Manchester stands with Elbit 3!

22 April 2024

By George Banks

As a result of 18 months of sustained direct action from July 2020 to January 2022, activists from Palestine Action were able to shut down production at the Ferranti factory, Elbit’s weapons production facility in Oldham. Elbit were forced to wind down its operations in November 2022.

Before it was shut down, the factory manufactured high-tech military equipment and weapons components, including drones which have been used regularly to bombard civilian targets in Gaza.

Thirty-six activists were arrested as a result of the action. Of these, eight were brought to trial in November 2023, becoming known as the Elbit 8. The jury acquitted them of 12 charges brought against them, leaving one charge of criminal damage against Peter Barnard, who was convicted by a 10-2 majority.

However, the jury failed to reach a verdict on 23 remaining charges, and the Crown Prosecution Service has decided to put three of the activists through another trial, which commenced on 22 April and is due to last two weeks.

The trial was due to take place in the Crown Court in central Manchester, but the venue has been changed at the last minute. Clearly, they are running scared of the local movement and are trying to prevent it from showing its solidarity.

The trial is now taking place at Bolton Crown Court, Blackhorse Street, Bolton, BL1 1SU and is due to continue until 4 May. We encourage all local activists to get over to support the Elbit 3 and raise our demand for an end to UK arms supplies to Israel.

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