Pro-Palestine protesters lie in the road like Just Stop Oil in bid to block workers getting to Leicester factory which ‘supplies Israel with weapons’

  • Palestine Action blocked the road to stop workers getting to Elbit Systems  

Pro-Palestine protesters lay in the road in a bid to block workers accessing a factory in Leicester that the group claims supplies Israel with weapons. 

Palestine Action covered the road with their bodies to prevent workers getting to Elbit Systems at Meridian Business Park this morning. 

Their new strategy resembles that of eco protest group Just Stop Oil, who is known for causing traffic chaos by playing dead or slow marching during rush hour. 

In a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, Palestine Action said: ‘Palestine Action lock-on to lock-out the workforce and block both sides of the road leading to Leicester’s Israeli weapons factory #ShutElbitDown.

‘Join us at Meridian East, Meridian Business Park, Leicester, LE19 – Together, we will #ShutElbitDown!’

Footage shows the protesters shouting ‘Shut Elbit down’ as they stretch out their bodies to block cars driving past. 

Leicestershire Police said a 24-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of public order offences and remained in custody. 

Two activists lay on the ground attached through a lock-on, blocking the road to traffic this morning 

Specialist police officers release the activists from the lock-ons during the protest today

Specialist police officers release the activists from the lock-ons during the protest today 

Palestine Action covered the road with their bodies to prevent workers getting to Elbit Systems at Meridian Business Park this morning

Palestine Action covered the road with their bodies to prevent workers getting to Elbit Systems at Meridian Business Park this morning

An activist is attached to a lock-on in the body of a van on the southern part of Meridian East

An activist is attached to a lock-on in the body of a van on the southern part of Meridian East

The force said the arrests came after they received a report of a group of people blocking two entrances to the site – with some locking themselves on to vehicles.

Palestine Action claims the factory supplies UAV Tactical Systems (U-TacS) weapons to Israel. 

But Elbit denied this claim, despite the factory being a common site for protests from the group.  

A UAV Tactical Systems spokesperson said the UK subsidiary assisted in the production of drones for the British Army and did not supply the Israeli military, according to the BBC. 

The group has previously targeted the offices of French weapons maker Thales in London as well as the Leonardo UK site in Southampton, it was reported. 

A spokesperson for U-TacS said: ‘We will work with the authorities to prosecute any person or group threatening the safety of our staff or their important work providing critical support to the British armed forces. We are confident that our operations will continue unaffected today.

‘To be absolutely clear, U-TacS does not supply the Israeli military or Israeli Ministry of Defence. Any claims to the contrary are completely false.’

‘This group is using misinformation as a tactic to recruit people to join them and commit acts which could have serious legal consequences for those individuals.’

MailOnline has contacted Leicestershire Police for comment. 

A sign reads 'Shut Elbit down', echoing what the protesters shouted as they lay on the ground

A sign reads ‘Shut Elbit down’, echoing what the protesters shouted as they lay on the ground 

Activists lay on the ground attached through a lock-on, blocking the road to traffic

Activists lay on the ground attached through a lock-on, blocking the road to traffic

An activist is attached to a lock-on in the body of a van with an officer standing near

An activist is attached to a lock-on in the body of a van with an officer standing near

An activist is attached to a lock-on in the body of a van, with police in attendance

An activist is attached to a lock-on in the body of a van, with police in attendance 

Specialist police officers release the activists from the lock-ons during the protest today

Specialist police officers release the activists from the lock-ons during the protest today 

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