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Postcards sent to Discovery Park in Sandwich ask it not to give arms firm Instro Precision a new home

A business park is denying claims it has been sent more than 200 protest cards from campaigners against the planned relocation of arms company Instro Precision.

Members of East Kent Campaign Against the Arms Trade (East Kent CAAT) claim the management at Discovery Park, Sandwich, is dealing with an overflowing in tray because of the grievance action.

But a spokesman for the enterprise zone says far fewer cards have been received.

Ruth Simson posting the postcards to Discovery Park in Sandwich
Ruth Simson posting the postcards to Discovery Park in Sandwich

East Kent CAAT’s cards, signed by people across Kent, carry a photo of a distressed family inspecting drone damage in a devastated civilian home in Gaza.

Printed are the words: “This is what drones do to homes. Don’t give Instro a new home.”

The Discovery Park spokesman added: “Discovery Park will not be drawn into a public debate about the issue, but far less than 200 postcards have been received by the business park.

“The vast majority received have been from outside Sandwich.”

Instro Precision is registered in England, operates under British laws and can only export to overseas countries under licences granted by the government.

The protest group alleges that Instro is owned by Israeli drone-maker Elbit Systems, and says Elbit’s products were used to kill people in Gaza in 2014.

The company has never engaged with our requests for a comment.

Instro plans to move from its site in Broadstairs to Discovery Park in early 2017 – a shift that will allow it to expand its business.

East Kent CAAT activist Patrick Foy said: “Hundreds of people across this area and Kent feel strongly enough to tell Discovery Park that it is simply not OK to treat Instro Precision like just another potential tenant making everyday products.

Campaigners have held a number of protests against Instro Precision
Campaigners have held a number of protests against Instro Precision

“People in Sandwich especially have been disgusted to learn that weapons parts will be made on their doorstep that are then sold to tyrannical regimes notorious for attacking civilians, and it was not hard to find townspeople there who were eager to object.

“Instro’s current site in Broadstairs was shut down three times over 18 months by peace protests by local people so we expect Discovery Park could face disruption too if it decides to profit from hosting this arms dealer.

“We hope this upswelling of local opinion against this plan will help Discovery Park’s management to see sense and find its moral compass.”

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