28 May 2022

What Happened in Uvalde is Why the Police Should Be Defunded

 While a Gunman was Killing 19 children and their teachers in Ulvade Texan Police Handcuffed, Pepper Sprayed and Tasered the Parents Instead!

The Problem Isn’t Gun Law but America’s Violent Racist Society - Gun Law Reform Won’t Change That

Police Cowards in Uvalde

If ever there was a demonstration as to why the Police should be defunded, it was on display in Uvalde, Texas. Heavily armed Police stood outside the classroom where the gunman was murdering defenceless children because they didn’t have a key to the door!

They apparently believed all the children were dead but didn’t have the courage to find out for themselves if anyone was alive. It has taken a tragedy like Uvalde to demonstrate that the Police aren’t there to protect people but to protect property.

Police Justify Doing Nothing 

Heavily armed police refused to go into the school and instead saw their job as harassing and persecuting desperate parents. One parent, Angeli Rose Gomez, was handcuffed. When freed she jumped the fence and went in to rescue her child whilst these heavily armed cowards stood outside, pepper spraying and tasering distraught parents.

40% of Uvalde’s budget was spent on these entitled cowards. They should not only be sacked but prosecuted for gross negligence manslaughter. But of course they won’t because the Supreme Court has given them virtual immunity.

Police cowards Outside Uvalde school Texas Tackle Parents Instead of the Gunman

Texas Governor, the Christian bigot Greg Abbott, an anti-abortionist and pro-death penalty supporter, meanwhile spent the aftermath praising the pigs in uniform.

Of course when it comes to shooting an unarmed Black kid then these heroes will rise to the challenge but otherwise they are useless. Ulvade doubled the amount it was spending in one year on providing school security but the killer still ran past police and armed guards. Indeed he was outside for 12 minutes shooting but no one had the gall to tackle him.

He posted what he was intending to do on Fuckerberg’s Facebook but the Moderators, who are so quick to uphold ‘community standards’ when it comes to supporting the Palestinians saw nothing.

Texas's Far-Right Governor Greg Abbott Grandstanding

If nothing else this shows that there is a need for a different, community model of policing. If the parents had had the guns that the Police had then the gunman would have been neutralised far earlier. We need to get away from the idea that we need separate groups of Police to protect us.  The Police have as their priority the defence of the wealthy and property not people.

Meanwhile the far-Right Governor of Texas, Greg Abbot, pontificated about ‘evil’ stalking the land. Clearly he was not in possession of a mirror because it is Abbott who represents evil. Abbot blamed the murder of 19 children and 2 teachers on mental illness and virtually anything but himself and the armed goons who saw attacking the parents as more important than tackling a lone gunman.

His Democratic opponent Beto O’Rourke confronted Abbot over his do nothing approach. Of course Abbot is an easy target. He opposes gun control on principle. Abbot is a particularly vile creature. But it is easy to fall back on the panacea of gun control.

Norway has a very high rate of gun ownership and yet despite the USA having 50 times the population of Norway it has 10,000 times the murder rate. The reasons for the high rate of gun crime in the USA and in particular this phenomenon of shooting children in schools can’t simply be explained by lack of gun control.

The fact is that as a settler-colonial society which recently had slavery, the US is an endemically violent society. It is the only Western state that has the death penalty. To this day the USA maintains a concentration camps in Guantanamo. It has the highest rate of incarceration, some 2 million prisoners, some of whom are kept in conditions that amount to torture. Super-max prisons where inmates are kept in shackles and solitary confinement.

The US is responsible for a phenomenal amount of violence around the world, from Iraq to Afghanistan to Israel. The CIA has been given a license to torture and the US even has a training school for torturers and death squads, the School of the Americas which is now renamed the Institute for Security Cooperation.

