Analysis News

Armed police arrest 33 for peaceful protest vs Israeli arms-maker – including Palestine Action founders

Huda Ammori and Richard Barnard were not even in Leicestershire, but were arrested elsewhere without explanation and handed over to Leicestershire Police use ‘intimidation and blanket detention’ at Elbit demo

A Palestine Action protester faces police at Elbit in Leicester

Armed police have used ‘intimidation and blanket detention’ to break up a peaceful protest at the Leicester factory of Israeli weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems. According to organisers Palestine Action (PA), Leicestershire police used indiscriminate arrest – detaining even bystanders – despite the protest passing peacefully since it began on Monday.

And PA’s co-founders were arrested despite not being at the demo – or even in Leicestershire. A PA statement explains further:

An unprecedented 33 arrests were made yesterday at the site of the Palestine Action siege, as Leicestershire Police took disproportionate measures using unjustifiable force against individuals who had turned out in opposition to Israel’s arms trade. The siege continues into its third day, a mass mobilisation against the UAV Tactical Systems drone factory in Leicester – owned by Israel’s largest weapons company, Elbit Systems.

Leicestershire Police, having witnessed the speeches, workshops, dance, and community mobilisation that have characterised The Siege thus far, stepped in with all of the force at their disposal to intimidate and detain those standing against Elbit. Throughout yesterday, arrests were made indiscriminately, without evidence and with the clear motivation to repress the growing mobilisation. Police, who arrived with armed units yesterday, have deployed tactics including kettling, property seizure, breaking and entering cars, the raiding of homes and the dismantling of encampments. Of the 33 arrested, the majority were taken to Euston Street station, released on bail overnight.

Police arrested a score of those who had populated a woodland camp adjacent to the site, along with four who had locked-on to each other in the road, and supporters and bystanders. As reported by Leicester Mercury, the action throughout Monday, where 250 people had assembled, had “passed peacefully”, with Police were not offering any reason for their encroachment into the camp.

The arrests included two co-founders of Palestine Action, Huda Ammori and Richard Barnard, taken into custody for reasons as of yet unclear, arrested in a different jurisdiction and transferred to Leicester early this morning. The pair’s arrest, unconnected to any events at the site of the factory, demonstrate that the police strategy is one of intimidation and blanket detention.

The activist network Palestine Action have committed to mobilising against UAV Tactical Systems, and this mass action will persist regardless of underhand, unjustified aggression that the police undertake on behalf of Elbit Systems. And the community is onside: after the police seized the tents, blankets, food and possessions of those camped at the site, the Leicester community turned up to donate blankets, sleeping bags, food and other necessities that the police had deprived protestors of. Joining the site of the siege last night for Janazah Salah (funeral prayers) in solidarity with hunger striker Khader Adnan, Leicester residents have made clear that Israel’s war machine is not welcome on their streets.

Last night’s bombing raids on Gaza, along with the death-in-unlawful-custody of Adnan, underscore the purpose of the siege: ridding Leicester of the stain of complicity in Israel’s crimes. A Palestine Action spokesperson has stated:

“The Siege of UAV Tactical Systems has so far proved successful: successful in laying bare the reality of police ‘protection’ – their aggressive tactics and arbitrary arrests being used to protect the interests and reputation of a murderous weapons company. The success also lies in the response we have seen: people stand defiant in the face of police repression, a community unifying in opposition to Israel’s arms trade. As stated, we intend to see UAV Tactical Systems shut down”.

In Leicester and across Elbit’s other 7 remaining sites in Britain, military technologies are manufactured for export directly to Israel. The UAV Tactical Systems site regularly sends drones and drone technologies to Israel, where Elbit’s drone products brutally enforce the Israeli occupation of Palestine. UAV Tactical Systems’ flagship drone, the Watchkeeper, has been used by the British military in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the English Channel – but is itself modelled on the notorious and deadly Hermes drone, after the latter was ‘battle-tested’ on Palestinians. Elbit, Israel’s largest weapons company, supplies 85% of Israel’s drones, and 85% of its land based military equipment. Its products, including the Hermes, have been linked to documented attrocities by the Israeli state

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  1. This is the shape of things to come folks. The anti protest bill getting passed just in time for the Coronation ain’t no coincidence.

