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10 Nov 2023

Flaminia Luck, BBC News (UK)

Workers block UK BAE Systems site, claiming the factory is supplying equipment used in Israel's bombardment of Gaza

"Israel-Gaza: Union members block arms factory in protest over conflict"

Hundreds of trade union members have blockaded a factory which manufactures weapons in protest over the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Demonstrators blocked entrances to the BAE Systems site in Rochester, Kent, at about 07:00 GMT on Friday.

They claim the factory provides components for military aircraft being used to bomb Gaza.

A spokesperson for BAE said: "We respect everyone's right to protest peacefully."

The blockade was organised as part of an International Day of Action for Palestine.


... activists said the UK industry - which includes the site being blockaded - "provides 15% of the components in the F35 stealth combat aircraft that are currently being used in the bombardment of Gaza".

One organiser said more than 400 trade unionists were involved in the action at the site.

They said the group included health workers, teachers, hospitality workers, academics, artists and more who are members of eight trade unions.


A BAE Systems' spokesperson said they were "horrified" by the situation in Israel and Gaza and the "devastating impact it's having on civilians".

"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."