If Israel maintains a violent occupation it does so courtesy of US weapons and subsidies. At the moment the US is doing its best to encourage a genocidal war in Ukrainian by supplying it with limitless weapons. The US is the world’s major arms supplier.  The US is the prime factor in violence in the world. Is it any wonder that US violence abroad is imported back home?

The US is of course a massively unequal society and the purpose of the Police is to keep it that way. Inequality breeds violence. The US can’t afford a national health service but it can afford 800 foreign bases and at spends at least $750 billion on its armed forces. It spends more than the next 9 countries put together on its military.

Why should anyone be surprised when this makes some people mentally ill enough to want to kill American kids? After all the US army has been killing children for years in its Drone Wars without any comeback.

The idea that gun control by itself can solve the problem of internal violence is a pipedream sown by the Democrats who, as the Ukraine war has proven, are worse imperialists than the Republicans. In Congress it was 57 Republicans who opposed the $40 billion to Ukrainian neo-Nazis. In the Senate it was 11 Republican Senators who voted against. 

Not one Democrat in Congress – not Sanders, not AOC, not Ilhan Omar or Rashida Tlaib voted against supplying the Azov Battalion with nice, shiny new US weaponry.

It is a tragedy that 19 children and their teachers died in Texas but no one should be fooled that gun control by itself that will be the remedy.  The United States is a violent society and violence begets violence.

Tony Greenstein

See Parents reportedly handcuffed, tasered, and pepper sprayed by police during Uvalde school shooting

27 May 2022

In Defence of Boris Johnson – his Real Offence was to have been an Honest Crook!

Beware what you wish for! Neither Jeremy Hunt nor Herr Stürmer will be an improvement

CNN Profile of Johnson

As readers of this blog can confirm, I have always supported the underdog and there is no dog who is more under attack at the moment than Boris Johnson. To forestall the inevitable complaints from dog lovers I apologise in advance for the insult to dogs!

I can also see people shaking their heads and saying that I have finally lost it. Defending Boris Johnson of all people. However I have always had a sneaking respect for those willing to defy the law and no one has been more carefree in this respect than Johnson.

Eddie Mare Interview

Of course when it suited them the Establishment was happy to turn a blind eye to Johnson’s willingness to take out a contract on a fellow journalist. Securing £126K for his mistress Jennifer Arcuri when he was Mayor of London was also brushed under the carpet.

At a time when Jeremy Corbyn was being attacked as an anti-Semite for every misplaced comma going back years, the mainstream media somehow failed to unearth Johnson’s 2004 novel 72 Virgins which was replete with anti-Semitic ‘tropes’.

The Jewish Chronicle did publish these quotes, but on December 10 2019, just 2 days before the General Election. Comments such as:

Maybe there was some kind of fiddling of the figures by the oligarchs who ran the TV stations (and who were mainly, as some lost no time in pointing out, of Jewish origin)

or describing a Jewish character called Sammy Katz, as having a “proud nose and curly hair.” Johnson described Katz as someone who “relied on immigrant labour” and visits the red light district in search of “a bit of black”.

Johnson also described the Jewish character as having the eyes of an “unblinking snake” and someone who sends his son “pathetic presents, every five years, of low-denomination bills”.

Johnson also described Kosovan Muslims as having “hook noses” and introduced other characters as “pikeys”, a slur for Travellers.

I can’t recall David ‘Blackface’ Baddiel complaining about Johnson. He was, after all, too concerned that Corbyn had mispronounced a Jewish name!

Imagine if it had been poor old Corbyn giving utterance to these phrases. The Daily Hate Mail would have been besides itself. But then anyone who isn’t brain dead will have already realised that the ‘anti-Semitism’ allegations in the Labour Party were about Israel and Zionism not anti-Semitism.

And so to Partygate which has been one long story testifying to the hypocrisy of the British Establishment. I have to confess that if I’d been in London at the time and known of the goings on at No. 10 I’d have done my best to get an invite to one of those Wine Time Fridays! It sounds as if Downing Street was at the very centre of social life during the lockdown!