  2. Yes the Pro oppressors use the state to crush Non-violent protest against the Merchants of Death who should be closed down. If you want to know about Palestine read G.D.Smith, A 3,000 Year History of Palestine, Paul Keleman, The British Left and Zionism: A History of Divorce, and Bernard Regan, The Balfour Declaration. The tragedy is the USA is NOT an honest broker, it puts oil, arms sales, and capitalist investment interests in the region first when the world needs an honest broker. One Democratic State, The Right of Palestinian Refugees to Return, Respect All Religions, and Peace in the Region.

  3. Look at those police officers. Dressed as a paramilitary force.

    Changed days, since Orgreave, and it’ll just get worse. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they were casting envious eyes across the channel, at the equipment Le Flic – and other European forces have.

    Could have been avoided in 2017, and, again in 2019.

    1. Published tomorrow – ‘Silent Coup’ – by Claire Provost and Matt Kennard.

      It’s a long way back.

    2. Reply to George Peel
      I suppose if the police force hadn’t arrested these 33 peaceful protesters it would have been branded ” institutionally antisemitic” and senior police officers would have been hounded out of their jobs by one or other of the various Zionists groups whose role is to supress any kind of action which draws attention to Israeli crimes and excesses and to ensure the swift punishment of anyone who steps out of line.
      The British Zionists have practically every institution running scared as they are ruthless in denouncing as “antisemites” anyone who even mildly disagrees with their narritive that Isreal is totally justified in all its actions only a Jew hating racist would say differently .
      This applies doubly if the individuals concerned are themselves Jewish They are more viciously undermined and discredited than non Jews as their word is seen to carry more weight.
      These denounciations cause real reputational damage to the victims and have ended the careers and political aspirations of many while those who are pro Israel flourish
      The Zionists really have it all sewn up- we saw the tactics they use in “The Lobby”- and it is therefore completely unsurprising that these 33 people were arrested. I expect that they will be charged and receive the harshest sentences available to avoid Zionist accusations of antisemitism in the court system.

      1. Smartboy, as much as I hated to admitted it, I believe you could be right.

      2. Thing is, what have they been arrested for? What did they do that was unlawful?

        Does anyone know?

        NB I just did a search, and as far as I can tell, it hasn’t been reported by any of the MSM or Jewish newspapers…… Thought I’d just quickly check CAAs website, but there was nothing. Not yet anyway. But came across THIS, their most recent article posted a few days ago:

        The Guardian editor Katherine Viner must resign following the newspaper’s publication of an antisemitic cartoon

        And not even so much as a Thankyou for all she and the Guardian did to ‘transform’ Jeremy – and his supporters – into antisemites.

  4. And at the top of UK support for Zionist State of Israel ….
    Sir Kier Rodney Starmer:
    – – Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath
    – – Member of the Trilateral Commission – – – The international political arm of America’s foreign policy for the domination of the World Order.
    – – “I’m a Zionist – without qualification”

  5. Starmer new about sue Grey 4 months before he gave her the job that’s why she would not be interviewed by the cabinet office inquiry. It seem It’s only going to get better for the great leader

    1. Brian61 – I am struggling to find a reason why she should even engage with some trumped up Tory inquiry when she has already given all the relevant details to the parliamentary body who’s job it is to deal with these matters.

      1. Given my previous criticism SH, on this occasion you are responding to someone else’s off topic post and for once I must say I totally agree with you.

  6. Emergence of fascism: powerful & continuing nationalism; disdain for human rights; identification of enemies (public service workers, protestors & refugees) as a unifying cause; supremacy of the military (use of 77 Brigade by Johnson during the pandemic to identify citizen dissent to lockdown & vaccines); rampant sexism; controlled mass media; obsession with crime & punishment (banning public protest); religion & government intertwined; corporate power protected; labour power suppressed (court action versus nurses and laws regarding strikes); disdain for intellectuals & the arts; obsession with crime (protests) and punishment (excessive for protestors); rampant cronyism (PPE & pandemic farce); corruption (that has surpassed that which I experienced as an investigative journalist in West Africa over a decade); fraudulent elections.

