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Demonstrators blockade weapons manufacturer BAE Systems site in protest over Israel-Hamas war in Gaza

Hundreds of trade unionists under the banner ‘Workers for a Free Palestine’ today blockaded weapons manufacturer BAE Systems’ factory in Kent in protest over the Israel-Gaza war.

Activists descended on the site in Chatham, Rochester at about 7am on Friday and moved to block its entrances. One group held a banner saying ‘stop arming Israel’ and some chanted ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’.

An organiser said that more than 400 trade unionists are involved in the action at the site, which they claim provides components for military aircraft being used in the bombardment of Gaza.

They said the group includes health workers, teachers, hospitality workers, academics, artists and more who are members of trade unions such as Unite, Unison, GMB, the NEU, the BMA, UCU, BECTU and BFAWU.

The blockade has been organised as part of an ‘international day of action’ called by Palestinian trade unions to ‘end complicity in Israel’s war crimes’. Another banner read ‘This factory arms genocide’. 

Activists descended on the site in Chatham, Rochester at about 7am on Friday and moved to block its entrances

Activists descended on the site in Chatham, Rochester at about 7am on Friday and moved to block its entrances

An organiser said that more than 400 trade unionists are involved in the action at the site

An organiser said that more than 400 trade unionists are involved in the action at the site

A protester in a high-vis jacket puts up a sign reading 'trade unions 4 Palestine'

A protester in a high-vis jacket puts up a sign reading ‘trade unions 4 Palestine’ 

Today, there were claims BAE Systems workers had been unable to enter the site during the protest. Pictures emerged of cars being turned away from the site

Today, there were claims BAE Systems workers had been unable to enter the site during the protest. Pictures emerged of cars being turned away from the site

Today, there were claims BAE Systems workers had been unable to enter the site during the protest. Pictures emerged of cars being turned away from the site

Participants are calling for ‘an end to the UK Government’s complicity in war crimes being committed in Palestine, by ending arms sales to Israel and supporting an immediate ceasefire’.

The

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