Of course Johnson is a loathsome amoral sociopath, but he has at least one redeeming feature that his opponents, including Labour’s apology for a human being, Sir Sturmer doesn’t have. Honesty.

Johnson doesn’t hide his contempt for the working class, Black people and anyone who hasn’t been to a public school. Johnson has never pretended that he is a ‘one nation’ Tory. He has always been open in his distaste for the lower classes.

When Johnson described the children of single mothers as “ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate” and suggested that

if having a baby out of wedlock meant sure-fire destitution on a Victorian scale, young girls might indeed think twice about having a baby’

was he saying anything that Ian Duncan-Smith, with his removal of benefits from anyone who has more than 2 children actually did?

How is Johnson different from Rachel Reeves with her statement that Labour doesn’t represent claimants?

It was New Labour’s ardent feminist Hatty Harman who, when she removed single parent benefit (does anyone even remember that benefit?) put into practice what Johnson only fantasised about. Hatty of course would not have described the children of single parents in those terms because she is ‘woke’ but she enacted Johnson’s agenda before he was even heard of.

Of course Johnson is an open racist with his comments about Muslim women who wear the veil looking like ‘letter boxes’ or Black people having ‘water melon smiles’ and being ‘picanninies’.

Was Theresa May any better for sending Home Office vans around London telling Black people to ‘go home’ or New Labour for its role in extraordinarily kidnapping and rendering Muslims for torture? Blair, Miliband and Alan Johnson were up to their eyes in allowing US flights to rendered people using British bases and airspace.

Of course Theresa May didn’t call her victims names. She simply wanted to send asylum seekers back to their torturers, whilst being polite about it. Was that really worse than Johnson?

It wasn’t Johnson who was responsible for the Windrush Scandal that sent Black British people who had been here for generations to the West Indies illegally but Theresa May who refused to apologise for her ‘hostile environment’ policy.

In fact the origins of the hostile environment policy lay, as do so many evils, with New Labour and its Home Secretary Alan Johnson. It was under New Labour that the decision to destroy landing cards, which proved when someone entered Britain, was taken. It was Alan not Boris Johnson who coined the term ‘hostile environment’.

What Johnson and his senior civil servants at 10 Downing Street did with their non-stop partying was to demonstrate their contempt for ordinary people. Those who made the rules could also break the rules. But was this any different from David Cameron and his use of offshore trusts to avoid tax? Or Blair, who has become an adviser to every dictator and human rights abuser under the sun?

Research by investigative journalist Matt Kennard showed how Starmer met up with MI5 chief Jonathan Evans in 2013 for ‘drinks’ in his time as DPP. Kennard suggested that a topic of that meeting may have been about the prosecution of MI5, which was accused of playing a part in a torture case. That case concerned Binyamin Mohamed, who was kidnapped, renditioned, and tortured by the CIA with complicity in his interrogation by an MI5 officer, known simply as ‘Witness B’. [see below]

According to the Rendition Project:

“Flight data and associated documentation demonstrate that Mohamed [was] transferred on board the CIA-owned Gulfstream V jet with registration number N379P” and renditioned from Pakistan to Morocco.

As part of his torture, Binyamin Mohammed had cuts made to his penis in Morroco. Later that year Starmer decided not to prosecute MI5 and Evans commented:

I am delighted that after a thorough police investigation, the Crown Prosecution Service has concluded that Witness B has no case to answer in respect of his interviewing of Mr Binyam Mohammed.

For anyone who wants to know exactly what this torture, which went on for years, consisted of, I suggest you read Binyam’s account of his ordeal. The wonder is that he survived it long enough to obtain some form of legal redress.

