PICTURES & VIDEO: 19 arrested as anti-war campaigners return to Staffordshire 'drone' factory
Dozens of anti-war campaigners descended on a factory in Shenstone today which they claim makes parts for drones used in the Middle East.
Nineteen protesters, 18 men and one woman, were arrested for breaching a high court injunction barring them from demonstrating within 250 metres of UAV Engines in the Staffordshire village near Lichfield.
More than 100 lobbyists descended on the area this morning aiming to 'shut down' the factory for the day in a bid to disrupt their operations and cause the subsidiary of Israeli company Elbit thousands of pounds in lost trade.
They claim that the drones manufactured by UAV Engines have been involved in the killings of thousands of Palestinians.
Ahead of today's protest the company secured a high court injunction prohibiting demonstrations within a 250metre radius of the factory.
Staffordshire Police also issued their own order which identified a designated protest area near Shenstone Railway Station.
More than 30 officers have been present at the scene since 7am this morning and campaigners have been forcibly moved back about 50ft from the entrance to UAV Engines on Lynn Lane by a human police blockade.
Chief Inspector Steve Smith said: "The protest today resulted in Lynn Lane being closed for several hours and some disruption to businesses and the local community. Our role in this operation is about fair and balanced policing – we're here to keep the peace and to uphold the law.
"Our priority was to ensure the safety of all those involved – that includes the protestors, the wider community and our officers. We called a number of additional police resources to support the community and maintain order. In response to breaches of a High Court order and some public order offences a total of 19 persons were arrested.
"Overall the protest ended peacefully, with no significant disorder, and local police remain in the communities affected to provide reassurance. I want to thank everyone affected today for their cooperation and support of the policing operation."
At Tamworth this morning, a number of individuals climbed onto the roof of a factory building as part of a protest. All seven voluntarily came off the roof. Police officers then directed them to leave the area under public order legislation. No arrests were made.
At Shenstone, a number of protesters locked themselves to fencing and others blocked the road.
Those arrested remain in police custody and will be questioned about offences this evening.
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