As i went past while delivering.. In port melbourne, ingles street realise cops, news people and signs of FREE GAZA.. it didn’t surprise me it be on news at all.. 🙂
Pro-Palestine activists arrested over Israeli arms protest in Melbourne
Protesters chanted and unfurled banners at site of company linked to Israeli arms manufacture
Victoria police have arrested seven pro-Palestinian protesters who climbed upon the roof of an Israeli arms manufacturer in Melbourne.
The protesters entered the premises of Elbit Systems at Port Melbourne about 5.30am on Friday, unfurling a banner on the roof that read “Elbit drones kill kids in Gaza #BDS”.
The protesters were heard to chant “free, free Palestine”, while protesters on the ground held a sign that read: “We don’t want your dirty wars”. A fake separation wall, to represent the Israeli-built wall in Gaza, was erected, while four D-locks were placed on the company’s gates.
Victoria police said officers were deployed to monitor about 20 protesters in total, with the seven people on the roof arrested and then released with a court summons for trespass.
Elbit Systems makes a variety of aerospace, land and naval systems for the military. Its Australian division is primarily focused on the Australian Defence Force (ADF) but pro-Palestinian groups say the wider company is linked to the manufacture of drones used in the Gaza conflict.
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) praised Elbit’s technology during its recent incursion into the Gaza strip, which has left more than 1,600 Palestinians dead. The company’s Skylark unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, have been described as a “real asset” by the IDF due to their ability to gather intelligence on targets for the military.
Sam Castro, of the Melbourne Palestine Action Group, a coalition of three groups behind the protest, said Elbit will be continually targeted by protesters.
“This draws attention to the fact the Australian government has complicity in the killing of children in Gaza by allowing a war profiteer to operate in our city,” she told Guardian Australia.
“This is a private company making money out of death machinery which is killing children in Gaza. We are linking up with protesters around the world to keep targeting Elbit because it is not welcome in our country.”
Elbit had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication. Nina Bassat, the president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria told JWire the protest “accentuates the difference between the sides in this conflict. The Jews in our community pray for peace and the Palestinian supporters express aggressive behaviour.”
Castro said the protesters were committed to non-violence and that the Jewish community “doesn’t realise the Israeli government has gone rogue”.