Palestinian struggle: Declare the ‘Elbit Eight” not guilty or deserving of prosecution


We, the undersigned, declare the ‘Elbit Eight” not guilty or deserving of prosecution, their actions built on an indelible commitment to the Palestinian struggle. Rather, it is Elbit Systems who are guilty, and who should be be shut down everywhere.
In 2020, eight activists sparked the launch of the robust direct action network ‘Palestine Action’, that for over two years, has targeted Israel’s largest arms manufacturer – Elbit Systems. In that time, Palestine Action has undertaken more than 250 actions at Elbit, each one disrupting the manufacture of Israeli weapons on British soil, whilst building up pressure for the permanent closure of all Elbit sites in Britain.

Hundreds have been inspired to face arrest, sacrifice liberties and put their bodies on the line in order to disrupt business as usual for Elbit. All this was spurred on by the first six months of Palestine Action, carried by the team of activists known as the ‘Elbit Eight’. The campaign has been hugely successful, costing the arms company many millions of pounds, and forcing the closure of two sites this year – Elbit Ferranti (Manchester) and 77 Kingsway (London).

Unable to stem the tide of popular, hard-hitting, grassroots resistance to Elbit’s war profiteering, the company has turned to the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) and the British police to aid in attempts at stopping Palestine Action. The Elbit Eight now face highly politicised charges of not only burglary and criminal damage, but also heavily contrived blackmail charges.

On October 10th, the CPS will bring said charges and commence trial against the Elbit Eight. Amongst them are cofounders Richard Barnard and Huda Ammori, both threatened with 38 years’ potential prison sentences.

Themselves and another activist stand accused of the alleged ‘blackmail’ of Elbit’s landlords – owing to letters sent to real estate company JLL promising direct action until they terminated Elbit’s lease. This is a tactic commonly used by protest groups – an exception has evidently been made because these activists have dared to stand with Palestine, to challenge the authority and military backing of Israel.

Furthermore, the charge of blackmail allows the possibility of a Serious Crime Prevention Order, which would prevent the accused trio from Palestine-related campaigning for life – an obscene and deplorable possibility for Huda, who is Palestinian-Iraqi. If this act of lawfare is successful, it would constitute an attack on the right to protest for all.

These politically motivated charges must not be allowed to stand. Rather, the actors of the CPS, if they wish to enforce justice, ought to turn their gaze to Elbit – whose war crimes in occupied Palestine and across the world, are many. Elbit is guilty – the Elbit Eight are not.

The accused activists have demonstrated an immutable conviction in the Palestinian cause, their values and beliefs channeled into successful direct action. They will be standing in defence of not only themselves, but of Palestinian life. No matter the outcome, history will revere their actions, as do we, the undersigned.

Elbit Systems stand at the helm of an industry built on the dispossesion and debilitation of the Palestinian people – men, women and children. We proudly assert that to destroy the infrastructure of such an industry is a righteous political act. #ElbitIsGuilty, #ShutElbitDown everywhere!

Signed by:

Organisations and notable individuals can sign on to the open letter by emailing, making sure to title your email with “Palestine Action Open Letter”

Sign up to the Palestine Action Defence Committee Legal Briefing on Tuesday September 13th.