Palestine Action have shut down the premises and operations of ADS Group, representatives and advocates of the world’s largest arms dealers. ADS’ business is the promotion of companies such as Elbit Systems within government and at arms fairs. Acting to facilitate the business of Israel’s largest weapons company – and promoting them with lobbying – ADS Group are deeply complicit in the crimes committed by Elbit weapons.
At their offices on Salamanca Pl., SE1, London, ADS Group have been locked-off, with activists positioned on scaffolding to increase the disruption of the weapons trade. Premises have been sprayed red by paint from a repurposed fire extinguisher, to represent the business-of-bloodshed that ADS Group conducts. A banner is displayed making the aim of the action clear: Shut Elbit Down. The central London offices, in the vicinity of the Ministry of Defence and Houses of Parliament, have since been put under a police cordon.
Palestine Action have stated the following:
“We have already shown that we will disrupt Elbit at their factories, at their fancy dinners, at their arms fairs, and through the companies that facilitate their business-of-bloodshed. ADS Group have blood on their hands – the blood of Palestinians, Yemenis, and the millions of dead who would still be alive if not for their members’ abhorrent weapons trade. The days that arms companies and their running dogs can operate freely in this country are numbered, and Palestine Action will continue this disruption until Elbit cease to exist”
Elbit Systems are an advertised member of ADS Group, with ADS having hosted senior executives of Elbit in prior events. The Group offer arms companies exclusive access to arms fairs to gain market and stakeholder access – for the purposes of weapons sales – along with business and network support and government lobbying and access to politicians. Their events have been attended by scores of MPs, with ADS themselves undertaking lobbying and influencing on behalf of their weapons trade members.
The ‘government access’ offered includes not only the Ministry of Defence but also Home Office, Business Energy and Industry Strategy and other departments of state. In Parliament and in political circles, ADS work to represent profiteers of death: not only Elbit Systems, but also Raytheon, Thales, MBDA, Airbus, BAE Systems, Babcock, and Lockheed Martin.
These companies fuel oppression and international aggression: all of the major firms arming Saudi Arabia, including products directly used in air strikes on Yemen, are members benefiting from ADS lobbying. At their events, including the Farnborough Air Show – an international aerospace arms fair – ADS have exhibited the aircraft and missiles used to assault Yemen. Farnborough itself has been described as the “oil in the machinery” of the global arms trade.
By representing and lobbying on behalf of Elbit Systems, Israel’s biggest weapons firm, ADS Group are complicit in the crimes committed at the hands of Elbit weaponry – from Palestine, to Kashmir, to the US Border. Elbit supplies 85% of Israel’s drones and land-based equipment, and ADS serve to increase their reach and secure government contracts within this country. ADS’ website can be seen in 2019 advertising the £123m Royal Navy contract that Elbit were later ejected from, following Palestine Action’s two year direct action campaign.
The action has taken place ahead of Palestine Action’s siege against Leicester’s Israeli weapons factory, a mass action from May 1st, where thousands will join an open action against Elbit’s UAV Tactical Systems, staying put through day and night, not leaving the site until Elbit does. The siege has been named such to parallel the decades-long siege against Gaza – a siege maintained with Elbit technologies.
Source: Freedom News