Freedom of Speech: Elbit and Fascist Policing 88

Update: Back protesting again today. I learn that 46 protestors who have been arrested have been released on the bail condition that they leave Leicestershire. Yes, the entire county.

People arrested for doing absolutely nothing but exercise the democratic right to protest, are thus prevented from exercising that right further, without a long period in jail on remand.

What is happening here is sickening.

Original post:

Monday was day eight of the protest at the Elbit Israeli weapons factory in Leicester. After seven days and over 60 arrests, fewer than 20 protestors remained.

The protestors are confined to a designated area by an order under the Public Order Act 1986. One demonstrator, who left the protest on Monday to go home, was detained by police for leaving the designated area.

Three protestors approached the police to inquire – politely – why their friend was being detained. They then returned to the cordon. 30 police then surrounded the cordon from the front and, through the woods, from the rear. They then entered and, with force, arrested the three for having left the cordon.

They also arrested two others who had never left the cordon at all, including one nervous young lady who had done absolutely nothing but stand quietly inside the designated area and had been telling fellow demonstrators how scared she was.

All the arrested people that day were BAME. White people were left alone.

As is common with demonstrations, numerous motorists had been honking their horn in support in passing. The police (and I have never heard of this before) were stopping the vehicles that sounded their horn, demanding to see driving licenses and vehicle insurance, taking down the drivers’ details and warning them they were liable to be charged with an offence.

I heard the details from eyewitnesses when I arrived on Tuesday evening to show support, and try to understand just what was happening. By Tuesday evening, the demonstration consisted of just nine people – three of whom were small children and three of whom were female.

Nevertheless there were three minibuses full of police watching them, and two burly private security guards facing them from behind the razor wire of the Elbit weapons factory, each with a large Alsatian dog on a leash. The police drone that had been overhead for a week had left shortly before we arrived.

The Elbit weapons factory is a large, non-descript modern grey building in a sprawling industrial estate outside Leicester. It has high fences and razor wire, but no identification. There is no sign with a company name. It is just labelled “Unit 13”.

In a reminder that suppression of protest was not invented in 2022, the police are operating largely through a draconian order made under the Tory “Public Order Act 1986”.

This legislation was Thatcher’s reaction to the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, to trades union picketing and to travellers.

The order – drawn up under the act by the police without any judicial authority – limits the assembly to a small “designated area” on the footpath opposite the Elbit factory, and specifically excludes the woodland beyond the footpath. It further prohibits the erection of structures for accommodation on the footpath, highway or any public path.

So protestors are not permitted to be anywhere but on the footpath, and on the footpath they are not permitted to erect tents.

The police have used this provision quite deliberately to thwart the protestors from setting up any kind of camp. The police have systematically confiscated, smashed and torn any tents, camping equipment and sleeping bags. They have even stopped protestors sheltering under a tarpaulin during Tuesday’s heavy thunderstorms.

But the right of protestors to camp out has been a traditional and regularly observed feature of western democracy, and UK democracy in particular, for centuries. Brian Haw was even permitted by the courts to stay encamped in Parliament Square for years.

I myself took part in the protest camp on the Torness nuclear power site in 1978. I addressed the Occupy! camp in front of St Paul’s Cathedral in 2011. The Faslane Peace Camp is ongoing.

The level of suppression of protest here in Leicester is not consistent with British traditions of democracy. It is policing which is aggressive and hostile in a way I am simply not used to – I have had numerous friendly conversations with policemen on demonstrations in the past.

In short, this is overtly political policing which sees peaceful protestors as “the enemy”.

It happens that early on Tuesday morning, before I travelled down to Leicester, the Israeli military killed five children and three women in bombing attacks on the helpless people of Gaza. The odds are, of course, that on any given day I came, they would have killed innocents.

Elbit Systems is Israel’s largest weapons manufacturer.

The nine surviving protestors were friendly and cheerful. I was accompanied by my friend Haward Soper, who took these photographs. Haward and I left the designated area and wandered all over the place, but the police did not bother us, we being old, white and middle class.

I asked whether the protest would still be going on come Wednesday morning. I was told yes, but there are less people in the mornings.

That is less than nine. They were, however, hoping for a big turnout this weekend.

When I was young, Palestine and apartheid South Africa were the two international injustices we most campaigned over. South African apartheid ended, but Israeli apartheid has worsened. I am still campaigning for Palestinians after 50 years.

I am most concerned that our radical energies have been successfully diverted into the sterile ground of the identity politics of the Western middle classes.

Palestinian is one of the most abused identities in the world. Focus on that.

Most of those arrested have been charged with public order offences. The Leicester Mercury is reporting about half are charged under the 2022 Public Order Act. They are going to need support through the court system.

I do urge you to make time to get here to Leicester. See the Palestine Action website for details.

Not only will you be standing against apartheid, against the slow genocide of the Palestinian people, you will be affirming your own right to stand up for what you believe.

A right the police are making very plain they intend to negate.


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88 thoughts on “Freedom of Speech: Elbit and Fascist Policing

  • Vivian O’Blivion

    “ I am most concerned that our radical energies have been successfully diverted into the sterile ground of the identity politics of the Western middle classes.”

