UK trade union members on Friday blockaded a British military equipment maker in southeastern England, calling for a ceasefire in Israel’s offensive in Gaza.
Demonstrators brandished banners and placards reading “no business as usual” and “taxpayers have blood on their hands” outside the gates of the BAE Systems factory in Rochester.
Organisers said they were aiming to shut down the factory “which provides components for military aircraft currently being used by Israeli forces in the bombardment of Gaza”.
They said it was part of an “international day of action for Palestine” organised in response to a call by Palestinian trade unionists.
Since the Hamas attacks in southern Israel on October 7 — in which Israel says 1,400 people were killed and 240 taken hostage — Israel has bombarded Gaza relentlessly and sent in ground troops.
The Palestinian territory’s Hamas-run health ministry says more than 10,800 people have been killed in Gaza, many of them children.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that a ceasefire without the release of the hostages would mean “surrender to Hamas”.
Aid organisations said on Thursday that a full ceasefire is needed to get help to civilians in Gaza wounded in Israeli bombardments, and to transport crucial aid to the 2.4 million people living in the besieged territory, one of the most densely populated in the world.