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Police ‘violently’ arrest Palestine Action protesters at factory in Birmingham

POLICE violently arrested demonstrators protesting against a Birmingham factory’s role in the Grenfell Tower fire disaster and its production of arms for Israel.

Two Palestine Action protesters occupying the roof of the Arconic factory were forcibly removed by police on Tuesday night and were still in police custody today.

Up to 300 supporters of the occupation of the factory blockaded the road outside following the forcible removal and arrest of the occupiers.

Footage on social media shows police apparently manhandling protesters and using violence, including punching.

Palestine Action today told the Morning Star: “The two on the roof were taken down at 5pm on Tuesday. They are in custody. More people got onto the roof in the evening.

“Two people have now been arrested on the ground. There are still people around at the factory and there are people outside police stations.

“People on the ground were punched by police before being arrested.

“Outside the factory, 2-300 people blocked both roads. There was heavy-handed policing.”

Today Israel launched another attack on Gaza, saying it was responding to airborne “incendiary balloons” being floated from Gaza to Israel.

The rooftop occupation of the factory began at 5am on Monday, the fourth anniversary of the Grenfell disaster in which at least 72 people died.

Arconic manufactured the flammable cladding which caused the disaster. It also makes parts for warplanes used in Israel’s 11-day attack on Gaza in which 250 people died, including 65 children.

The rooftop occupation lasted for 34 hours.

West Midlands Police said that the rooftop occupiers had “allegedly caused thousands of pounds’ worth of damage” at the factory.

It said that the occupiers were removed by “a specialist police protest removal team.”

The two occupiers were arrested “on suspicion of criminal damage, aggravated trespass and a public order offence.”

Superintendent Jack Hadley, who was in charge of operations at Arconic, said: “Other people gathered in the street in support of the protesters and at one point forced their way through a cordon. Police dog handlers were on scene for a visible deterrence and to control the crowd.”

West Midlands Police said that they are looking at the videos of police violence against the protesters before making a statement.

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