The United States’s asserted ‘state secrets privilege’ to avoid litigation. But it should demonstrate that when the United States says it is concerned with ‘democracy’ today in Ukraine that this is just one big lie. See here for the torture of Binyam Mohammed.  As blogger Andy Worthington observed:

Lord Neuberger apparently indicated that he did not believe that he [the MI5 officer] was acting alone and that he believed that his conduct was “characteristic of the service as a whole,” and also noted that MI5’s culture of suppression “penetrates the service to such a degree” that, as the Guardian explained, “it undermines any government assurance based upon information that comes from MI5 itself.”

In response to Starmer’s decision, Reprieve director Clive Stafford Smith commented:

the main focus of all this should not be the rank and file, but those who were signing off the torture policy at the top. In that sense, there remain very real questions for Tony Blair, Jack Straw, and David Miliband, who were in power when these dreadful abuses took place.

See The Canary’s Keir Starmer’s links with an intelligence chief add to his controversies as DPP

Let us not forget that both Cameron and Johnson were members of the Bullingdon Club in their university days. A club which took pride in their contempt for workers and the poor.

But is that different from Keir Starmer who did his best to protect murdering policemen on the streets of London?

In 2010 Starmer initially refused to prosecute police officer Simon Harwood, who at a G20 demonstration in London struck 47-year old Ian Tomlinson, who was not part of the protest but simply heading home. In 2011, an inquest ruled that Tomlinson had been killed unlawfully. Harwood was later acquitted of manslaughter but dismissed from the force.

Starmer also refused to prosecute police officers involved in the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes by police marksmen on a train at Stockwell Tube Station, in a case of mistaken identity.

The CPS further refused to prosecute UK government bodies (including MI6 and MI5) for their part in the abduction, rendition, and torture of three Libyan dissidents, despite incriminating evidence.

Starmer also supported the rapid prosecution of ‘rioters‘ involved in street protests. Not forgetting that Starmer brought in new guidelines that meant ‘benefit cheats’ could end up with 10 years imprisonment for fraud. What is incomprehensible is that Jeremy Corbyn placed Starmer in his Shadow Cabinet as Brexit Shadow despite Starmer having been part of the chicken coup.

Starmer has wrapped himself like a cheap John Bull in the Butcher’s Apron.

The real tragedy is that the British working class was so depoliticised and demoralised that millions of them were taken in by Johnson’s lies about Brexit and migrants taking their jobs.

One can forgive the ruling class for being pompous and entitled. That is what a ruling class does. But workers who vote against their own interests because they are persuaded that others who are even worse off than them are to blame are entitled to pity and contempt.

Winetime Friday

It is increasingly likely that Johnson is going to go, if not now then soon. He has served his purpose, winning the election and is now a busted flush. He was always a liar but that was an advantage to that section of the ruling class which wished for Brexit.

Quite simply he is now damaged goods. He has lost his shine and is bringing the Establishment itself into contempt along with a ‘justice’ system that has openly bent the law to accommodate him.

But our real contempt should be reserved for Starmer and Rayner. I listened to Rayner in the debate on Sue Grey's Report. Rayner wittered on about the door of No. 10 and what it represented and how it had been betrayed by Johnson.

No doubt Starmer’s Labour will be dancing the night away next weekend as they celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 70 years of robbing us blind.

No. 10 is the door behind which all manner of crimes were committed in the British Empire. Of course they were committed with a stiff utter lip and not by a ruling class clown but what difference does that make?

It is true that Johnson and his fellows in No. 10 had utter contempt for ordinary people. But what they displayed openly, their fellow Tories agree with as they vote for his anti-democratic programme. Their only quibble with Johnson is that he isn’t good at hiding his contempt for the masses.

And it’s not only Johnson who is dishonest but Starmer, Rayner and the bulk of Labour’s MPs. It is probably too much to hope that the Police do their duty for once and issue fines to them both.

But is Starmer any more honest when he stands on 10 Pledges which he then betrays? Or when he professes concern about ‘anti-Semitism’ and then goes ahead and expels anti-racist and anti-Zionist Jews from the Labour Party at 5 times the rate of non-Jews?

