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  1. Melbourne Group locked down Elbit Systems (drone maker) says:

    The Melbourne Palestine Action Group, a group consisting of activists from Whistle Blowers Australian Citizens Alliance and Renegade Activists, locked down Elbit Systems in the suburb of Port Melbourne and occupied the building’s roof covering it with a banner that reads “Elbit drones killing kids in #Gaza #BDS.

    Inspired by a similar action that took place in England last week, Melbournians in support of the Palestinian people in Gaza erected a replica of Israel’s apartheid wall locking the gates of Elbit Systems in the city of Port Melbourne.

    In a phone interview with Jacob Grech this morning, one of the activists in the group, Jacob explained the group’s motivation for this action.

    ‘Melbourne is one of the most livable cities in the world and we believe that most Melbournians would be shocked to learn that a company operating drones that kill women and children in hospitals and schools is operating in here in the leafy suburb of Port Melbourne’ he said.

    Israeli company Elbit systems is Israel’s largest military company. It markets its drones around the world as ‘field tested’, which means they have been tried on the captive and occupied Palestinian population under Israel’s illegal military occupation. Elbit provides services and technology to the Israeli army including surveillance equipment and drones. There is evidence documented by various human rights group that drones are used to kill innocent civilians in Gaza. Al Mezan Centre, a Palestinian human rights organization, attributes the killing of more than 1,000 Palestinian in Gaza between 2000-2010 by drones.
    So what do the activists hope to achieve through this action? ‘We want to send a message to the world to divest from Israeli companies and not to deal with Elbit Systems. We are calling on the Australian government to end its contracts with Elbit Systems which include all army communications and new AFP database’ Jacob Grech explained.

    In 2010, it was reported that the Australian Federal Police was spending $145 million a computer policing system supplied by Elbit Australia after being tried and tested in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. The system was to be up and running by 2017.

    Asked why this should be of concern to Australians, Grech explained ‘we’re concerned for two reasons, first that the Australian government is spending money on a brutal company, but also because the company is running command control stations on activists in Palestine and would now have the ability to spay not just on activists but on all Australian citizens.’

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