Trade Union Members Protest against BAE Systems over Arms Sales to Israel

Trade Union Members Protest against BAE Systems over Arms Sales to Israel

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – In a demonstration outside Britain’s largest weapons maker, BAE Systems, hundreds of trade union members blocked the entrance, demanding an immediate cessation of arms supplies to Israel amid the ongoing military campaign in the Gaza Strip.

The protest, held on Friday at the BAE Systems site in Rochester, Kent, saw demonstrators brandishing Palestinian flags and chanting slogans such as “Stop Arming Israel,” “ceasefire now,” and “How many kids have you killed today?”

An organizer stated that more than 400 trade unionists participated in the action at the site, calling for an end to the UK government's involvement in what they termed as war crimes in Palestine. This includes a plea to halt arms sales to the occupying regime and to support an immediate ceasefire.

A member of the Nation Education Union, who joined the protest, expressed heartbreak over the bombing of 185 schools and other educational institutions in Gaza, saying, "We're here today to disrupt the Israeli war machine and take a stand against our government's complicity."

The BAE Systems factory in question claims not to directly export equipment to Israel, but activists argue that the company, including the site under blockade, contributes "15% of the components in the F-35 fighter jets currently used in the bombardment of Gaza."

Campaigners estimate the value of components supplied by BAE Systems to Israel to be over £300 million since 2016.

Similar protests took place outside Israeli-owned factories in Britain, including operations of two major Israeli weapons manufacturers, Elbit and Rafael. The UK, the United States, and European Union member states have been criticized for providing weapons and military assistance to Israel since the launch of its brutal campaign in Gaza on October 7.

Palestinian officials in Gaza report that the Israeli regime has dropped over 32,000 tons of explosives in its ongoing war of aggression, resulting in the death and injury of more than 40,000 Palestinians, primarily women and children.

Most Visited in World
Top World stories
Top Stories