Shenstone Factory Protest Shows People’s Power!

Support for the activists occupying the Israeli arms factory, UAV Engines in Shenstone, grew throughout the day yesterday. People continued to arrive from across the country, joining protesters who had stayed through the night, to express their outrage and grief at the continued support of  humanitarian crimes against the Palestinian people. Their message was clear: stop exporting arms to aid in genocide, stop supporting an apartheid state, stand up against oppression and injustice in their most barbaric forms.

Protest of Elbit factory continues
Proteters supporting the activiests, shutting down a drone parts factory

Protesters outside the police cordon (a crime scene, making it an arrestable offence to enter for anyone, except of course locals and anyone driving a nice car) kept up the spirits of the occupiers from London Palestine Action on the roof. Chants, drumming, and slogans were heard by the people on the roof, although the police would not let the protest move within sight of the factory.

The police invoked draconian laws recently passed that make being a ‘nuisance’ an arrestable offence, delaying any decision to move the cordon closer to the factory, and maintaining a strong presence throughout the day. Strangely, when the cameras arrived, the police decided to move all of their force out of sight, perhaps to give the impression that a peaceful protest wasn’t being met with over 30 officers armed with pepper spray, batons, and stun guns.

The protesters grew frustrated by the police’s attempts to delay and diffuse the movement, and decided to hold a silent march through the village which was met with support from the local pub and church. Many in the village were previously unaware that military hardware was being manufactured in the factory.

The police deliberately delayed the decision of whether to let the protesters move ahead, which had been demanded early on, in order to proceed onto the roof and arrest the occupiers at approximately 7-8pm. The police did this under the cover of allowing them to use phones to conduct interviews with the BBC and PressTV. Despite being removed from the roof they got the message out to people across the world, and have educated and inspired many not only about what is really happening in the world, but shown them that they are empowered to take action and stand for what is right.

Taking action, from informing the public and staging demonstrations to occupying means of production and denying trade and transport for imperialist wars is not only justified, but our imperative. Our ruling classes wage war in their own interest, oppress workers of all countries, and profit from our suffering. We must take control of our own labour, deny the capitalists the means of oppression, and smash the tools of imperialism.

“Either place yourself at the mercy of capital, eke out a wretched existence as of old and sink lower and lower, or adopt a new weapon-this is the alternative imperialism puts before the vast masses of the proletariat. Imperialism brings the working class to revolution.” – J.V. Stalin, Foundations of Leninism

The CPGB-ML and Red Youth are hosting a public meeting to discuss the bourgeois media lies about what is happening in Gaza and what can be done about it this Friday 8th August at 274 Moseley Road, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, B12 0BS at 6:30pm.

You should also join us at the Palestine Solidarity Committe demonstration in London on Saturday 9th August, taking place at 12 noon in front of BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA. Take action! Make a difference!

Read more:

Taking Action For Palestine (Red Youth UK,

Stand with Gaza… Join the axis of resistance! (CPGB-ML, August 2014)

PSC: Palestine Safety-valve Committee? (Proletarian, February 2013)

Zionists in Birmingham come out to defend racist Israeli state

A demonstration was called tonight [and for tomorrow] in protest to the arrival in Birmingham of the Israeli dance company Batsheva at the Hippodrome Theatre. Despite a peaceful, yet vocal protest from Birmingham, the police intervened on the instructions of the Israeli Zionists and attempted to kidnap members of the demo without actually arresting or charging them. Faced with any opposition to Israels war crimes against Palestinians these fascists stoop to any level to encourage and facilitate anti-democratic behaviour of the state forces – but if anything this foolish action will only rally more of Birmingham’s residents to the calls of Palestine solidarity activists tomorrow!

Police start to remove protestors from the demo
Disgrace behaviour of police and state forces
Zionist smirks as he has Palestine solidarity activist hauled off by the cops

A leaflet produced by local solidarity groups in Birmingham outlined the role of Batsheva thus:

“The Batsheva dance company are part of the Brand Israel Initiative which aims to promote a positive image of Israel internationally whilst it continues its many human rights abuses and violations of international law. These include, in particular, the military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank and the consolidation of an apartheid regime that condemns generations of Palestinians to poverty and persecution.

Batsheva’s claim – supported by the Hippodrome management – that they are impartial and independent artists is untrue, since they receive funding from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Such funding routinely involves signing a contract stating that the artist’s role is to “promote the policy interests of the State of Israel via culture and art, including contributing to creating a positive image for Israel”.

In 2005 Palestinian civil society called for an international campaign of Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions against Israel. They see this as a peaceful way to end Israeli abuses in much the same way as the international boycott of apartheid South Africa helped end the apartheid regime there. This protest is part of their campaign. Join us to show solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle for justice and freedom.”

All photos courtesy of Stalingrad O’Neill

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