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Scottish activists set for trial following weapons protest

This news post is 10 months old

The trio will be in court from August 9th. 

Three activists from Palestine Action will stand trial from Wednesday August 9 at Glasgow Sheriff Court for four days. 

They face charges of malicious mischief and reckless endangerment for targeting French weapons firm Thales in Govan, Glasgow on July 11, 2022. 

Thales is one of the largest the world’s largest arms companies, producing military drones, armoured vehicles, and missile systems. 

The Watchkeeper drone project has monitored and surveyed populations in Iraq, Palestine, and Afghanistan. Watchkeeper UAVs have also been used to monitor refugees seeking to enter Britain. 

The development of the Watchkeeper drone was done in cooperation by Thales and Israel’s Elbit Systems; modelled on Elbit's Hermes 450 drone which was "battle-tested" on the captive population of Gaza. 

The three occupied the roof and dismantled parts of the factory during their action, forcing workers to evacuate the building and halt the production of weaponry. 

Thales allege the action cost them over £1.5million in losses. Palestine Action allege that the cost to Palestinians is immeasurable, demonstrated by murals painted in Gaza in gratitude for the work of Palestine Action.

One of those set for trial said: "I took action because the weapons trade is morally indefensible. Companies like Thales, Elbit and BAE systems make obscene profits while their products kill and injure millions of people across the world. 

“From Palestine to Yemen to Kashmir to Britain, these weapons prop up unjust and racist regimes and their attacks on entire populations. Thales factory in Govan is a murder machine on our doorstep. 

“Halting the production of parts made there for drones and tanks halts the violent action of turning people into ‘parts’ through bombs and bullets. Ordinary people must stand up and take action. 

“One of the most powerful things we can do it put our bodies physically in the way of the source of harm. I chose to take this action because the weapons trade is wrong, apartheid and racism are wrong and state murder and displacement are wrong, and I will not stand for it - human rights activist Desmond Tutu said to choose neutrality in times of injustice is to choose the side of the oppressors. I refuse to be neutral."