will not stop Brits organising, as the majority of the British public support a ceasefire.

“It’s ludicrous to suggest the extremists are those of us who want to stop genocide, rather than the politicians and companies which arm it,” said Laura.

“We will not be cowed by such threats. Today’s arms factory shutdowns are a defiant response to these intimidation tactics during a month of direct action answering the call of Palestinian trade unions on workers around the world to disrupt Israel’s murderous war machine.”

Workers for a Free Palestine said the blockades will form part of a month of disruptive direct action while the humanitarian crisis and heartbreaking loss of life in Palestine continues.

Today an IPC report warned of an imminent famine in Gaza and over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military.

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