Workers’ movements across Europe protest supply of arms to Israel

Trade unions, youth movements, and Palestine solidarity groups have organized protests and blockades across Europe, opposing the role of their governments in Israel’s genocidal war on Palestinians

November 03, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Trade unionists of PAME carry out flash protest inside Athens International Airport (Photo: PAME)

As Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza continues unabated for the fourth week straight, workers across Europe have stepped up their solidarity with Palestine and organized resistance to the supply of arms from various parts of the continent to Israel.

On Thursday, November 2, Greek trade unionists from the All Workers Militant Front (PAME) held a flash protest inside the Athens International Airport in solidarity with Palestine. The protest started in front of the offices of the Israeli airline El Al with protesters then marching inside the airport denouncing the genocidal war against Palestinians.

In their statement, PAME harshly criticized Israeli war crimes in Gaza. “No one can remain silent when the death toll from Israeli bombing in Gaza exceeds 8,000, including over 3000 children and over 1000 women,” PAME said.

“No one can remain silent when a child is killed in Gaza every 10 minutes. No one can remain silent when there are more than 15,000 wounded in Gaza without the necessary treatment because of the suffocating blockade by the murderer state of Israel.”

PAME has also demanded that the Greek government stop all economic, political, and military cooperation with Israel. The union called for an end to the facilitation of bases and other infrastructure by Greece to the US, NATO, and Israel.

PAME has also called for the immediate recognition of the Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Meanwhile, on October 31, transport unions in Belgium including the Belgian Union of Transport Workers (BTB), BBTK, ACV-Transcom, and ACV Puls issued a joint statement announcing their resolve to refuse loading or unloading weapons in transit to Israel, which are destined for the genocidal war against the Palestinians.

In their statement, the trade unions said that while genocide is taking place in Palestine, workers at various airports in Belgium note the arrival of arms shipments to the conflict zone. Workers’ participation in loading or unloading these weapons “means supporting regimes that kill innocent people,” the statement said.

In the UK, on October 31, activists from Palestine Action blockaded the road to the headquarters of Elbit Systems in Bristol, notorious for manufacturing parts for Israeli drones and other pilotless aircraft.

DKU activist blocading Terma A/S in Soborg (Photo: DKU)

On October 30, in Demark, activists from various anti-war groups including the Communist Youth of Denmark (DKU), blocked all entrances to the Søborg plant of the Danish arms company, Terma, in protest against its sale of weapons and equipment to the Israeli Defense Forces.

According to reports, the Aarhus-based defense contractor supplies Israel with equipment for F-16 and F-35 fighter jets, which Israel uses to bomb Gaza. Terma has also been accused of sending arms for the war in Yemen.

During the blockade at Terma, DKU members hung up blood-stained children’s clothes to symbolize the consequences of Terma’s bloody business for civilians in Palestine.

Dagbladet Arbejderen has reported that the protestors have demanded that authorities publish all information about Terma’s activities and disseminate that information in a way that allows the people of Denmark to understand exactly what the company is doing.

They also demanded and end to the manufacturing of weapons parts used by the Israeli military and the termination of their agreements with F35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin, which supplies the Israeli genocidal apparatus.

As of November 3, the ongoing genocidal war carried out by Israel in the Gaza Strip since October 7, has claimed the lives of more than 9,000 people, wounded more than 30,000 people, and displaced over 1.4 million.