In 2004 Tom Watson was the campaign organiser for Liam Byrne in the Hodshrove by-election. Labour issued a leaflet with the slogan ‘Labour is on your side, the Lib Dems are on the side of failed asylum seekers.’ In the 2010 General Election in Oldham North, Phil Woolas, the previous Immigration Minister and one of the most contemptible creatures ever to have crawled out of New Labour’s gutter, ran a campaign that demonised Muslims as violent jihadists.

In the course of a campaign which lied about his Lib Dem opponent, Woolas ran a campaign whose aim was to ‘make the white folk angry’. So blatant were Woolas’s lies that an Electoral Court removed him from Parliament.

What was Tom Watson’s reaction to the ejection of Woolas from Parliament?  Remember this is the man who, under Corbyn, proclaimed that he wanted to rid Labour of every anti-Semite. In Labour Uncut Watson confessed that:

I’ve lost sleep thinking about poor old Phil Woolas and his leaflets.... it feels like a piano has been dropped on my head

Unfortunately a piano wasn’t dropped on his head. Things might have turned out better if they had!

We know that Starmer presided over the Assange case and at one time berated the Swedes when they wanted to abandon the false charges of rape.  ‘Don’t you dare get cold feet’ one email said. Clearly the CPS under Starmer had an investment in the extradition of Assange that went far beyond the ostensible reasons for the extradition.

Starmer has no concern about racism. For him Black Lives Matter was a ‘moment’. His concern about ‘anti-Semitism’ is just a disguise for wanting to protect the Apartheid State of Israel as part of Western imperialism’s reliance on Israel as a strategic watchdog.

So the moral of Partygate for me is that it’s better to have someone who is an honest hypocrite in No. 10 rather than someone who is a dishonest hypocrite. At least Boris Johnson is open in his contempt for ordinary people. His replacement is unlikely to be an improvement.

Tony Greenstein

26 May 2022

With the new Public Order Bill we are sleep walking into a Police State

 Two Israeli Palestine Action Activists Denied Bail by Bristol Crown Court as the Police & Courts Defend Elbit (WarCrimes“R”Us)

At the same time as Priti Patel is introducing legislation to further restrict and clamp down on the Right to Protest, the Metropolitan Police, who are a Political Police, have deliberately refused to investigate multiple breaches of COVID Regulations by Boris Johnson.

At the same time the Metropolitan Police have taken no action against Police Officers Guilty of Sexual Assault of 2 Black Children.

Last Monday two Israeli Palestine Action activists were remanded in custody by Bristol Crown Court. Palestine Action has taken direct action repeatedly against Elbit Systems, the Israeli firm which should be renamed WarCrimes“R”Us. Their success in closing down Elbit’s Oldham factory has enraged the Police and Political Establishment.

Public Order Bill

The Public Order Bill would allow the Police to put innocent people on electronic ankle tags and ban them from attending marches and demonstrations. These are police state measures.

Individuals would be prohibited from attending demonstrations if they have been convicted on two occasions of protest-related offences. These measures are a breach of the European Convention of Human Rights which is why the government is also proposing scrapping the Human Rights Act 1998.

People given such orders can also face other restrictions, including on their online activity, who they can talk to and where they can go.

People who want to attend a protest need not have ever committed any offence in order to be given “protest banning order” by the police.

Under the Public Order Bill, police will be given powers to monitor campaigners using electronic GPS tags, restrict their Internet activities and prevent them from attending protests. These are measures that would be condemned in Russia, Iran and China yet they are being proposed without a word of concern by that faithful servant of the British Establishment, the BBC.

After the shocking Police attacks on women at the Clapham vigil for Sarah Everard and the attack by Bristol Police on demonstrators against the last Police Bill, these are the latest measures that this government is taking to outlaw basic democratic rights. Effective protests are now being prohibited.

As a first step there is a Change.org Petition Don't electronically tag innocent people for attending protests but petitions are ignored by this government of the rich and powerful. I have also submitted a Parliamentary Petition.