      1. Yeah, cos keef opposed anti-protest laws and spycops and all the rest of the neo-fascist impositions and civil rights restrictions imposed by both the rags and b.liar didn’t he?

        I>”Working hard to keep the conservatives in office”?

        As opposed to replacing them with the conservative reserves?

        *More NHS privatisation
        *Keep tax concessions for the wealthiest and corporates
        *Maintain the student fee system

        As well as further restrictions on:

        *Civil liberties
        *Welfare accessibility

        (Both lists FAR from exhaustive)

        Just button it, you deviant nonce-excusing, nonce-enabling, caprine-worrying, infantile degenerate.

      2. St H useful idiots on here are you talking about yourself and which conservative party are you on about we have 2 one blue another red

      3. 246
        Sir Peter ‘N8ght and Day’ Mandelson
        2nd Referendum Starmer
        Sky is black with the wings of chickens coming home to roost

    1. There is one protest group which continuously receives the kid glove approach from the police.

      To find out what this is just ask any biological woman and go figure.

      1. Oh, I dunno, Dave – see @smartboy’s post for another example.

  7. Back in the day, the newspapers employed journalists to write articles and the TV stations employed journalists to make programmes. Nowadays they just employ stenographers for the state.
    Young journalists (by that I mean REAL journalists) have to work for what has become known as alternative media. Even journalists of the immense stature of Seymour Hersh are no longer allowed in the MSM.
    Those who are left continue to write, but you have to search to find them.
    Here’s one of the greats who keeps on.
    Though it is not his main focus, he alludes to matters related to the conversation on this thread in his article.

      1. Ah, I was just about to post a link to the Chris Hedges article…….

        Anyway, I’ll post this passage from it:

        Israel has received $158 billion in bilateral assistance from the U.S. since 1949, almost all of it since 1971 in the form of military aid, with most of it going towards arms purchases from U.S. weapons manufacturers.

  8. And Starmer will want to go further.

    Labour won’t repeal this anti-protest legislation or amend the obnoxious Spycops legislation either. Starmer is to the reactionary right of the Tories on most things.

    The ‘world leading’ the Online safety bill(soon to be Act) will make the UK a ‘world leading’ laughing stock in terms of authoritarian censorship – Labour giving its full backing and calling for it to go further. No doubt Labour will later disown it, and say they never backed it when its full stupidity becomes apparent.

    Even Wikipedia are talking about blocking their services in the UK because doing age verification (for j UK citizens) is a bureaucratic nightmare. All it will do is push up VPN usage and there’ll be a huge market in stolen IDs, what happens if an adult’s ID gets stolen and is used by someone under age? Are people to be held liable for their stolen IDs? Absurd, and they haven’t thought it through. Believe it or not they want people entering ID everytime they visit sites with adult content – even free sites.

    SteveH likes to pretend the Tories are some sort of incomparable evil operating with either malign intent or incompetence, totally ignoring the fact you can barely get a cig paper between these two terrible parties.

    1. Andy – What a load of ill- informed bollocks
      Which of these policies (all announced and/or confirmed during speeches given by shadow ministers at Labour conference) from Labour’s current policy platform do you think are Tory policies and why❓