    Nae shite McSherlock, but to what extent is this the fruit of an orchestrated campaign?
    In other news, Plaid Cymru Leader, Adam Price is expected to resign today. The fallout of yet another history of mishandled sexual harassment cases (redolent of any number of NuSNP scandals featuring pederast politicians). How is this relevant? Price is yet another homosexual, professional politician touched by the magic hand of the US State Department. In this case, a graduate of the Harvard, John F. Kennedy School of Government (an exact mirror of oor very ain John Nicolson).
    Of the seven elected Scottish politicians inducted into the State Department’s, International Visitors Leadership Programme, only Humza Yousaf is heterosexual.
    The CIA / State Department may not have invented Poststructuralism but it quickly recognised its utility as a tool for distraction, diversion and division.

    • Cynicus

       “Of the seven elected Scottish politicians inducted into the State Department’s, International Visitors Leadership Programme, only Humza Yousaf is heterosexual.”
      But he DOES belong to a minority. The identinarian template still intact.

    • Bayard

      Looks like the Yanks will have to start all over again with Llyr Gruffydd. I hope he tells them to “Cer i grafu”.

    • useless eater

      Vivian O’Blivion ” ..touched by the magic hand of the US State Department..”

      No problem if you didn’t make this up and just borrowed it. If you did make this up, make up some more please.

      I’ve been laughing for days, whenever this phrase has come to mind – that is until a growing suspicion finished growing and I realised that I too, have probably been ” ..touched by the magic hand of the US State Department..” but like a lot of the survivors of abuse deny their terrible memories.

  • Reza

    We must take into account the moral as well as legal environment British police operate in. They know they have unanimous political & media support for hammering any citizen who demonstrates solidarity with Palestinians. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury – the most respectable man in Britain according to respectable opinion – scorned the designation of Israel as an apartheid state when asked and decreed that it is actually a ‘beacon of tolerance’. So police in Britain have the highest religious as well as legal, political & media sanction to terrorise anti-apartheid demonstrators.

    And it is not only Britain. The same anti-Palestinian/pro-apartheid values characterise elites across Europe and the rest of the West. Here are two global maps — one marking countries who recognise the State of Palestine, the other marking countries sending arms to Ukraine. They are very instructive if you need at-a-glance confirmation of the morality and nobility of Western elites.

    • SleepingDog

      @Reza, I am old enough to remember the British firms selling torture equipment (shackles, thumb-cuffs, electric shock batons) to apartheid South Africa police forces, and the activism, investigative journalism and eventually rulings against them. I briefly studied the topic at university. Yet for all my information science skills, I find it very difficult to find a trace of this activity through Internet searches.

      • Reza

        Nothing would surprise me less. When the justice minister of the South African apartheid regime introduced a new coercion bill in the 1960s he said he “would be willing to exchange all the legislation of that sort for one clause of the Northern Ireland Special Powers Act.” The British have always been world leaders in oppressing others. Now they are bringing it home to crush dissent in England itself.

      • useless eater

        Hello SleepingDog, I seem to remember an incident in Glasgow, I think in the Maryhill area, in the mid 90’s, A factory producing ” ..shackles, thumb-cuffs, electric shock batons..” – and all the rest of the usual panoply of a sadist’s boudoir, was exposed by a TV documentary. It featured one of the hierarchy telling the undercover reporter how degrading or deadly their products were. He gloated that this was allowed because of the legal definition of this type of equipment was loosely defined. The factory was attacked the next day by angry locals. I don’t think much physical damage was done but the moral damage was irreparable. The place closed never to re-open. I think the owners moved away from Glasgow. Maybe a lead ?

          • useless eater

            Unfortunately, I was at work when the disturbance occurred but I heard the tales. It sounded fairly organic.

            The duped hierarch had only himself to blame. A long section of the doc, had him wielding a 3 foot long, 1,000,000 Volt, reinforced baton and worrying various objects in a hotel room while describing the terrible and potentially fatal effects of the “big boy” – a sales pitch saturated in a bizarre and frightening carceral sadism with sexual undertones. My blood certainly boiled. I think he may have claimed that he had seen the stuff used in some MIC-created hellhole, and could testify personally as to its efficacy, in reliably breaking the human spirit and body.

  • BW

    The policing by Leicestershire police at this protest has been aggressive and regularly racist. Being unfamiliar with Leicester before this protest, it struck me that the look of the police on the protest did not match the look of the city, with only a handful of BAME police, the city seemingly policed by a county force noticeably unrepresentative of the city’s diverse population.

    Having an Israeli drone factory on their doorstep is a live issue for many in Leicester, there is always the potential for actions and mass mobilisations to shut the factory down, which Elbit and the police are well aware of – an Elbit factory in Oldham had to close in similar circumstances but it seems the UAV Tactical Systems factory in Leicester is more important in Elbit’s UK infrastructure, it would be a huge defeat if they were forced out here

    *btw the premises is Unit F on the Meridian ind. estate*

  • An Edinburgh Jew

    The usual anti-Israeli lack of balance with no mention of the many innocent Israeli civilians killed by Palestinian terrorists.
    Peace will only come to the Middle East when Israel’s neighbours accept its right to exist. It will be 75 years old this weekend and is still battling for recognition. Israel is not undertaking genocide or apartheid; merely defending itself.

    • glenn_nl

      If you think this is anti-Israeli, you – yourself – are seriously out of balance.