The Public Order Bill is due to receive its second reading in the Commons. Civil rights group Liberty said the provision marks a “significant expansion of state surveillance on protesters” as the authorities will receive powers to monitor the activities of campaigners to ensure that they are complying with the order.

Liberty described the provision as “unprecedented and highly draconian,” warning that the orders would amount to “a ban on named individuals” fundamental right to protest.”

The police will be able to fit activists with ankle tags, which can be imposed for up to 12 months and perhaps longer if the order is renewed.

The Bill also proposes expanding stop-and-search powers and creating a new “locking on” offence, which would criminalise protesters who use bike locks or chains to secure themselves to each other or to objects.

Home Secretary Priti Patel’s justification is that the Bill is intended to tackle a “rise in criminal, disruptive and self-defeating tactics from a supremely selfish minority.”

Amnesty International warned that these proposals will “seriously curtail human rights” and has called on MPs to reject the legislation in its entirety.

Labour has also voiced opposition to the measures, with the front bench tabling a motion to block the Bill. However we know that Starmer has a police state mentalilty. We need a guarantee that a Labour government in its first parliamentary session will repeal both this Bill and the previous Police Bill.

Protest is a right, not a gift from the state. These proposals are inherently undemocratic and need to be resisted by all means necessary. See Activists could be tracked by GPS under draconian Public Order Bill

Police Assault on Black Children

If the Police are reluctant to investigate Elbit and Boris Johnson’s crimes there are ‘crimes’ that the Police do investigate and that is when Black children are suspected of committing them. Then they are only too eager to abuse their powers to the full.

In December 2020 there were two sickening incidents in which the Police, let us not beat about the bush, sexually assaulted two 15 year old girls in school.

Olivia, a  mixed-race girl, was handcuffed and had her underwear cut off in the presence of male officers. Olivia, who is autistic, subsequently tried to kill herself after a police strip search while she was menstruating.

Olivia was arrested with friends in December 2020 after having a disagreement with two boys who called the police claiming they were victims of an attempted knife-point robbery.

She said her daughter was searched at the scene and nothing was found, but was still taken into custody. She claimed she warned police her daughter had autism, learning difficulties and was self-harming.

Olivia was held in custody for more than 20 hours before being found to be in possession of a sharpened stick and a small blade, which her mother said was for the purpose of self-harming.

Six officers forcibly stripped Olivia, banged her head against the floor and carried out an intimate search in the presence of male police officers. According to her mother:

“Olivia was actually on her period at the time too. And they cut off her underwear in front of these grown male officers. She was absolutely distraught.”

Her mother told BBC’s File on 4 that the experience had a devastating impact on her daughter’s mental health. According to her mother

“She spent a lot of time in her room and she continued to self-harm in secret. And then, a few weeks later, she attempted suicide.”

Olivia later appeared in court accused of possession of a bladed weapon and was found not guilty after magistrates accepted the items were used for self-harming.

The Metropolitan Police said it was investigating a complaint from the girl’s mother. In other words they did absolutely nothing about it until the case was publicised.

Unbelievably Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor told File On 4 that strip-searches help to keep children safe while in custody.

What did the Met do? Did it immediately suspend the officers pending their prosecution? Not a bit of it. When the assault came to light the Met referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, the so-called police watchdog. Given the record of the Police Lapdog it is unlikely to have anything to fear.

This followed news of another case, Child Q, a 15-year-old black pupil who was also menstruating. She was strip searched by female officers, also in December 2020 after being wrongly accused of possessing drugs. This sparked protests and a widespread backlash.

The Met on that occasion said an investigation was underway that would “determine the appropriateness of the search and the way that it was conducted”. One wonders what there is to investigate.

A spokesperson for the police stated that it was investigating a complaint from Olivia’s mother but “We have also received notification of a potential civil claim and therefore are unable to comment further at this stage” which is also a lie. A civil claim doesn’t stop you responding.