      Angela Rayner (Shadow Secretary for the Future of Work)
      ▪️ Fair pay agreements. “A Labour government will bring together representatives of workers and employers to negotiate pay and conditions in every sector. Collective bargaining in every sector will end the free market free-for-all that encourages undercutting, exploitation and a race to the bottom.”
      ▪️ Give all workers rights from day one in their jobs: sick pay, holiday pay, parental leave and protection against unfair dismissal.
      ▪️ Create one, single worker status, banning bogus self-employment.
      ▪️ Ban zero-hour contracts and ensure all contracts come with minimum hours and reflect normal working life, requiring notice of shift changes and pay.
      ▪️ End fire and rehire. “Labour will end the scandalous practice of fire and rehire once and for all.”
      ▪️ Introduce a new right to flexible working as the default, protections for those with caring responsibilities and a right to switch off.
      ▪️ Increase statutory sick pay and make it universal.
      ▪️ Put mental health and safety on a legal par with physical health and safety, and make sure the laws are enforced by a new, empowered watchdog.
      ▪️ Sign into law the new deal for working people within the first 100 days of coming to office.
      ▪️ Set up an integrity and ethics commission to “stamp out the Tory sleaze”.

      Anneliese Dodds (Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary)
      ▪️ Introduce a Race Equality Act. “A Labour government that would introduce a Race Equality Act to tackle structural racial inequality at source.”
      ▪️ Reform the Gender Recognition Act. “A Labour government that acknowledges that trans rights are human rights and that would reform the Gender Recognition Act to enable a process for self-identification while continuing to support the 2010 Equalities Act.”

      Ed Miliband (Shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary)
      ▪️ A ten-year commitment for the steel industry to go green, “investing up to £3bn, in collaboration with business, over the coming decade”.
      ▪️ Help fund investment in gigafactories. “Not just subsidy but public equity stakes taken by government to ensures a people’s dividend from the green transition.”
      ▪️ Require every major business to tell us their carbon footprint and how it is consistent with net zero.

      Jo Stevens (Shadow Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary)
      ▪️ A healthy living index to ensure that every government decision improves wellbeing, “just as the Office for Budget Responsibility tracks government spending”.
      ▪️ Legislation that “forces a proper duty of care on social media companies” and introduces “criminal penalties for senior tech executives who repeatedly breach the new law”.

      Lucy Powell (Shadow Housing Secretary)
      ▪️ A new Building Works Agency to assess, fix, fund, certify all tall buildings and pursue those responsible for costs. Legislation to ensure leaseholders won’t pay the costs.
      ▪️ A “massive increase in council and social homes, fit for all ages”.
      ▪️ End “the huge net loss in council houses resulting from Right to Buy and its huge discount”.
      ▪️ End rough sleeping.
      ▪️ End no-fault evictions.
      ▪️ Make housing a human right.
      ▪️ Give local authorities “new powers to buy and develop land for housing, and revitalise town centres, by reforming arcane compensation rules”.
      ▪️ Set a new definition of affordable linked to local wages.
      ▪️ Close loopholes “that let developers wriggle out of commitments”.
      ▪️ Give first time buyers first dibs on new developments.
      ▪️ End the practise of foreign hedge funds “purchasing swathes of new homes, off plan”.

      Jim McMahon (Shadow Transport Secretary)
      ▪️ End transport deserts by offering affordable and reliable services for rural communities.

      Jonathan Reynolds (Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary)
      ▪️ Scrap the five-week wait for Universal Credit.
      ▪️ End the benefit cap.
      ▪️ End the two-child limit.
      ▪️ Replace Universal Credit “with a better system”, including a change to the taper rate so “people keep more of the money they earn” and assessments “focused on what people need to succeed rather than one that treats them with suspicion”.

      John Healey (Shadow Defence Secretary)
      ▪️ Boost the current £20m government spend on veterans’ mental health by £35m, with a special fund to support mental health care for British veterans and the Afghan personnel now in the UK.
      ▪️ Give “the highest priority to security in Europe, North Atlantic and Artic, pursuing new defence cooperation with European NATO neighbours”.
      ▪️ Lead moves in the UN to negotiate new multilateral arms controls and rules of conflict for space, cyber and AI.
      ▪️ Freeze Tory cuts to the army, then review and reverse the numbers if needed.