      “Many” Israeli civilians have been killed by Palestinian terrorists, you say. How many Palestinians have been killed by Israelis this year, in comparison? How about last year, or this decade so far? Please don’t weasel around with definitions of terrorist either, since Israel has been terrorising the people it has been occupying for decades.

      Does Israel accept the Palestinian’s “right to exist”?

    • BW

      The subject here is an Israeli arms factory in Leicester and the lengths the UK police will go to defend it

      A direct UK role in the Israeli military occupation of Palestine and the war crimes committed using Elbit products, and not only Israel the company sells its products to numerous other repressive regimes, they will have definitely been used in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

      If you want “balance” you have a whole corporate media to choose from who will tactfully avoid any reference to the UK arms industry or the conflicts it fuels and profits from

    • Lapsed Agnostic

      Still battling for recognition, EJ? Unlike Palestine, Israel is a member of the UN and has been since shortly after it was founded. As for the ‘merely defending itself’, I’ll leave that to others on this site, since my response would likely see this comment get deleted by the mods.

    • Stevie Boy

      A recent poll indicated that ~95% of Israelis support the actions of their government, therefore my assumption is that virtually every Israeli is an apartheid loving fascist.
      And, let’s not forget many Jews do not support Israel, as well as the fact that Israel does not recognize all Jews as equals.
      If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it certainly is one.
      Peace will only come to the Middle East when Israel stops being a genocidal, apartheid loving fascist state.

    • Reza

      Israel had a moral right to exist in Germany. It has no moral right to exist in the middle east. It would have had zero chance of being voted into existence in 1948 if the decolonised nations of today had been independent UN members.

    • Ian

      Yasser Arafat recognised Israel’s ‘right to exist’ (an entirely made up right btw) decades ago, but not of course at the expense of the innocent people who had lived and farmed there for centuries. Of course this did not satisfy the occupiers, thieves and murderers, who make routine demands like this as a political fig leaf for their land and property theft. Try acquainting yourself with the history of occupation and destruction of Palestinian lands.

    • Republicofscotland

      An Edinburgh Jew.

      Astonishing is all I can say to that comment, especially this sentence.

      ” Israel is not undertaking genocide or apartheid; merely defending itself.”

    • Crispa

      Best for the facts to speak for themselves. B’Tselem has been tracking deaths for 14 years. “Overall, the group has recorded 8,166 conflict-related deaths, of which 7,065 are Palestinian and 1,101 Israeli. That means 87 percent of deaths have been Palestinian and only 13 percent Israeli. Put another way, for every 15 people killed in the conflict, 13 are Palestinian and two are Israeli.—
      That number is even more staggering when you consider that there are about twice as many Israelis as there are Palestinians”. (Source

    • useless eater

      An Edinburgh Jew – how is the weather in the Sea of Tranquility just now?

      I ask because I cannot explain the logic of your statement except by deducing you are shilling from the moon. From a long way a way, things, obviously, look different to how they are on earth. You must be a long, long way a way, no?

      Let me explain

      When two tribes go to war, apparently, a point is all you can score.

      If both sides score a point – that is two dead people and the score is 1 – 1

      If one tribe scores seven and the the other one, that is eight dead people and the score is 7 – 1

      This is. I believe is called context – correct me if I am wrong. Without context. what is a judgement?

      “.. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing”

    • Graeme

      I’m always intrigued by those who would support Palestinian terrorists against the state of Israel. To me it seems obvious that the Palestinians have no desire for peace, only the destruction of Israel, which they will pursue unto the last of their children. The Israelis are quite rightly using every effort to protect themselves.
      i.e. if the Palestinians put down their weapons there will be peace. If the Israelis put down their weapons they will be killed.

      • Reza

        I’m intrigued by anybody who regards illegal occupation & dehumanising apartheid as “peace” & the proper endgame for Palestinians. How racist do you need to be to reach that point?

    • terence callachan

      Edinburgh Jew what an idiotic thing to say.

      p.s. the Jews in London are even protesting about the way Jews treat Palestinians

    • Dr Michael Duncan

      Yes that recognition is essential, but it is not the answer to all the issues. Israel was created to be a new nation for the ethno-religious population that are the Jewish people. By its very nature it affords status and rights to Jewish people over non-Jewish people. That, unfortunately, is apartheid. No amount of innocent civilian deaths changes that. Furthermore, civilian deaths will inevitably go on until this fundamental issue is dealt with.
      The Palestinian population are second class citizens in the geographical region that they have always lived in because of that.
      This then is the problem to be resolved – Palestinian emancipation and Jewish security in the same place, at the same time.
      Attacking the ‘other side’ is a non-starter. We have had decades of that.

      I have a suggestion for Israel, based on the Northern Ireland template: Israel must move towards being non-discriminatory and create – on a ‘twin track’ process – inalienable protected structures for Jews within the state of Israel, but grant equal rights to those who are not Jewish.

      Israel has been on a ‘war footing’ since its inception, and the longer this remains the case the more acrimonious things will become; but Israel will be secure only when it empowers the Palestinians.
      It is a paradox – but maybe it is an answer.


