Drone protesters vow to close down Staffordshire factory

Anti-war campaigners will try to shut down a Staffordshire factory during a demonstration to mark the one-year anniversary of a drone attack on Gaza.

PROTEST 01 TT 05.JPG
Protesters on the roof of UAV Engines, Lynn Lane, Shenstone

Hundreds are expected to gather outside UAV Engines in Shenstone, scene of a two-day rooftop protest a year ago when activists stormed the building. A total of nine people were arrested. The temporary shutdown reportedly cost the factory £182,000.

Protesters from 25 UK-based campaign groups are expected to take part in the latest rally on July 6 outside the Lynn Lane factory which they claim supplies arms to Israel.

The Israeli-owned British firm has been drawn into the political controversy over arms sales because it is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of engines for drones – unmanned aerial vehicles that are used by the military across the world.

The protest will coincide with the anniversary of the launch of Israel’s seven-week military attack by land and air on the Gaza strip last summer.

More than 2,200 Palestinians, including 500 children, were killed and 100,000 people made homeless.

Word about the protest is being spread on a special Block The Factory website. Organisers say they want to ‘reclaim’ the area surrounding the site and are determined to stop production by their action.

Clare Fitzgerald, from the London Palestine Action group, said: “This is about having an economic impact on the arms trade, so we want the factory to be shut down.

“We are expecting hundreds from all over the UK, including Glasgow, Manchester and Bristol, to turn out. Around 600 people on Facebook have said they will come and we hope there will also be a good presence of local people.

“Motorcycles used to be made at the site and we received a lot of support from local people last year who said they would prefer bikes to drones being built in their countryside.”

Workshops, a children’s area and activities like kite-flying will be held around the site on the day. The company, also known as UEL, is owned by the Israel drone specialists Silver Arrow, a subsidiary of the Israeli defence contractor Elbit Systems.

Campaigners are demanding a military embargo on sales to Israel and the closure of the factory. Nine people were last year charged with aggravated trespass.

Chief Insp David Bird, of Staffordshire Police, said: “We are aware of next month’s planned protest. We are working with all parties involved to ensure the day goes safely. Our aim is to uphold the right to peaceful and legal protest while safeguarding local residents.”

The company declined to comment.

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Comments for: "Drone protesters vow to close down Staffordshire factory"

Who cares what you think

Get the water cannons out and give them a good blast, how dare these people stop law abiding citizens from earning their wages.

charlie17

What a stupid group of people, are they not intelligent enough to appreciate that this Company exports a lot of what they make, are they not aware that the people they employ pay the taxes that go to fund the benefits that most of the protestors are probably claiming. Finally are they not aware that driving the Company out of this Country is not going to stop them manufacturing Drones, they will just do it somewhere else and this country will lose highly skilled, highly paid jobs that we all know we urgently need. Idiots is the only description I can think of that fits these people.

Melmo

Just a bunch of narrow minded, blinkered doo gooders that were probably too thick to get onto a decent University BSc course that might have lead to a job but instead got accepted onto a Mickey Mouse course like Psychology taught by some green tea drinking social outcast socialist who spread his useless wisdom. They are also bitter and jobless and jealous of the people in a proper job working at the Drone site

Sharmwolf

I hope the firm with the backing of the police and the law vow to keep operating. They are doing nothing illegal

Can't we find these protesters something useful to do. LIKE A JOB

BrownedOff

Perhaps if the Muslim terrorists didn't hide behind their own women and children when firing their rockets into Israel, or use schools and hospitals for the same activity, there would be fewer casualties on the Gaza Strip. Anyone who wishes to challenge this view is invited to do so. But I've seen this in other countries too.

The point is when you fight any enemy, whatever their cause, and they create victims for political purposes, in order to garner sympathy, then they will be exposed for what they are.

It's sad that women and children are victims. But when they are raised in a culture that only knows violence and war, then they are doomed to suffer. And let's not forget that some of these women and children, and especially male children, are taught how to be suicide bombers from a very early age. Some kids are also taught to hate and kill Jews from the day they are born.

*Does anyone remember when a Syrian soldier was captured by rebels in Syria? The young male children were rounded up and made to watch the soldier being beheaded? This will go on, year after year, and so forth.

Protestors? What do they really know? As the first respondent said: "Get the water cannons out and give them a good blast, etc.". I'll happily lend a hand.

Yochanan

Good on them - don't want any drone factory in the UK for the same reason I don't want a chemical weapons factory. Motorbikes sound much better.

JusticeMaster2000

Some people call them harmless hippies.

In reality they are terrorist sympathisers, apologists for extremism, and they hate the freedoms of the law abiding citizen. They should be locked up for life - life meaning life - in complete solitary confinement, with no visitors, no daylight, no TV, no internet, no contact with the outside world at all. They shouldn't even be allowed to look at the guards who come to bring them their daily gruel ration.

charlie17

Judging by the comments a counter demonstration in support of the Company and its employees could draw in substantially more than the 2,500 nutters who are predicted to attend.

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