      Rachel Reeves (Shadow Chancellor)
      ▪️ Look at “every single tax break” and scrap it if “it doesn’t deliver for the taxpayer or for the economy”, including:
      ▪️The tax break benefiting “private equity bosses who strip the assets of British businesses pay a lower rate of tax on their bonuses”.
      ▪️Scrapping the charitable status enjoyed by private schools.
      ▪️ For next year: freeze business rates, increase the threshold for small business rates relief and increase the Digital Services Tax to 12%.
      ▪️ Scrap business rates.
      ▪️ Create a new, independent Office for Value for Money.
      ▪️ Putting an additional £28bn of capital investment into the UK’s green transition for each and every year of this decade.

      Anas Sarwar (Scottish Labour leader)
      ▪️ An energy transition commission – led by former energy minister Brian Wilson, “to help create a greener, fairer and more prosperous future”.
      ▪️ Increase winter fuel payments by £70 for the lowest income pensioners.

      Kate Green (Shadow Education Secretary)
      ▪️ Children’s Recovery Plan.
      ▪️ Extend the school day for additional activities – breakfast clubs giving children the fuel to learn, art, sport, cooking, coding, book clubs.
      ▪️Invest in training world-class teachers.
      ▪️Give schools the resources to expand small group tutoring.
      ▪️Support the early years sector, schools and colleges with an Education Recovery Premium, with additional learning support including for children with SEND, and engage with families around the SEND review.
      ▪️Prioritise young people’s mental health with access to a professional mental health counsellor for every school.
      ▪️ End tax breaks for private schools.
      ▪️ Provide every young person with work experience and careers advice, and ensure every child has digital access.

      Wes Streeting (Shadow Child Poverty Secretary)
      ▪️ A ‘ten by ten’ ambition – “to give every child a great childhood with every child enjoying ten great experiences by the age of ten”.

      Jonathan Ashworth (Shadow Health Secretary)
      ▪️ End zero-hour contracts in social care.
      ▪️ Pay care workers at least the living wage.
      ▪️ Double current funding for dementia research.

      Nick Thomas-Symonds (Shadow Home Secretary)
      ▪️ Open neighbourhood ‘police hubs’ in every community.
      ▪️ Launch a major recruitment drive for special constables.
      ▪️ Create a new Child Exploitation Register for those drawing children into county lines drug gangs.
      ▪️ Pass new laws to protect women and girls from domestic abuse, harassment, intimidation and violence.

      David Lammy (Shadow Justice Secretary)
      ▪️ Legislate to bring the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into domestic law.
      ▪️ Fast-track rape and sexual assault cases in courts.
      ▪️ Increase minimum sentences for rapists,
      ▪️ Create a new offence for street harassment.
      ▪️ Ensure victims of domestic abuse get the legal aid they need.
      ▪️ Make misogyny a hate crime.
      ▪️ Enshrine victims’ rights in law.
      ▪️ Support the introduction of a new national pro bono service, with “binding pro bono targets to support those who can’t afford legal advice and are ineligible for legal aid”.
      ▪️ Implement the Lammy Review.
      ▪️ Introduce targets to bring in more women and more ethnic minorities to the most senior positions in our courts.

      Keir Starmer (Labour leader)
      ▪️ Strengthen legal protections for victims of crime.
      ▪️ Fast-track rape and serious sexual assault cases, and toughen sentences for rapists, stalkers and domestic abusers.
      ▪️ Guarantee mental health support will be available in less than a month.
      ▪️ Recruit staff so there are over 8,500 more mental health professionals supporting a million more people every year.
      ▪️ Never allow spending on mental health to fall.
      ▪️ Ensure every school has specialist support and every community has an open access mental health hub.
      ▪️ Launch “the most ambitious school improvement plan in a generation”.
      ▪️ Reinstate two weeks of compulsory work experience and guarantee that every young person gets to see a career’s adviser.
      ▪️ Change the priority duty of directors to make the long-term success of the company the main priority.
      ▪️ Make Britain a world leader in science and R&D, setting a target to invest a minimum of 3% of GDP.
      ▪️ Bring forward a Green New Deal, including a Climate Investment Pledge “to put us back on track to cut the substantial majority of emissions this decade”.
      ▪️ Fit out every home that needs it over the next decade, to make sure they are warm, well-insulated and cost less to heat, and create thousands of jobs in the process.
      ▪️ Introduce a Clean Air Act.
      ▪️ Meet a “net zero” test for everything Labour does in government “to ensure that the prosperity we enjoy does not come at the cost of the climate”.