    • Beware the Leopard

      An Edinburgh Jew: “Peace will only come to the Middle East when Israel’s neighbours accept its right to exist”

      Does any ethnostate established through the ethnic cleansing of an indigenous population have a “right” to exist? From a certain point of view, this is merely an empirical question. And from that point of view, the “right to exist” is simply the capacity to do so, albeit phrased in the cant of ethnonarcissism.

      Color me shocked that Palestinians persist in contesting the state that has appropriated their land, and with as much force as they can muster. And to the extent they have neighbors that support them in that struggle, those sound like pretty good neighbors to me.

  • Jeff

    Soldiers firing live rounds at wee weans throwing stones.

    “….Israel is not undertaking genocide or apartheid; merely defending itself….”

    Aye, right.

    • useless eater

      “Soldiers firing live rounds at wee weans throwing stones.”

      Thanks James, memory grows dim as the hands of the clock move inexorably to midnight. Your sparse message triggered a flood of memories.

      It chimes with how I remember Scotland and the voice of it’s people – a trigger was needed to bring this memory forth. I am most grateful.

      I feel the image of your avatar captures blissful repose – yet your words encapsulate the watchfulness of the “kindly ones” as they look to the care of the children.

      I found you Scots a mighty people, who knew the gifts of peace and celebrated them – full of love, poetry and spine – , not everyone of course but the great majority.

  • SleepingDog

    Of course, it is also possible that police don’t generally arrest anyone they guess are undercover police or corporate infiltrators in protest groups, and have prejudices about their apparent demographic. I guess political police have successfully infiltrated Republic, but for some reason the pretext they hoped to arrest group members on failed to materialise (whose job was it to put lock-on equipment in their van?).

  • nevermind

    75 years of ignoring the UN charter and the aims and objectives of the Balfour declaration, ignoring the human rights of Palestine and systematically destroying its culture, experience, scientific prowess, its once advanced educational facillities.

    Israel has shot and killed children, stolen internationally recognised parts of Palestine, stolen the Golan and its resources from Syria and Gaza, whilst trying to control every aspect and politics of Palestine. Goods in and out are under control of Israel.

    Most importantly its democracy is being undermined by Zionists who use fascist measures to spread insecurity amongst its own population. Its future is unsustainable without the US arms, without negotiating peaceful relations with its neighbours. Who would want to raise children in a totalitarian rogue state without declared borders, a tiny country that wants to start wars with Iran and sell arms to anyone who pays.
    Nice if you can live in Edinburgh supporting this fraud-infested regime, without hearing the screams of those gasping for air when attacked with phosphor bombs in Gaza.
    For they will do to others what was done to them.
    Thanks to Craig and Haward for bearing witness of 60 police arrests, whilst the media is still fawning about six protesters at the coronation. Diversion tactics all round.

  • Jack

    Occupation check
    Annexation check
    Ethnic cleansing check
    Certain genocidial acts check

    But no, the palestinians will never get any tanks, fighter jets to defend their state from the so called humanitarian west. Funny how easily people can be duped to support if the same occur in Russia/Ukraine war.
    And where are ICC? Hello Mr Karim Khan where are you??

    The 90s generation seems to be the last generation that had an interest in the Israel/Palestine conflict.
    Much to the blame of mainstream leftist parties that have become so weak and so pussyfooting around criticising Israel past decades.

    By the way, talking about identity politics, the fearless Norman Finkelstein recently put out a shredding prose of identity politics, cancel culture, woke etc and other senseless ideas the middle-class-mainstream-left focus on today:
    In his new book, Finkelstein focuses his keen forensic eye on the canonical texts of identity politics. After methodically parsing them, Finkelstein concludes that they’re lacking in intellectual substance. Instead, the real purpose of identity politics is to derail a class-based movement bent on radical change.

    Tellingly Tariq Ali refused to put out this book on his Verso book label and urged Norman to calm down.

  • Robert Dyson

    “I am most concerned that our radical energies have been successfully diverted into the sterile ground of the identity politics of the Western middle classes.”
    Yes. I noted that Joanna Cherry, whom I have come to like a lot over the years, had a presentation she was going to give blocked by the venue because of such politics. Give the masses distraction and circuses (no bread anymore).

  • pasha

    “Israel has a right to exist!”
    “Erm, not so fast. Israel isn’t a territory, it’s a collection of tribes. We’ve been wandering in the desert for forty years. Now here’s Canaan. It’s ours.”
    “But . . . isn’t it already occupied by Canaanites?”
    “Well, yes. That’s why we brought our swords.”
    “So we need to smite them first?”
    “That’s the idea. Yahweh told us to do it.”
    “Just a second. We’d rather chat, and maybe share the land. The Canaanites seem like nice people. Don’t we get a vote?”
    “You’re women. You’re Jewish. So no. And all you conscientious objectors can sod off too. Go and tend the cooking fires, us real men will be peckish, what with all the smiting.”
    And in the Holy Land, as it was, so it will be.

    • Stevie Boy

      The historical evidence for the bible story is non existent.
      The original texts were written around the 7th/8th century BC, the exodus myths occurred around the 13th Century BC. Much like the new testament the ‘official narrative’ was compiled by religious committee many hundreds of years after the events, and the religious committees ensured that any deviant texts were excluded from the narrative.

