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Anti-arms protesters squat outside Instro Precision factory at Discovery Park in Sandwich


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Seven activists against the supply of arms have been arrested after they prevented work at a factory for more than 24 hours.

The small group of three men and four women stormed the site of Instro Precision at Discovery Park in Sandwich at 5am yesterday and remained outside until lunchtime today.

Break the kill chain: Protesters accuse the company of supplying Israel with weapons used to kill Palestinian people Picture: @blockthefactory
Break the kill chain: Protesters accuse the company of supplying Israel with weapons used to kill Palestinian people Picture: @blockthefactory

The protesters accuse the company of supplying Israel with weapons used to kill Palestinian people in Gaza.

Bearing banners and equipped with enough food and water to last three days, they prohibited staff from entering the workplace and also, it is claimed, caused criminal damage.

However, after about 30 hours, police stepped in.

A spokesman said: "Three men and four women have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage at a business premises in Sandwich.

"Kent Police was called at 6.28am on Tuesday 27 August 2019 to the establishment in Artillery Way after a number of people were involved in a protest.

"They were arrested at around 1.30pm on Wednesday 28 August 2019 and remain in police custody."

Activists outside the gates of Instro Precision at Discovery Park in Sandwich Picture: @blockthefactory
Activists outside the gates of Instro Precision at Discovery Park in Sandwich Picture: @blockthefactory

The protest has been timed to disrupt the DSEI world's largest arms fair in London next week which Instro is due to attend.

Steve Jones, a spokesman for the protesters, said: "Seven activists breached the security of Discovery Park in Sandwich and broke into a the compound of arms factory Intro Precision which is owned by an Israeli company.

"They locked the gates and the company was completely closed yesterday.

"They camped overnight. Some slept on the shipping containers in the yard.

"They've served a legal possession notice so in effect they're squatting. They've got enough food and water to last another three days."

It's the seventh time the company has been targeted in recent years and the second occasion, following an incident on July 1, 2019, at their new factory at Discovery Park.

During this protest, demonstrators barricaded the gates using tables, chairs and palettes from the yard.

Some even attached themselves to the gates by tying bike locks around their necks.

Mr Jones said: "We want to embarrass them. They think they can put up losing a day of business a year because of us activists.

"We wanted to show by coming back so soon that it's not just going to be once a year."

The activists slept at the site in Sandwich overnight and plan to be there until Thursday Picture: @blockthefactory
The activists slept at the site in Sandwich overnight and plan to be there until Thursday Picture: @blockthefactory

Instro is owned by Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest military company.

Elbit is involved in the production of high-spec equipment including aerial drones, armed ground robots and smart helmets.

Police were also called to the site at 6.30am on Tuesday but stood down at 12.30pm.

KentOnline has attempted to contact Instro.

Read more: All the latest news from Sandwich

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