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Seven arrested over Leicester drone factory protest

Seven people have been arrested after pro-Palestine activists “smashed a lorry” through the fences around Braunstone-based drone manufacturer UAV Tactical Systems Ltd (U-TacS). Leicestershire Police said officers attended the factory in the early hours after the force received reports of a van colliding with the gates of the premises.

They found a number of protesters had entered the site and climbed onto the roof of the factory, in Leicestershire’s Meridian Business Park, in Braunstone Town. Palestine Action said its members had then used tools to break through the roof.



It added that this was done to “expose the contents inside the murder factory”. They also sprayed red paint across the building, which they said was done to “symbolise the company’s involvement in spilling Palestinian blood”.

READ MORE: Palestine supporters smash through drone factory fences and tear open roof

This is not the first time the group, which believes the factory – a subsidiary of Elbit Systems UK – is sending weapons to Israel, has targeted the site. Elbit has consistently and robustly denied the group’s allegations.

Six people have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, Leicestershire Police said. A seventh was arrested for public order offences. All remain in police custody.

A spokesperson for U-TacS told LeicestershireLive this morning: “This shocking attack is a further escalation in violence from a known group whose reckless behavior continues to threaten the safety of our employees and damages our property. Only good fortune prevented serious injury.

“We will work with the authorities to prosecute any person or group threatening the safety of our staff or committing criminal damage while we provide critical capability to the British armed forces.

“To be absolutely clear, U-TacS does not supply the Israeli military or the Israeli Ministry of Defence. Any claims to the contrary are completely false. This group is using misinformation as a tactic to recruit people to join them and commit acts which could have serious legal consequences for those individuals.”

A spokeswoman for Leicestershire Police said: “At 5.36am today (Wednesday, May 8) it was reported to the police that a van had collided with the gates of a premises at the Meridian Business Park. A number of protesters then entered the site and climbed onto the roof of the building and onto the roof of the van.

“Six people have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and one person has been arrested for public order offences. All remain in police custody. Officers remain at the scene as evidence continues to be gathered and inquiries continue.”

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