      • David

        Bit out of date there. If you live much longer and keep an eye open I’m sure there will be more evidence discovered to support the Biblical narrative. Not like that hasn’t been happening for a century or more already 😉

        On topic: as a Christian I find it alarming how many professed believers seem to be uncritically pro-Israel. We should be treating others with love and compassion, showing justice and mercy, not oppressing the poor and the widow, etc. The modern state of Israel seems totally Godless and lacking in compassion. The people in charge are perhaps making the same mistakes as their ancestors did 2000 years ago – obsessing over the earthly kingdom and ignoring the Heavenly, to everyone’s detriment.

        “For he (Abraham) looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

        • terence callachan

          For gods sake …stop believing in god he doesn’t exist , if he did , the war in Ukraine would have been stopped by his mighty hand and all those who died brought back to life , all those who killed forgiven then all those without food fed with a mars bar .

          • Bayard

            “For gods sake …stop believing in god he doesn’t exist”
            Of course God exists and will continue to exist, so long as anyone believes in him. The argument “your god doesn’t exist otherwise he would be doing ” was a feeble one when it was first brought up hundreds of years ago and hasn’t improved with age.

          • Stevie Boy

            Interestingly there are thousands of religions and thousands of associated gods followed in the world today. It’s not clear which ones we should follow but here in the West I’d hazard a guess that we would be expected to follow the western approved, imperialist gods. The only valid conclusion is that mankind hasn’t moved on much from ancient cultures and that people need something to believe in and to make sense of their (vacuous) lives !

          • Bayard

            “and that people need something to believe in and to make sense of their (vacuous) lives !”

            As G.K.Chesterton said “When men stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything”
            – like the right for the state of Israel to treat some of its inhabitants how it likes.

  • Ian

    Thanks, Craig, for taking the trouble to go down there and make a first hand report, one I haven’t seen anywhere else. It is chilling, and sounds like an excerpt from a dystopian novel. The police are out of control, unaccountable, and now given powers to arrest anybody on any pretext, at any time. What is it we used to call states where that happened and deplore them? And now, in the UK, we have these authoritarian, police state laws. After WW2 the UN human rights act, subsumed in the European Human Rights Act, was declared in order to avoid future descents into fascism and state control of populations. It is notable that we, once signatories to those, have now outlawed at least two basic provisions of them, namely freedom of speech and protest, and freedom from arbitrary arrest. Israel, similarly authoritarian, will be delighted we are implementing their values in defence of a factory making weapons to kill innocent civilians, including children. Are they really so threatened by a legitimate protest which will not actually close down or threaten Elbit systems, but will draw attention to the state violence supported by us? Is it illegal to do so now? That is the way it is going, as we saw at the weekend with the erasure of any small protest at the coronation. I expect the thought police is the next Home Office plan (and let’s be plain, the HO are the evil bastards driving a lot of this legislation and encouraging the police to act politically and crush dissent).
    And yet none of the main political parties want to know.

  • Ian Fantom

    Sooner or later police officers will start defecting and telling their stories. Given half an opportunity we should encourage them in this. Every time I see a police officer I bear in mind that if that officer had been given an order to shoot me they would have done without question. I’d have problems in defunding the police, but I do think that the financing of the political infiltrators should have been traced and deducted from their operations. This does not augur well for our new globalist king.

    • useless eater

      “..I do think that the financing of the political infiltrators..”

      This story reached boiling point for me, when police infiltrators started having children with the infiltrated.
      Should anyone, anywhere be given this birthright? The people running this type of operation are moral deviants and should all be facing long prison sentences and also any politician who signed off on it.This is child abuse of the unborn; add precrime notions to this and savour the destructive flavour of moral squalour – nihilism squared

  • Republicofscotland

    The Americanisation (tactics) of UK police forces via the Tories is well underway, we know that certain sections of society such as the royals when in public, sees the police become more heavy handed, mind you during the miners strikes Thatcher had the police thrash the poor striking miners, kettling and intimidation mixed with allowing women to be threatened and abused by the trans community in public are the new norms for the police.

    Israeli officials have UK politicians in their pockets: Shai Masot being a prime example – Masot is a close friend of Angus Robertson of the SNP. The Israeli drone factory in England will get added protection because of the influence they have. The UK is on the way to becoming an authoritarian state; the World Press Freedom Index puts the UK at number 26.

    • Stevie Boy

      It’s relevant to note that certain UK police units have received training from the Israelis, as have the police in the USA. Them fascist forces have to stick together to preserve the western regimes.

  • Mary Bennett

    Who is Elbit?
    Wiki gives the publicly known bare bones facts about the actually group of companies. Was there any opposition to the original siting of the factory? Does Britain have a permitting process for new factories? Can the public comment? In the USA companies wishing to build in a certain area have to budget for public relations campaign—Jobs! Money for schools!—and lobbying (bribing) of local officials. So annoying that the hicks have to be placated.

    “I am most concerned that our radical energies have been successfully diverted into the sterile ground of the identity politics of the Western middle classes.”

    IDK about Britain but here in the USA that phenomenon most definitely did not happen by accident. Left leaning foundations have made quite an art out of diverting the attention and energies of the organizations they fund.
    Timing is important. “Issues” re trans, intersectionality, etc., allegedly with us since the beginning of time, surfaced about a year or so after the Occupy protests were put down.

