News ID: 91299
Publish Date : 14 June 2021 - 22:54

LONDON (Dispatches) -- Pro-Palestine activists occupied a factory in Birmingham on Monday that produces materials used to make fighter jets for the occupying regime of Israel’s army and the highly flammable material that led to the Grenfell Tower fire.
Palestine Action began its occupation of the Arconic factory in England’s West Midlands region in the early hours of Monday morning.
The factory supplies various materials, including sheet metal, to manufacture Boeing and Lockheed Martin military aircraft used by the Zionist military in its latest assault on Gaza.
Last month’s Israeli assault on the besieged Gaza Strip martyred at least 260 Palestinians, according to the Gaza health ministry.
The activist group also said that Arconic produced the material responsible for the highly unsafe and flammable cladding supplied to Grenfell Tower, which led to the spread of the fire through the building four years ago that killed 72 people.
Arconic describes itself as the “leading provider” of aluminum products and that it “supplies aerospace, commercial transportation, industrial and building and construction markets”.
Images posted online showed Palestine Action activists sitting on top of the Arconic factory in an attempt to stop its operations, as others sprayed red paint on the factory windows.
Holding red and green flares and a Palestine flag, activists said they occupied the factory in support of Palestine and victims of the Grenfell tower fire.
“Companies such as Arconic have been able to avoid accountability for their crimes, operating within a global supply chain that diffuses responsibility,” Palestine Action said in a statement.
“The same companies which fuel repression and war crimes committed against the Palestinian people are producing, operating and selling in the UK - and doing so with a consistent disregard for the deaths and suffering inflicted by their products.”
The group added it held its protest at the Arconic factory to show support for the 72 victims of the Grenfell Tower fire on the fourth anniversary of the tragedy.
Earlier this year, a former executive from Arconic told the Grenfell inquiry that she knew the cladding the company produced could burn but did not tell customers.
Debbie French, the UK sales manager for Arconic from 2007 to 2014, said the company provided more flammable versions of the panel as part of a marketing strategy that acknowledged a fire-retardant version that “drastically
increases fire resistance” was less likely to secure contracts for the company.
During her testimony, French said Arconic provided the easier to burn version of Arconic’s product for the cladding as it costs less, and that she knew it “was and is flammable”.
The fresh occupation came after pro-Palestinian activists stormed and took over a factory in Runcorn, a town in the northwest of England, which it says supplies parts for drones produced by Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems.
Palestine Action said in a statement that it had “stormed, scaled, and occupied” the factory, operated by APPH, at 4.30am local time on Thursday.
The organization, which describes itself as a direct-action network of groups and individuals, said APPH, which is owned by Canadian firm Heroux-Devtek, manufactures military technology and landing gear landing gear for Elbit’s drones.
Palestine Action said the drones have been used by Zionist forces to bombard and surveil Palestinian civilians, before entering the global market where they were sold as “battle-tested” and “field proven” to repressive governments around the world.
The takeover of the factory was the latest in a series of direct action protests by pro-Palestinian activists against Elbit, whose drones have been used in combat over the skies of Gaza.
On Wednesday, Palestine Action targeted the London headquarters of LaSalle Investment Management, Elbit’s landlords.
Past protests have taken place at sites linked to the company in the county of Kent, the Greater Manchester area, among other places.
Last month, pro-Palestinian activists in Leicester shut down a factory operated by UAV Tactical Systems, a subsidiary of Elbit, for whom Palestine Action say APPH supplies components for drones.

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