      1. Most of those are froth and legislative tinkering, stuff that will make little practical difference to the lives of ordinary citizens.

        A list of aspirations that spokespeople of any of the three parties could probably mostly nod along with.

        Make Britain the safest, best, strongest… this that and the other. It’s rubbish that can be dismissed as merely aspirational if and when they fall well short on the delivery.

        Are any legally enforcible? They are basically tests they’ve set for themselves no doubt with ready-made excuses when they fail to deliver?

        That’s the difference between this policy light platitudinal guff and Corbyn’s hard manifesto commitments to do X and Y.

        After Starmer’s shameless 10 Pledge U-turns who’d believe any of it anyway?

      2. Well, well. Some real fun with copy and paste?
        Here’s Rachel Reeves explaining Starmer’s position on a number of policies.
        (in the first 3 minutes)

  9. Guardianistas complaining that Photo ID risks disenfranchising the poor.

    Why not similar concern that Starmer breaking all his 10 Pledges and promise to be the ‘continuity Corbynism’ candidate has already disenfranchised the poor?

    Guardianista crocodile tears much?

  10. Andy – Oh dear,was that really the best you could manage to come up with?😞

    “That’s the difference between this policy light platitudinal guff and Corbyn’s hard manifesto commitments to do X and Y.”
    Has it escaped your notice that Labour hasn’t published their current manifesto yet and is very unlikely to do so until much nearer the next general election. That you are expecting to have much detail at this stage of the election cycle clearly illustrates how politically naive you are.
    Please come back and tell me all about it once Labour have printed their manifesto and you have actually read it. You can then tell all about the credible alternative that you are offering the electorate. In the meantime I’ll just take it that you don’t disagree with any of the above.

    1. They’ve already said the manifesto will be light on detail, allowing them maximum flexibility when in office. Their own words.

      I don’t trust them with the NHS. the last thing we need is an insurance based NHS like the US. Full medical cover for the average family in the US can typically cost around $3,000 -4,000 per month.

      We can’t risk the devious Starmer introducing that system here, with Tory support. Tbh, it’d be easier to fight the Tories trying to push that through than Labour armed with a big majority.

      Both Labour and Tory seem to secretly hate the NHS because it’s based on socialist principles

      1. Andy – Don’t be ridiculous🙄
        …..and your evidence to support this nonsense is? 🤔
        …..and the credible alternative that you are offering the electorate is?🤔
        …..and has Jeremy stopped dithering and announced that he is stepping down yet?🤔

        Please feel free to correct me but from what I can see you have absolutely SFA to offer the electorate or anyone else. 😏

        I am trying to work out whether you are simply a waste of space or a closet ToryBoy

      2. …I am trying to work out whether you are simply a waste of space or a closet ToryBoy…

        Get into the sea. The biggest toryboy is your idol. Talk is cheap. Actions say all. We hear clearly

        Keir needs us more than we need him.

      3. NVLA – You are deluding yourself, He’s already shown that Labour doesn’t need you.

  11. “Circumstances WILL NOT change under a keef government”.

    Isn’t that right, wee gobshite?!

  12. Just one off- topic point…

    If there are spikes put in doorways to prevent the homeless sleeping in them, then WHY is it ok – and even celebrated by the media – for royalist sadsacks without a life people to travel the length & breadth of the country – and even come from abroad – to sleep (for days on end) on the streets of London for the coronation?

    If they want to see some poncey ceremony of some freeloading, tax-dodging parasite getting bussed around in grotesque opulence while wearing wearing furs and stolen jewels, then they should pay for accommodation, and boost the (local) economy in doing so.

    1. Toffee – At the moment your question looks more like a rather vague statement which is why I’ve ignored it. Perhaps you could try rephrasing your question with a little more precision.

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