    • Squeeth

      Apropos, I grew up in Mansfield and watched buses driving by with steel mesh over the windows. Made me glad I was a student in Plymouth and only back during vacations. I swallowed nervously when someone said “scab” a bit too loud in The Angel though.

  • LeeJ

    what gets me is the enthusiasm with which the individual police officers enforce these unjust laws. It’s as if they are robots.

    • Stevie Boy

      The unfortunate fact is that the average police recruit is not the brightest spoon in the drawer. Sadly, In many deprived areas the poorly educated have three career choices: the army, the police or crime. So, we shouldn’t be surprised that the ‘boys in blue’ are happy to follow orders …

  • FranzB

    The co-founder of Palestine Action Huda Ammori was arrested after being followed by an unmarked police car.

    More Minority Report type stuff. Arrested because of something she might do in the future.

    (re the press, heard a piece with Tina Brown (wife of the late Harold Evans) on BBC R4 this morning about supporting investigative journalism. Bellingcat got two mentions. The US journalist who’s been in prison for one month in Russia was mentioned. Julian Assange who’s been in Belmarsh since April 2019 wasn’t mentioned –

  • Tom74

    But I assume on this, and indeed at the Coronation, that the police were acting on information and/or advice from the intelligence agencies. So it is disingenuous of the media to try to blame the police, when the decisions were probably made elsewhere at the Home Office.

    • fonso

      The media is condemning the police for this? I missed that. But I agree the police are simply responding to a political culture that valorizes arming an apartheid state to murder babies, toddlers, journalists etc. Sir Keir Starmer will try and outdo the Tories in valorizing it.

      • nevermind

        White Knight Starmer was the chap who handed the undercover police carte blanche, ending up by having to embarrass the victims and disappearing the issue of ‘police having babies with environmentalists’ into the long grass.

        He is so full of himself being Washington’s preferred successor to Rishi that he is contemplating to go into coalition with a party who did not see Brexit coming. His type of policing would be just as it’s done in Leicester.

        The police are now soldiers on our streets ready to fight us to keep this wretched system going.

  • Harry Law

    All the protests in the world [good as they are] will not stop the West’s love affair with Israel. Israel will have to learn the hard way,
    Israel has just as much to fear from ‘the arc of resistance’ Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah and their precision conventional weapons, than any perceived nuclear ones. Iran has underground factories churning these missiles out 24/7 and are placing them in silos all over Iran’s vast deserts and along the shores of the strait of Hormus. A few minutes flight time from those glittering glass skyscrapers along the GCC coast, and well within range of Tel Aviv, remember that city [Metropolitan area 52 sq miles] and housing most of Israel’s population and industry and is also in range of Hezbollah’s huge arsenal of precision missiles. The US objections to the JCPOA were about including these missiles in a new agreement with Iran, the US must think everyone is stupid.
    Jerusalem needs help from Washington to prevail in a terrible conflict’
    This included another link to Uzi Rubin who set out the tumbling costs of the Iran/Hezbollah precision missile programme and how the smart phone has revolutionized the system, these systems used to cost many thousands, now he talks in terms of tens of dollars. He talked about Greece as an example of a small state and how 225 precision weapons could make Greece unviable by hitting power stations, docks and water supplies etc. Left unsaid was the tiny state of Israel which would be even more vulnerable, he spoke about if Hezbollah had only 1000 precision missiles and with Iron done shooting down 90%, that 10% that got through would still do the job. Of course Theodore A Postal a physicist is professor emeritus of science, technology, and national security policy at MIT, estimated that the Iron Dome is not working, and that its success rate was only about 5%. and that against Hamas bottle rockets.
    The main deficit of any Israeli defence against precision missiles is sheer numbers which can saturate a target, also of course there is the cost at 100,000 dollars per missile. The Israelis have faith in more F35’s [cost 100 million dollars each plane, paid for by the US] assuming Hezbollas’s missiles cost 100,000 dollars per copy and consist of an aluminium tube filled with fuel, a warhead, winglets and a smart phone , then Hezbollah would have 1000 missiles [well hidden] for the cost of one F35 not well hidden and based at Nevatim Air base. The Foreign policy link and the Uzi Rubin link within it are highly recommended.

    • nevermind

      thanks for the links, Harry Law, and Mr. Rubin’s introduction on how to convert agricultural irrigation tubes made from lightweight aluminium into smart missiles, a revelation of considerable impact.
      But will our police/Elbit’s soldiers be reined in by an electioneering Tory Government? I somehow doubt it.

    • useless eater

      Harry Law, just had a look on F35 costs – a very wide range of unit price, depending on the source of the data.

      “F-35A conventional takeoff and landing model: $117 million, $112 million, $108 million.
      F-35B “jump-jet” model: $145 million, $137 million, $134 million.
      F-35C carrier variant: $134 million, $130 million, $129 million.”
      George Allison, UK defence journal

      “A single Air Force F-35A costs a whopping $148 million. One Marine Corps F-35B costs an unbelievable $251 million. A lone Navy F-35C costs a mind-boggling $337 million. Average the three models together, and a “generic” F-35 costs $178 million.
      It gets worse. These are just the production costs. Additional expenses for research, development, test and evaluation are not included. The dollars are 2015 dollars. This data was just released by the Senate Appropriations Committee in its report for the Pentagon’s 2015 appropriations bill”.
      www wearethemighty com

      The MIC seems unsure of how much they actually cost. It is clearly in the interests of the MIC to downplay these unbelievable numbers Military accounting has never been an exact science – a liberal mix of mysticism and graft – with all the death and destruction as the sting in the tail. Note the British MIC and the American MIC both count these fantastical sums in dollars. Also these figures seem to be from 2015 or thereabouts.