There is one demand that we can make. That schools should stop inviting police onto their premises. The Police do not protect school kids they are a threat to them, especially if they are Black.

Palestine Action

Meanwhile in Bristol, the Police were more than eager to protect WarCrimes“R”Us, who sometimes go by the name of Elbit Systems, for criminal damage. The so-called incident happened at Elbit in Aztec West on Sunday May 15 and all nine were charged overnight with burglary with intent to commit damage and criminal damage to property (valued at over £5,000) and remanded in custody. Police claimed that "intruders" had damaged a business premises.”

On Monday 23 May 7 of them were released on bail with onerous restrictions but two of them remain in custody, the pretext being that there is a risk they may flee abroad, although the Police are more than capable of keeping their passports. They are:

Ø   Ronnie Barkan, who is currently being held at HMP Bristol, 19 Cambridge Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8PS  0117 372 3100 Prisoner Number A4443EV and

Ø   Stavit Sinai who is being held at HMP EastwoodPark, Falfield, Wotton-under-Edge GL12 8DB, ( 01454 382100 Prisoner Number A4440EV

See Palestine Action Press Release

Palestine Action Activists Denied Bail, Remain Held in Prison’.

  • Palestine Action have called for greater resistance in the face of repression, urges supporters to join the campaign to ‘Shut Elbit Down’, marking Elbit as ‘vulnerable’ and ‘running scared’.
  • An ongoing campaign for the prisoners’ release

The Action was on Nakba day, which commemorates Israel’s forcible expulsion, i.e. ethnic cleansing of ¾ million Palestinians in 1947-8. They occupied and damaged the Bristol HQ of Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest arms company. It is only the two Israeli activists, Stav Sinai and Ronnie Barkan who remain in custody.

Throughout its nearly 2 years of existence, Palestine Action has been subject to a campaign of state repression and intimidation. However, the taking of political prisoners has set a concerning new precedent. In response, the group has promised ‘no backdown to the crackdown’, and called for heightened direct action against Elbit, who produce drones, ammunition, and chemical weapons. The company supplies the Israeli occupation military with 85% of its drone fleet.

The Police prefer to take action against those who try to prevent war crimes rather than the war criminals themselves.

This is part of the growing Police repression of direct action activists.

The move to greater repression has come after victory for the campaign in January, when direct action and community organising permanently shut down Elbit weapons factory in Oldham, Manchester. Palestine Action has seen constantly growing support both domestically and internationally, and it is suspected that these events have been in response to the success of the campaign. The British state is heavily allied with Israel and fears resistance to the Israeli arms trade in Britain. Notably, a delegation of Israeli police were recently received by the Metropolitan police, presumably to share tactics and strategies.

A Palestine Action spokesperson said:

“As the British state moves to crackdown on our campaign against Elbit – owing to its mass support in communities and our no-nonsense use of direct action, we say we won’t backdown to the crackdown, and will respond with greater resistance. Our two brave activists have  sacrificed their liberty in the fight to Shut Elbit Down, and we will fight day and night for their release.

Supporters can write letters to the two prisoners (email to palactprisoners@protonmail.com), or join protests in Bristol demanding their release. Anyone and everyone who longs to see a free Palestine: Now is the time to join Palestine Action, resist the crackdown, and Shut Elbit Down.”

Bristol HQ Action Press Release: 

If you would like any further information on Palestine action, please contact info@palestineaction.org 

Palestine Action is a direct-action network of groups and individuals formed with the mandate of taking direct action against Elbit Systems’ UK locations at grassroots level, calling for them all to be shut down and for the British government to end its complicity in Israeli apartheid.

