UK (The Inside Palestine)- Palestine Action activists are currently occupying the site of Intro Precision in Discovery Park, Sandwich, Kent, to disrupt the operations of the Elbit subsidiary. There have been direct action campaigns targeting the site since it opened, but this action marks the first time that the factory itself has been occupied by Palestine Action.
13 activists are currently involved in the action, which has involved blockading the two entrances to the Discovery Park site, occupying the entranceway and overhang to the Discovery Park main office, spraying premises in red paint.
This action is being undertaken to disrupt and expose Instro Precision’s immoral and murderous business. Instro, which is owned and controlled by Elbit Systems, manufactures a range of military equipment for the purposes of warfare, targeting and popular repression. These include weapons sights for infantry and heavy artillery, such as the XACT th64 sights – which have been sold in quantities of thousands to the Israeli military, likely outfitting their sniper regiments which man the Gaza border. Other customers of Instro Precision include Saudi Arabia and Turkey, with these three nations having all been involved in extensive repression and brutality against either internal or external ethnic groups.
The owners of the industrial estate, Discovery Park, are also being targeted in this action, with their offices having been shut down by activists. This is due to their extensive partnership with Elbit Systems, having worked collaboratively to design and erect Instro Precision’s state-of-the-art arms factory, custom-built to enable production of the Israeli military’s weapons for war crimes.
The factory has been the target of hundred of protests by local groups, including an extensive campaign by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, involving regular protests and vigils. Further campaigns have involved sustained direct action by Stop Elbit Instro, campaigns by faith groups, and national groups organising cycle tours and critical mass blockades of the factory.
Palestine Action have taken action twice before at the site, but todays action marks the first time that Palestine Action have occupied the heavily guarded, high security factory. The action – as with all Palestine Action occupations – will aim to be as disruptive as possible, to undermine Instro’s ability to produce the tools of warfare and repression. A Palestine Action spokesperson has said the following:
“The Instro Precision factory in Discovery Park cannot continue to operate. The injustices and war crimes committed with products made inside these factory gates constitute nothing short of a national scandal – that Elbit Systems, Instro Precision, and all other Elbit subsidiaries are able to manufacture in Britain is shameful, it’s disgusting. Palestine Action are going to shut all of these death factories down, and the people of Kent aren’t going to allow them to exist here either”
Source: Palestine Action