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Palestine Action activists crash awards ceremony hosting arms firms

PALESTINIAN rights activists crashed an engineering awards ceremony in London to protest the event’s role at “celebrating the worst of Britain’s military-industrial-colonial complex.” 

Members of the Palestine Action group snuck into the event, hosted by engineering body Make UK at the opulent East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf, London, on Thursday night.

The action came after Israel launched its deadliest raid on the West Bank in years, killing 10 Palestinians.

One stormed onto the stage and grabbed the mic, telling attendees: “This morning, 10 Palestinians were murdered by the occupation forces, the zionist forces, using Elbit’s weapons. 

“The engineering industry is guilty of genocide.

“Arms companies are responsible for millions dead around the world — are you happy to profit from murder?”

Activists also set off stink bombs inside the venue, before being escorted out by private security. The group said its members were told by security that they are “banned” from entering Canary Wharf for two years. 

During the ceremony, awards were handed out to several firms that manufacture weapons including Leonardo, Airbus and BAE Systems, according to Make UK’s social media. 

Palestine Action said it targeted the gala to protest against several attendees who it claims supply weapons to Israel, including Israeli arms giant Elbit Systems, which is a member of Make UK. 

The group also highlighted the role of Spanish arms firm Airbus in supplying parts for weapons allegedly used by Saudi and UAE forces in Yemen.

The firm won the gala’s “Health and Safety” award for 2022. 

Activists from the groups disrupted an exclusive arms industry dinner last month in Marylebone, central London. 

Make UK was approached for comment. 

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