Campaigners blockade defence company site in solidarity with Palestinians

More than 100 Glasgow residents took part in the action from 5am.

Campaigners blockade Govan shipyard in solidarity with Palestinians amid calls for ceasefire PA Media

Activists are staging a blockade at a defence company’s shipyard in Glasgow in solidarity with Palestinians and are calling for an immediate ceasefire.

More than 100 demonstrators blocked entrances to the BAE Systems site in Govan, Glasgow, from around 5am on Thursday.

They are taking action in response to a call from Palestinian trade unionists for workers around the world to disrupt the flow of arms to Israel.

They are calling for a halt to arms exports to Israel, an end to air strikes on Yemen, and an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

The demonstrators in Glasgow, who are not affiliated to any particular group, claim that BAE Systems produces components for the F-35 combat aircraft used by Israel.

BAE Systems said it operates under the tightest regulation and complies “fully with all applicable defence export controls”.

At one of the gates to the site the activists, who are Glasgow residents, stood holding a banner that said “Stop Arming Israel” and chanted “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”.

Stephen, a hospitality worker aged 27, who did not wish to give his surname, said: “We hold BAE’s management, not ordinary workers, responsible for fuelling and profiting from the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people.”

The UK and US have taken part in joint air strikes on Houthi positions in Yemen following Houthi attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea.

John, an electrician aged 24, who also did not wish to give his surname, said: “I’m here today because clearly we are being ignored in our calls for a ceasefire and because direct action works in forcing change.”

A BAE Systems spokesperson said: “We’re horrified by the situation in Israel and Gaza and the devastating impact it’s having on civilians in the region and we hope it can be resolved as soon as possible.

“We respect everyone’s right to protest peacefully.

“We operate under the tightest regulation and comply fully with all applicable defence export controls, which are subject to ongoing assessment.”

The Foreign Office and Police Scotland have been contacted for comment.

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