Palestine Solidarity Campaigners demonstrated outside Elbit's UAV Engines factory in Shenstone, Staffordshire. ( For details visit http://www.westmidspsc.org )
During July and August 2014, 2,150 Palestinians were killed as Israel carried out another massacre of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza strip. Entire neightourhoods were destroyed and mosques, market places, UN relief compounds and schools were deliberately targeted. There was no safe place for the 1.7 million people in Gaza to take shelter from the Israeli bombardment. Israeli unpiloted planes, known as drones, carried out over 800 major strikes. Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest military company, supplied many of the drones used by the Israeli military.
Through its subsidiary UAV Engines, ElFriday 17th October 2014, 1-3pmStop arming Israel - Demonstration at Elbit Systems in Shenstone. Elbit Systems operates a factory in Staffordshire. The company regularly exports military equipment to Israel. Elbit is also a part of the U-TACS partnership manufacturing the Watchkeeper drone for the Ministry of Defense.
Nine campaigners occupied the rooftop of the factory in August. The occupation closed the factory for two days, costing Elbit tens of thousands of pounds, preventing a shipment of components from being exported to the US and shining a spotlight on the flourishing military cooperation between the UK and Israel.
During the attack on Gaza, Palestinian organisations called for a two-way military embargo on Israel. The call demands an end on all military exports to Israel and of purchases of military equipment from Israeli companies.
Israeli companies were the largest exporters of drones globally in 2013. Israeli drone technology has been sold to over 50 countries worldwide. Israeli war crimes against Palestinians are used as a marketing strategy for Israeli drones which are sold as ‘battle tested’, which means they have been tested on the bodies of Palestinians in Gaza.
We are calling for people from across the UK to join a demonstration at Elbit’s UAV Engines factory to demand a military embargo on sales to Israel and from Israeli companies and to demand the closure of the factory.
The demonstration is being held to coincide with the Boycott Israel Network’s gathering in Coalbrookdale, a short distance from Lichfield. We are calling for local groups to arrange transport.
Brighton Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign
Bristol Against the Arms Trade
Bristol Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Campaign Against Arms Trade
Child Victims of War
Coventry Friends of Palestine
Drone Campaign Network
International Solidarity Movement London
Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods
London Palestine Action
Manchester Palestine Action
Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Stop NATO Cymru
Stop the Arms Fair Coalition
Swansea Palestine Community Link
Walsall Network for Palestinian Rights
West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Wales Palestine Olive Pickers
Bin Veolia' Campaign successes
Veolia quits Green Monday event at Birmingham Council House
Representatives of the company Veolia have withdrawn from a business presentation at Birmingham Council House on Monday 21st March 2011 following pressure from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Veolia has been the subject of an international campaign due to its involvement in illegal infrastructure projects in the occupied Palestinian territories. Keith Riley, Managing Director of Technical Services for Veolia had been expected to address a Green Monday event of Corporate Climate Change Leaders.
West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign has learnt from Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of the Council, that Keith Riley will no longer attend the presentation. PSC supporters had written to all Birmingham City Councillors asking them to pressurise the organisers of this event to withdraw the invitation to the representative of Veolia. Palestine supporters had threatened to picket the Council House on Monday evening in protest against the speaker from Veolia.
The Veolia parent company is Veolia Environment, a French multinational. Veolia Transport, a subsidiary of Veolia Environment, is a leading partner in the CityPass consortium and has been involved in building the light rail tramway system linking West Jerusalem to illegal Jewish settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. The rail system will cement Israel's hold on occupied East Jerusalem and tie the settlements even more firmly into the State of Israel.
A number of Local Authorities including Swansea and Edinburgh have recently decided to bar Veolia from tendering for Council contracts due to its involvement in the occupation of Palestine. WMPSC will continue with its campaign to press Birmingham City Council to review its multi million pound environment contract with Veolia.
Martin Sullivan, a spokesperson from West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign stated:
We called on Birmingham City Councillors to show their disapproval of the illegal practices of Veolia in Palestine. We believe this has resulted in Veolia withdrawing from the Green Monday event. We would congratulate Councillors for their continuing support for the people of Palestine and remaining true to their Joint Party Statement agreed on 13th January 2009 in opposition to Israel's invasion of Gaza.
West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign welcomes the decision made by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council not to further consider Veolia's bid for the 'Waste Improvement Plan' contract. A contract worth £1 Billion over 20 years.
French multinational company Veolia is complicit in the continued Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. Veolia is a leading partner in the CityPass consortium, contracted to build a light rail tramway system linking west Jerusalem to illegal Jewish settlements in occupied east Jerusalem. With its involvement in this project, the company is directly implicated in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and is playing a key role in Israel's attempt to make its annexation of the territory of east Jerusalem irreversible. This construction project violates Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention.
The decision made by Sandwell Council is a victory for organisations and individuals who are campaigning for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel's illegal activities directed at the Palestinian people. Our campaign, and Sandwell Council's decision, show that companies need to be aware that in order to have community support they must behave ethically. Sandwell Council has set a positive example which other councils should follow.
West Midlands PSC looks forward to working alongside local communities, trade unionists and sympathetic Councillors in the fight for justice for Palestinians.
Notes to Editors:
1. Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the annexation of East Jerusalem are illegal under international law. The settlements violate Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention, which provides that: "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies" as well as Article 53, which forbids destruction of property.
2. More information on Boycott Veolia can be found on PSC's BDS campaign website http://www.bigcampaign.org