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Jailed activist who occupied roof of Grenfell cladding firm on hunger strike

A JAILED Palestine Action activist who occupied the roof of a factory that made Grenfell Tower cladding has been on hunger strike for a week.

The activist has made a series of demands involving Israeli firm Elbit Systems, whose five British factories make arms for the Israeli military.

On June 14 — the fourth anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire which killed at least 72 people — three activists occupied the roof of the Arconic factory in Kitts Green in Birmingham.

Arconic also makes components for weapons sold to the Israeli military.

After two days the three activists were arrested. Two were released but one was remanded in custody.

The prisoner is using the name Yogi Bear and has made four demands: the release of all Palestine Action prisoners (the prisoner is the only one at the moment); the eviction of Elbit from its London headquarters by property firm LaSalle Investment Management, which owns the building; the closure of all Elbit Systems’ British operations; and the release by the government of all correspondence and documents relating to its dealings with Elbit and its subsidiaries.

The prisoner says that the hunger strike will end if any one of the four demands are met.

A Palestine Action spokesperson said: “Yogi represents what the police and state forces fear most: an individual willing to sacrifice their health and liberty to prevent further injustice being committed in their name and on their doorstep.

“The likes of Arconic and Elbit would do well to see what conscientiousness means and to recognise that people are not afraid of taking action to prevent their criminal business from continuing.

“Yogi has our full support and solidarity, and we commend their extraordinary bravery. We require a response to our demands from the British state, Elbit Systems and/or LaSalle Investment Management.”

It comes as Palestine Action activists who occupied the roof of Elbit Ferranti factory in Oldham on Monday were arrested today before being released on bail.

The three Palestine Action supporters set off flares before going into the factory, where they are reported to have wrecked machinery and damaged drones in the process of production.

The drones are sold to Israel and have been used in recent attacks on Gaza.

A demonstration will take place outside the Oldham factory on Wednesday.


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