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Palestine rally demands closure of Israeli-arms factory in Oldham

A MARCH for Palestine packed the streets of Oldham in Greater Manchester at the weekend, with protesters demanding the closure of a nearby Israeli-owned arms factory.

Backed by the Lancashire Peace Forum, Oldham Peace & Justice, Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Manchester Youth for Palestine, an estimated 2,000 protesters took half an hour to march through the town centre on Saturday.

Protesters carried Palestinian flags as they chanted for the state’s freedom.

At the end of the march, a Palestinian speaker from Manchester Youth for Palestine said: “The people of Palestine are grateful to every one of you today for coming out, for taking the time to support us.” He urged the protesters to support future demonstrations and actions.

At the head of the demonstration, a line of protesters carried a banner stating “Elbit-Ferranti — stop arming Israel.”

The Elbit-Ferranti factory, situated two miles from the town centre, manufactures weapons such as drones for the Israeli military.

The factory has been the target of protests and has been repeatedly shut down by Palestine supporters mounting blockades and participating in rooftop occupations.

Protests in support of Palestine have continued across Britain since Israel’s 11-day attack on Gaza last month. Many have involved large mobilisations among Muslim communities.

On Friday, protesters laid small coffins at the gates of the BAE Systems factory outside Blackburn in Lancashire, each representing one of the more than 60 children killed in the most recent Israeli attacks on Gaza.

BAE Systems makes vital components for the F-35 military jets used in attacks on the strip.

On Saturday (June 12), a protest for Palestine will take place outside 10 Downing Street, pressing G7 leaders to end all military co-operation with Israel and to employ targeted sanctions until it complies with international law. 

And on July 9, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) will stage a student day of action to mark the 16th anniversary of the founding of the boycott, divestment & sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

It will be followed by a day of action on July 10 advocating for a boycott of Puma as part of the BDS movement.

To find out more about the actions, visit PSC’s events page on Facebook: bit.ly/PSCActions.

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