Demonstration Friday 8 April 2016 Thales Arms Factory in Crawley
Today there was a lively demonstration of about 70 people organised by Brighton & Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Sussex Stop Arming Israel (SSAI) group. It was covered on RT and in the local press and is a very good start.
Thales (UK) works with the Israeli arms company Elbit Systems to develop the Watchkeeper drone, modelled on Elbit’s Hermes 450 drone used extensively over Gaza. Thales is therefore a major target in the STOP ARMING ISRAEL campaign.
The contract to develop the Watchkeeper drone is worth about £1 billion. It is this which lies between all the ‘anti-Semitism’ nonsense in and around the Labour Party.
We are calling on campaigning groups in London and the South East to endorse, publicise and come along to this demonstration to give a clear message to Thales that:
- they are complicit in Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian people through their joint enterprise with Israeli arms company Elbit Systems
- arms manufacturers are not welcome in our communities.
The UK’s Watchkeeper drone has been developed under a £1 billion joint venture contract awarded by the Ministry of Defence to Thales UK and Israel’s Elbit Systems, allowing the UK military to benefit from technologies that have been ‘field tested’ on the Palestinians.
The Crawley factory is one of Thales’s largest facilities in the UK.
The Watchkeeper drone project illustrates the collaboration between the UK government and Israel, and the joint working between private arms companies from both countries.
The demo outside the Thales arms factory in Crawley on April 8th will be an important part of the campaign for a two-way arms embargo against Israel, as called for by the Palestinian BDS National Committee:
“A comprehensive military embargo on Israel is long overdue. It would form a crucial step towards ending Israel’s unlawful and criminal use of force against the Palestinian people and other peoples and states in the region and would constitute an effective, non-violent measure to pressure Israel to comply with its obligations under international law.”
These are critical times for Palestinians.There is evidence that Israel, supported by its ever-belligerent US backers, is planning another murderous attack on defenceless Gaza civilians, in tandem with its brutal attacks on Palestinian resistance in the Occupied West Bank.
Bring banners and other displays for a lively visual impact at the factory’s surrounding fence!
See also the CrawleyNews