BAE Systems Glasgow shipyard blocked by pro-Palestine protesters

BAE Systems Glasgow shipyard blocked by pro-Palestine protesters

The Glasgow shipyard of British defence company BAE Systems has been blocked by pro-Palestine protesters protesting against the UK’s links with the Israeli arms industry.

The group is still outside the Govan site amid calls for a ceasefire and an immediate halt to the killing of civilians in Gaza.

Photos show activists standing outside the gates while police are also present. Signs held by protesters read: “Stop arming genocide” and “This factory arms”.

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A video taken from the scene appears to show BAE System workers leaving the shipyard with protesters claiming it has been “shut down”.

The company produces parts needed to build the F-35 aircraft, which was previously used by the Israeli military. The Glasgow demonstration is part of a UK-wide May Day movement, with more action taking place south of the border.

Speaking in Glasgow, protester Jamie – who did not want to give his surname – said: “Our fundamental aim is for the UK government to introduce an arms embargo, it is the morally right thing to do.

“It is vital that action is taken, there have been almost seven months of death and destruction in Palestine and the idea that this is being carried out by weapons that are being produced in our neighborhoods is horrifying.

Police are also at the scene – Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

“Our long-term goal is a government arms embargo, but our short-term goal here today is just to disrupt BAE’s normal business, disrupt manufacturing, cost them time, cost them money and slow down the arms trade with Israel.”

BAE System factories in Wales and Lancashire have also been targeted by pro-Palestine activists.

A spokesperson for the defence company said: “The ongoing violence in the Middle East is having a devastating impact on civilians in the region and we hope that the parties involved will find a way to end the violence as quickly as possible.

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“We respect everyone’s right to protest peacefully.

“We operate under the most stringent regulations and fully comply with all applicable defense export controls, which are subject to ongoing evaluation.”

Workers negotiate entry as protesters form a blockade outside arms manufacturer BAE Systems in Glasgow – Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “At around 4.55am on Wednesday 1 May, police were called to a report of a demonstration outside a business premises on Govan Road, Govan, Glasgow.

“Officers remain on scene.”