Activists 'occupy' Arconic firm in Birmingham calling for 'justice for Grenfell and Gaza'
Pro-Palestine activists in the UK have stormed the site of a company that supplied the cladding that decked the Grenfell Tower when it burnt down and has also produced manufacturing materials for the Israeli military.
Palestine Action activists attempted a shutdownan Arconic site in the Midlands city of Birmingham, which comes weeks after devastating Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip.
The activists barricaded factory entrances and sprayed red paint over the building, "occupying the factory roof to prevent business resuming".
Arconic manufacture components and materials for Boeing Apache Helicopters and Lockheed Martin F-35 Fighter Jets, which have been used by the Israeli military on the besieged Gaza Strip, the activists say.
In May, Israel launched 11-days of relentless bombing of Gaza, killing over 250 Palestinians including 67 children.
BREAKING: We're currently occupying Arconic — The company who provided lethal cladding for the Grenfell Tower and materials for Israel's fighter jets. Today, on the Grenfell anniversary, we seek #JusticeforGrenfell. pic.twitter.com/LcBD3TDP1j— Palestine Action (@Pal_action) June 14, 2021
"The same companies which fuel repression and war crimes committed against the Palestinian people are producing, operating and selling in the UK – and doing so with a consistent disregard for the deaths and suffering inflicted by their products," the activist group said in a statement.
"Palestine Action will continue to escalate direct action which shuts down the operational bases of these criminal firms," they added.
Arconic released a statement, saying they have involved the police.
"We are aware that a small number of protestors have gathered at our Kitts Green site in Birmingham. Police are on site and we are supporting them to ensure the safety of both the protestors and our colleagues who work there," the statement read.
"We are also very much aware that this is the fourth anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, and would mention that our thoughts are with those affected by the tragedy. We continue to cooperate with and support the relevant investigations."
An online remembrance event for the Grenfell disaster will be held by the local West London community at 7pm on Monday evening, calling for justice for the survivors.
Neighbouring towers, homes, and churches in West London plan to be lit green at 10pm - the colour that has since 2017 come to identify the Grenfell cause.