      The roles are reversed; David is Goliath and Goliath is David or in the case you describe above, Goliath is many Davids – Slingshots to the Juggernaut.

      nevermind ” ..a revelation of considerable impact.”

      – is this your entry for understatement of the year? If so, you will get my vote. Recognised by the cognoscenti as one of the most challenging techniques of rhetoric and just like icebergs, most of the meaning of an understatement lies beneath – out of sight but not out of mind.

  • Jack

    Speaking on weapons…
    UK supplies long-range missiles to Kiev – CNN
    The new capability is touted as a “game changer” by a US official, speaking to the news network

    From the point of view of Russia this situation is getting absurd and humiliating, how can the west be able to transfer arms shipment after arms shipment and Russia is still not able to strike these objects as soon as they arrive on ukrainian land? Of course the west will continue to escalate if Russia do not respond and take these weapons out of the war directly!
    I am not pro-war but I sure do know that one are not winning any war by this this half-measure attitude Russia have followed as a strategy during the war.

    • Squeeth

      The Allies are not the SS, they are trying to limit casualties to everyone bar the US-Ukronaizi putschists. The Allies are doing a very good job of turning the towns and cities of the Donbas into Fallujah but not their former inhabitants.

      It’s a mistake to treat warfare as a win-lose coin toss, the Allied are succeeding where Falkenhayn failed in 1916.

  • Harry Law

    The US military bases would take a hammering in the event that a war is started against Hezbollah or Iran, witness the destruction at the US Al Asad air base in Iraq when Soleimani was murdered, then just 15 precision missiles were used, 11 hit what they were supposed to hit and destroyed the air base, remember most US bases surrounding Iran including the largest in Qatar and the US fifth fleet in Bahrain are but 1 or two minutes ballistic flying time from Iranian missiles, the US would lose them all. It’s not that the US or Israel do not have the means to defend themselves [in theory] it is that those defences would be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of missiles involved, including decoy missiles. The US are backing the wrong horse in the Middle East, Israeli expansionism and Apartheid will be defeated militarily.

    • Lapsed Agnostic

      Iranian missiles didn’t destroy the Al-Asad airbase, Harry – they just destroyed a Black Hawk and some tents. There were no fatalities or serious injuries – just a few US troops needing to be treated for concussion. Whilst large-scale attacks on Israel by Hezbollah’s PGMs will probably do plenty of damage to Israeli infrastructure, it won’t be existential: the vast majority of people can live without electricity for a few days or weeks – as they often have to in Gaza. What will herald the death knell for Israel is much more likely to be a mass uprising by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of armed Palestinian youth, but we’ll probably have to wait a few decades for that.

      • Harry Law

        Lapsed Agnostic, the US were given at least 5 hours warning of the attack, plenty of time for US personnel to get in their bunkers, this was an intentionally limited attack. It is well known that Hezbollah have a minimum of 100,000 missiles many precision ones, in fact Hassan Nasrallah has said they have more than enough missile capability and wants no more. Remember when one Hamas rocket landed 1 mile from Ben Gurion airport and the FAA closed the airport for a few days. The Israeli government went berserk claiming the Israeli economy would be severely hit through loss of tourism and the airports crucial role in import and export.

        • Lapsed Agnostic

          Thanks for your reply Harry. Not all the personnel at Al-Asad were in bunkers; some were manning the perimeter in anticipation of an attack by Iraqi Shia militias, which never came.

          Hezbollah is estimated to have 14,000 Zelzal missiles, which have a range of circa 200 km and are capable of reaching most of Israel. Most of the rest, however, are shorter range and can only reach Northern Israel (see the map on page 7 of this report):

          As I said in my previous comment, large-scale rocket attacks on infrastructure in Israel will cause a good deal of damage and disruption, and likely cause an economic downturn, but they won’t lead to its downfall, and indeed will galvanise the population against the attackers – look at what’s happened in Ukraine.

    • Jack

      Harry –
      If Hizbollah or Iran would make a substantial strike the US will, unfortunately, be able to strike back of course.
      Best is of course if Arab states could unite for once and kick out the Americans diplomatically/sanction-wise.

  • mark cutts

    Pretty straightforward for myself this.

    The main aim is to prevent Trades Unions and their members from protesting for better pay/conditions etc.

    One of Thatcher’s cleverest dodges (and scariest to Union Leaders) was the law to sequestrate Union Funds – meaning the leaders of the Unions wouldn’t get paid as well as the members if they went on an ‘illegal’ strike.

    The only Union leaders who were brave enough to ignore that price to pay was Arthur Scargill and a few others.

    Not dissimilar to Labour today Kinnock opened his mouth a lot but said and backed nothing.

    If these draconian and anti-democratic laws are accepted by the people and of course the media the next move will be to ban Trades Unions completely or to have deformed style of Company Unions as they have in Germany.

    All looks democratic but isn’t of course.