For previous actions please see


Company profile on Elbit Systems:

Detail on Al-Aqsa mosque attacks: Israel storms Al-Aqsa, beats Palestinian worshipers to make way for Jewish settlers – Mondoweiss

Bombardment of Gaza

Role of Elbit drone in killing of four children playing on Gaza beach in 2014: /

More on the death and destruction inflicted by Elbit’s drones upon Gaza: 

See also the Morning Star Police accused of treating Palestine Action like ‘some kind of organised crime network,’ after two activists remanded in prison

Undoubtedly it is the actions of Direct Action Groups like Palestine Action, Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain that have led to the government attack on democratic rights and civil liberties. Coupled with the potential for an upsurge in trade union action.

Palestine Action activists who have been prosecuted so far have either been acquitted or had the charges against them dropped. It is clear that the actions against Elbit, whose only purpose is to prevent Israeli war crimes is lawful and proportionate.

Campaigners from Extinction Rebellion were acquitted and members of Insulate Britain released from prison in January after a string of convictions were overturned as a result of a decision by the Supreme Court in the case of Ziegler and others.

It is not a crime to commit a minor offence in order to prevent a greater evil. If someone breaks a door down in order to rescue a person inside a burning building, no one in their right mind would expect them to be charged with criminal damage. Yet the Police have done their utmost to protect Elbit’s right to commit war crimes.

Contrast this with Boris Johnson, who attended at least 6 parties at 10 Downing Street, in flagrant breach of the COVID Regulations that the Tories themselves introduced. The Police refused to issue penalty notices for any of them bar Johnson’s presence at his own birthday party. Indeed they have refused even to investigate his attendance at other parties that others were fined for. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that political considerations were paramount even though I’m not aware that the Prime Minister has any sort of legal immunity.

The Metropolitan Police initially refused to investigate any crimes. Their reason being that they don’t investigate "retrospective breaches of the law”! Presumably this was because the Met only investigate crimes after consulting Mystic Meg! The so-called Independent Office for Police Conduct rejected a complaint from Baroness Jones.

It was only when the Sue Grey Report was imminent that the Met began an investigation whilst at the same time telling her not to produce a full report. The inevitable inference is that the Police wanted to protect Johnson.

Press Release from the Jewish Anti-Zionist Network


We congratulate Palestine Action for their part in opposing Israeli apartheid, ethnic cleansing, occupation and war crimes.

We join Palestine Action in their call for the release of their activists who have been refused bail and remanded in custody, including two Israeli dissidents who have taken direct action against the Israeli arms’ manufacturer, Elbit Systems.

The Israeli war machine is not only responsible for the slaughter of Palestinian people but commits crimes internationally: armed the Rwanda genocide, and more recently armed the Myanmar genocide of the Rohingya people -- where Elbit upgraded Myanmar’s F-7 fighter jets.

People in the UK are increasingly aware of the frightening influence of the apartheid state of Israel in British politics.

Israeli influence can be seen in last week’s declaration by Home Secretary Priti Patel of her “unflinching and unequivocal” support for Israel.  In 2017 she was forced to resign from the cabinet, as UK International Development Secretary, following the exposure of her secret meetings with Israeli officials, which included a proposal to divert British aid to the Israeli military in the illegally annexed Golan Heights.

The official opposition is also guilty of bowing to Israel. UK Labour leader Keir Starmer declared “I support Zionism without qualification”.  His Labour Party campaigned door to door in the London Borough of Barnet with the pro-apartheid Israeli Labour Party (ILP) during the recent council elections. Senior Labour figures and ILP representatives discussed campaign tactics together. In fact, one new Labour councillor from that campaign is a former employee of the Israeli embassy.

We are outraged at the partisan decision by the Crown Prosecution Service to deny bail to pro-Palestine activists.

We welcome Palestine Action’s opposition to Israeli militarism: we must oppose all Israeli crimes, including the murder of beloved journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, and last week’s murder of 17-year-old Amjad al-Fayyed, and the arrest, torture and killing of children by the militarist and racist Israeli state.

Drop all charges! Release the anti-apartheid campaigners now!

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (UK)