Thanet Star

Protesters occupy Broadstairs factory

Pretesters have climbed on to the roof and blocked the gates of Broadstairs company Instro Precision for the second time this year, claiming the company is a manufacturer of unmanned drones used in Israel's massacre of Gazans in summer 2014. Writes Kathy Bailes for the Thanet Gazette.

The protesters were objecting to Instro Precision Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Israeli arms giant Elbit Systems Ltd, and the part they claim Elbit Systems Ltd have had in the deaths during the assult on Gaza.

The Instro Precision factory which is on the Pysons Road industrial estate in Broadstairs manafactures "target acquisition" equipment which are later fitted to Elbit Systems Ltd's drones.

According to a video release by protesters: The action marked the anniversary of the start of Israel's massacre of Gazans last summer, and Elbit was chosen because it supplies 85% of the Israeli military's drones and deliberately profits from the carnage in Gaza by marketing its products as "battle-tested" (meaning they've been used to kill and maim Palestinians).

The activists also leafletted the area to raise local awareness as they claim (probably with considerable justification) that Thanet people are largely unaware of the connection to the Gaza bombings.

There are also protests against Elbit in both Melbourne, Australia, and in Shenstone, Staffordshire taking place simultaneously, accroding to Maria Chiorando of Kent News.

In Broadstairs the atmosphere was both festive, write the protesters, thanks to the sound system that protesters got inside the perimeter, and poignant, as they took turns to write the names of Gazans murdered by Israel last summer on white ribbons, which were then tied to the factory fence. The company's staff were confronted with this sight on their arrival at work on 7 July, as the ribbons were not cut down overnight.

The company is not known to have made any statement to the press. Thanet Gazette received no answer when they called on them.

The following video was made by the protesters.

What's your take on this? Did you know that Broadstairs had an international connection? How do you feel about that? Let us know in the comments.

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