    The truth is that the current lot of Western leaders are intent on protecting and enhancing the profits of the people they already work for
    (and the ones they hope to work for in the future – post-MP career) and their further backing and promotion of the failed Neo-liberal economic policies in place since 1979.

    This requires the continuous robbery of ordinary people even more so and for all the media pundits Austerity has not just never ended – it is being applied with knobs on for the future.

    There are reports in the US non-MSM that depositors money is being ‘Bailed In’ by failed Banks in order to pay the failed Banks creditors – the very big banks.

    If true, then expect the same in the EU and certainly in the UK.

    Depositors will become de-facto shareholders in the failed banks.

    Your 10k deposit will then fall to 5k as the other 5k in deposit will go towards paying the creditors of the failed bank.

    It’s on its way.

    p.s. The reason for inflation goes back to the Financial Crash and the insane policy of very low or even negative Interest Rate.

    It could never last as in the end the low rates would have to be paid for down the line.

    We are now down the line and this is the main reason for the sharp rises in inflation.

    Brexit and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has added fuel to the fire but the fire was started in 2008 when many banks that should have been bankrupted weren’t, as they were ‘too big to fail’.

    It looks as though they are ‘failing’ again and like Arnie – ‘They’ll be back!’

    • Squeeth

      @ mark cutts

      (and the ones they hope to work for in the future – post MP career) and their further backing and promotion of the failed Neo–liberal economic policies in place since 1979.

      Not 1979, 1976 and the policies have been a great success; rich bastards are richer than ever before.

  • Bob (not OG)

    (‘Elbit’ – it sounds so innocuous, like it might be a children’s TV show ‘Elbit and Friends’.)
    I decided, risking severe nausea, to watch some MSM ‘news’ coverage of the latest air strikes on Gaza. On the BBC and Sky’s 0800 shows, I watched in vain, waiting for some mention… at 0810 the BBC covered Eurovision. At 0815, still no coverage… Then a ‘story’ on the BBC about a bed shortage (???) which went on for over ten minutes, including a fawning studio ‘interview’ with a charity boss (meanwhile, still nothing about beds and their occupants being blown to bits in Palestine…). Sky had a bit about Mirror Group ‘News’papers and Prince Harry.
    In both half hour bulletins, zero mention of Israel’s latest atrocities.
    Then in the afternoon, some ‘breaking news’, a man had been killed by rockets in Israel. This followed Israel launching air strikes “which killed two militants” – no mention whatsoever of all the civilian deaths.
    All this one year on from the brutal assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh, which also received no coverage by Sky/BBC etc.
    How has it come to this? Real investigators and journalists get sidelined or persecuted and what remains is utterly shameless state propaganda and lies.
    The status quo, the system itself is psychopathic (to put it mildly).
    I have come the conclusion that governments are the problem, and voting only encourages them.

  • Roger

    In a protest I attended FAMEs were targeted. FAMEs are Friesian cows, Amphibians, Mice and Eagles. It was a diverse group brought together by a shared feeling of injustice.

      • Beware the Leopard

        On precisely what grounds are ethnic and racial groups included (or not) in the category named by the term Roger satirises? Who benefits from the institutionalisation of such a muddled and disjunctive category?

        BAME term offends those it attempts to describe, sporting survey finds
        Paul MacInnes, The Guardian, 2020-11-12

        The Sporting Equals survey found its members felt ‘BAME’ blended ethnicity, geography and nationality in ways that made it difficult to convey the individual experience of racism. It is also, respondents felt, a phrase that could be used to suggest greater inclusion, without genuinely opening up opportunities to all communities.
        Finally, respondents said that the phrase had come to be used in “such a casual and lackadaisical way” that many felt offended when it was used about them.

        Side note: I wish news articles would be more meticulous about including links to documents (such as surveys) that form the bases of their reports, and I find their omission suspicious. And, when links are not included because the documentation is proprietary and not freely available (as seems possible in this case), I feel this ought to be indicated up front, rather than left unsaid.

        • zoot

          ” All the arrested people that day were BAME. White people were left alone. ”

          information definitely warranting satire. borne out by appreciation from a like mind.

  • zoot

    a terrifying report because if even a heinous company like this cannot be legitimately protested then what can? Elbit as you say is the largest weapons supplier to a govt that openly admits it is fascist and is killing innocent people every day. if police greet peaceful protest against such a company with rage and pitiless crushing – and for there to be no political or media comment on the crushing – it is further evidence Britain is not normal and has slipped even by its own standards to somewhere very dark.

  • Jack

    How will the election in Turkey this weekend change the relationship with Israel?
    Erdogan seems to fall judging from the polls and the oppostional rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu seems to win.

    I did a quick google search:
    Kilicdaroglu have said he would join sanctions on Russia and claimed yesterday that Russia spread disinformation about him
    He have also said he would be more pro-EU/Nato (and approve Nato candidate Sweden as a member).
    He have said he would mend ties with Syria while taking a tougher position on Greece, Saudiarabia and Israel.

  • Bayard

    ” I learn that 46 protestors who have been arrested have been released on the bail condition that they leave Leicestershire. Yes, the entire county.”
    Mind you, back in the 80s I had a Dutch friend who told me she had been told by the West Berlin police to leave Berlin and never to come back again for crossing the street against a red light on a pedestrian crossing.