Days of Palestine

Thursday, June 8

Palestine Action Founders Face 38 Years In Jail

Af.M | DOP -

Palestine Action founders could face up to 38 years in jail next month for taking direct and continuous steps against Israel’s largest arms company, Elbit Systems, the campaign group said on Monday, September 5. 

Eight activists will appear in Snaresbrook Crown Court in London on charges connected with the direct action group’s campaign to shut down factories of Elbit System, an Israeli-owned arms manufacturer, across the United Kingdom.

Palestine Action adopts the tactics and methodology of civil disobedience in its actions as they target UK-based operations complicit in supporting the Israeli apartheid regime and crimes against the Palestinian people. The actions included also occupations of the firm’s factories and offices, the causing of damage, and threats to target firms associated with Elbit Systems. 

The trials are expected to begin on October 10 and last five weeks.

The defendants include Huda Ammori and Richard Barnard, who founded Palestine Action in July 2020.

Palestine Action activists who are distinguished by wearing the Red Suits during their activities have also targeted companies associated with Elbit, including property firms providing premises for the company, two years since the group was established.

Charges against Ms. Ammori and Mr. Barnard include blackmail for warning a company associated with Elbit that it would be targeted if it did not end its involvement with the Israeli-owned firm.

Since Palestine Action was launched Elbit has shut down two of its operations that were hit by direct action – the Ferranti factory in Oldham in Greater Manchester and a headquarters office in London.

Palestine Action said the prosecutions were “the single greatest attempt at the repression of a pro-Palestine organization in the last decade.”

They said in a statement: “Political resistance is being met with the act of lawfare.

“Palestine Action will be fighting these highly politicized charges and seeking to turn the spotlight on Elbit and their many crimes, proving that Elbit is guilty and ought to be shut down everywhere.

“In two years of direct action, Palestine Action has severely disrupted the smooth functioning of a business built on bloodshed.

“For this, we are facing intense political repression.

“Let it be known that we stand as the accusers, not the accused, and we fully intend to expose Elbit’s many war crimes, the Israeli arms company’s role in 74 years of occupation and dispossession lived by the Palestinian people.

“Elbit is guilty, we are not.”