Activists celebrated another victory against Israeli drone giant Elbit on
Thursday, as a British court dropped all charges.
Birmingham Magistrates Court ordered that three activists go free, despite
charges of criminal damage, resisting arrest and a charge related to suspected
The Palestine Action campaigners had targeted an Elbit landlord, Vine Property
Management in Birmingham, in the English Midlands.
The case is the second against Palestine Action to come to trial. Last month,
the group's first trial also ended in full acquittal with protesters found not
guilty of criminal damage.
The activists in the first trial successfully argued that damage they caused to
Elbit's Shenstone factory near Birmingham was proportionate action to halt the
factory's involvement in Israeli war crimes against Palestinians.
The group had chained themselves to the gates of Elbit subsidiary UAV Engines in
Shenstone and splattered the building with blood-red paint in January last year.
The three activists cleared in the second trial on Thursday had taken action to
shut down Vine Property in July last year, "as part of a wider campaign
targeting the suppliers, partners and landlords of Elbit" the group said in a
Vine is the landlord of the Shenstone factory.
"Activists chained the gates shut, occupied the roof and sprayed the site with
red paint to signify its complicity in the murder of the Palestinian people,"
They dropped a large sign calling on the landlord to "Evict Elbit."
Palestine Action said the legal victory was "hugely significant" and was more
proof that even the British courts system appears to "understand the necessity,
and proportionality, of taking action to undermine British complicity in Israeli
Activists said on Thursday that the Crown Prosecution Service had failed to
offer any evidence, leading to the charges being dropped before their political
defence of proportionate action against Israeli war crimes could be put forward
in court again.
Palestine Action said in its statement that there had been "serious failings by
the police" and an "abuse of process" by prosecutors.
Their solicitor Lydia Dagostino told The Electronic Intifada that there had been
"major failings in disclosure" by prosecutors, leading to activists walking
The Crown Prosecution Service did not respond to requests for comment.
-- Cont'd at https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/second-court-victory-palestine-action