West Bank, ALRAY - Activists in the UK are continuing their campaign to shut down Elbit Systems, an Israeli weapons manufacturer, by organizing protests outside the company's headquarters in Leicester. The activists have been protesting for six consecutive days, demanding the immediate closure of the factory for its role in supplying weapons used to commit human rights violations against the Palestinian people. Banners bearing the names of Palestinians killed by the combat drones produced by the factory in the UK have been raised at the factory gates to raise awareness about the devastating impact of Elbit's weapons on innocent civilians in Palestine.
This campaign is not the first-time activists have targeted Elbit Systems. Previously, the "Working for Palestine" group successfully pressured the company to sell its subsidiary in Oldham, UK to another company. The group's campaign caused significant losses to the factory, estimated to be in the millions of pounds, and led to Elbit Systems deciding to restructure its operations in Oldham and sell its factory. These actions were seen as a victory for the campaign to hold corporations accountable for their role in human rights violations.
Activists have also used other tactics to draw attention to Elbit's involvement in the occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. In August 2020, they painted the factory building in Oldham with red paint to symbolize the bloodshed caused by Elbit's drones. In November of the same year, windows were smashed, and in February 2021, protests caused the factory to incur losses worth £20,000.
The ongoing campaign against Elbit Systems highlights the growing movement to hold corporations accountable for their role in human rights violations. It also serves as a reminder of the devastating impact of weapons on innocent civilians in conflict zones and the urgent need to end the sale of arms to countries involved in human rights abuses.